New Direction?

I promise to back down from horserace politics-related material after this.

CNN’s writeup about the Democratic victory talks about how the Democrats promise a new direction. Unfortunately, it also quotes the Democrats as promising bland slogans more than real action. Pelosi could’ve tried spinning her version of the Contract with America, but instead:

“Nowhere did the American people make it more clear that we need a new direction than in the war in Iraq,” the Californian told supporters in Washington.

“‘Stay the course’ has not made our country safer, has not honored our commitment to our troops and has not made the region more stable,” she said. “We cannot continue down this catastrophic path, and so we say to the president, ‘Mister President, we need a new direction in Iraq.'”

The US doesn’t need a new direction in Iraq. The only new direction that’s acceptable apart from withdrawal involves a crackdown on atrocities such as the Marines’ murdering an innocent civilian and making it look like an anti-terrorist operation. Since by its nature the military thrives on such actions, everyone who does not support a withdrawal effectively supports continued murder of Iraqi civilians by American troops.

Other agenda items are not any more promising. For example, on health care, the Democrats are focusing on prescription drugs benefits. Their proposals will allow the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceuticals. But ultimately, these negotiations won’t do much; drugs are sold on the private market too much, and without price caps, people will still have a serious problem affording them.

On the remaining issues I haven’t seen any promises of change at all, let alone real change. I’ll cut the Democrats some slack, since they only retook the House last night and the Senate today, but in the next few days they must talk about education, immigration, and civil liberties.

I’m not sure whether the Financial Times’ take on the situation is real or just spin, but it’s distressing.

[Link] As the scale of the Democratic party’s victory in the US mid-term elections became apparent party leaders moved swiftly to reassure Americans that they would seek to work with Republicans to pursue a moderate centrist agenda, and not lurch to the left.

Nancy Pelosi, who is set to become the next Speaker of the House of Representatives – and was attacked by Republicans during the campaign for her “San Francisco values” – pledged “to work together in a bipartisan way for all Americans.”

Rahm Emanuel, who ran the Democrats’ election effort for the House, declared: “we extend a hand of co-operation to the president, our colleagues across the aisle.”

I hope this just means the Democrats pretend to be moderate and make the traditional unmeant calls for unity. But Tom Daschle made similar remarks after the Iraq War vote, which passed when the Democrats controlled the Senate.

8 Responses to New Direction?

  1. SLC says:

    Cutting and running from Iraq is irresponsible. There is a third alternative which is to withdraw all troops to Kurdistan and allow the Kurds to declare an independent country. The 140,000 American troops should be more then sufficient to prevent incursions from the rest of Iraq or from Turkey. Admittedly, this alternative would leave the rest of Iraq in chaos but would at least salvage something from the disaster.

  2. Hmmm says:


    One of the four shooters, Staff Sgt. Trevor Alders, had recently had PRK laser eye surgery. Although he could see two sets of hands “straight up,” his vision was “hazy,” he said. In the absence of “friendly identifying signals,” he assumed Tillman and an allied Afghan who also was killed were enemy.

    Another, Spc. Steve Elliott, said he was “excited” by the sight of rifles, muzzle flashes and “shapes.” A third, Spc. Stephen Ashpole, said he saw two figures, and just aimed where everyone else was shooting.

    Squad leader Sgt. Greg Baker had 20-20 eyesight, but claimed he had “tunnel vision.” Amid the chaos and pumping adrenaline, Baker said he hammered what he thought was the enemy but was actually the allied Afghan fighter next to Tillman who was trying to give the Americans cover: “I zoned in on him because I could see the AK-47. I focused only on him.”

    All four failed to identify their targets before firing, a direct violation of the fire discipline techniques drilled into every soldier.

    Apparently it’s bothersome to take prisoners because they slow you down. It doesn’t mean much if they have their hands straight up because their scathing critique may be deadly.

  3. Hmmm says:

    Can you imagine going through life with a name like Ashpole? May be a little compensation in play.

  4. SLC says:

    Mr. Levy appears to use the epithet “dominionist” much like the late and unlamented Joe McCarthly use the epithet “communist.” Is Mr. Levy a left wing McCarthyite? Incidently, Mr. Levy has yet to respond to my query as to whether he considers Ken Miller a dominionist. Come on, yes or no.

  5. Alon Levy says:

    Judging by what I’ve read about him, no.

  6. SLC says:

    Dominionist appears to be synonymous with Christian Reconstructionist. By no stretch of the imagination are Joe Lieberman or Barach Obama Christian Reconstructionists.

  7. Alon Levy says:

    It really isn’t. Dominionism is a political movement for, well, a Christian dominion. It’s related to Reconstructionism, but you don’t need to be a Reconstructionist to be a Dominionist any more than you need to be a Wahhabi to be an Islamist.

  8. Mickey says:

    Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work
    and coverage! Keep up the superb works guys I’ve included you guys to blogroll.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: