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Posted by on May 24, 2007 in War | 23 comments

Keith Olbermann: The Democrats Betrayed the American People

Keith Olbermann isn’t exactly happy with the compromise Republicans and Democrats reached on Iraq. He said that the president and the majority leaders have betrayed the American people.

after six months of preparation and execution—half a year gathering the strands of public support; translating into action, the collective will of the nearly 70 percent of Americans who reject this War of Lies, the Democrats have managed only this:

* The Democratic leadership has surrendered to a president—if not the worst president, then easily the most selfish, in our history—who happily blackmails his own people, and uses his own military personnel as hostages to his asinine demand, that the Democrats “give the troops their money”;
* The Democratic leadership has agreed to finance the deaths of Americans in a war that has only reduced the security of Americans;
* The Democratic leadership has given Mr. Bush all that he wanted, with the only caveat being, not merely meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government, but optional meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government.
* The Democratic leadership has, in sum, claimed a compromise with the Administration, in which the only things truly compromised, are the trust of the voters, the ethics of the Democrats, and the lives of our brave, and doomed, friends, and family, in Iraq.

You, the men and women elected with the simplest of directions—Stop The War—have traded your strength, your bargaining position, and the uniform support of those who elected you… for a handful of magic beans.
You may trot out every political cliché from the soft-soap, inside-the-beltway dictionary of boilerplate sound bites, about how this is the “beginning of the end” of Mr. Bush’s “carte blanche” in Iraq, about how this is a “first step.”
Well, Senator Reid, the only end at its beginning… is our collective hope that you and your colleagues would do what is right, what is essential, what you were each elected and re-elected to do.
Because this “first step”… is a step right off a cliff.

Daniel DiRito comments at Bring it On!

Well it was bound to happen. Just over six months after the American voter sent politicians what appeared to be a clear message about the direction of the country…and particularly their displeasure with the war in Iraq…the criticism of the Democrats (in addition to the Republicans) has made its formal debut in the form of a signature “Special Comment” by the always ebullient and opinionated Keith Olbermann.

Whether the emerging criticism and anger spells trouble for the Democrats in 2008 is yet to be seen…but thinking ahead to the next election, voters may find themselves sending the same message…though wholly uncertain whether they can expect either party to demonstrate enough leadership to bite the bullet and resolve the Iraq situation once and for all.

What I find fascinating to see, is that quite some on the left are actually disappointed. To me, it was quite clear that the Democrats were, well, playing politics. They had no intention of truly clashing with George W. Bush. Bush would win anyway: he would have just vetoed the bill. The Democrats don’t want to stop funding the troops in Iraq: it will make them look bad and hurt them politically. The Democrats cannot win a battle over the war in Iraq: Bush can simply veto every bill he doesn’t like – the Democrats will not have a veto-proof majority on controversial Iraq War bills.

So, what were the Democrats doing? Simple: they were trying to satisfy the base. They thought they could put pressure on Bush, say all the right things, compromise and then explain to the base why they had to compromise, why they didn’t really have a choice, etc. One problem: the base doesn’t believe that the Democrats didn’t have a choice. They understand that the Dems were playing political games.

The Dems don’t want to stop funding the troops, the Dems don’t want to be held responsible for what happens in Iraq after the US withdraws… Here’s what I expect: if a Democrat becomes president and if there are still many troops in Iraq (which there will be), the new president will withdraw some troops, but will keep quite some troops in Iraq for quite some years to come.

Cross posted at my own blog.

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