Sunday, May 17, 2009

Antiwar Impotence in Washington

Related: Congress Approves Another $100 Billion For Wars

"Even with Obama in charge, anti-war Democrats powerless

By David Lightman | McClatchy Newspaper

WASHINGTON — The anti-war crowd had waited years for this moment, when it could finally use its political muscle to end or at least sharply curtail American involvement in a war that seems endless. Instead, Congress' most vocal anti-war activists were badly outnumbered this week when they tried to define an exit strategy for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan....

They weren't even allowed a vote on a plan. It was a setback because for years, anti-war lawmakers lacked the votes they needed to impose restrictions on former President George W. Bush's war in Iraq. Now, the president is a Democrat, and the Democrats have a 79-seat majority in the House of Representatives and 59 Senate seats, including two independents, which gives them their biggest margins since the early 1990s.

Nevertheless, the anti-war crowd remains as impotent as it was during the Bush years amid widespread support for President Barack Obama and a public that's preoccupied with economic issues and largely unperturbed by the escalating war in Afghanistan.