What is the matter with Democratic politicians, you may say. Nothing, as such. And the politicians speaking at the rally were among the best that the timid Dems have to offer – Maxine Waters, John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich, for example. But these Democrats do not represent the Democratic Party; they are an idealistic few on its fringe. To have only Democrats and no others is to create the false impression that the Democratic Party is a vehicle for peace. And it creates false hopes about what the Dems will do without mighty pressure.
I remember when the anti-war movement in the US went on hold to stump for pro-war Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) because he was the “viable” candidate to get Pres. Bush out of office. Some of the most vocal anti-war speakers are, after all, advocates for the Democratic Party. Walsh mentions the “Progressive” Democrats of America which I’ve written about in the past.
Walsh’s essay also reminds me of the debates on NOW (2 2-candidate debates) in that both the essay and the NOW show focused on messengers left out of something more widely watched. It was clear then as it is now that the Democrats need to be pressured to oppose the war.
I’ve been told that the Democrats went along with the pro-war message because they were in the minority and that (somehow) meant they had no choice. I didn’t believe it then because I knew a more convincing reason: the Democrats get their money from the same place the Republicans do, and those funders (whether wealthy individuals or corporations) benefit from the war. Now that the Democrats have some weight to throw around in Congress, it’s important to pressure them to throw that weight in the right direction.