Okay folks, I’ve about had it. I have never been a single issue voter, but the folks I’ve voted for lately have just about pushed me to that point. President Obama never claimed to be anti-war, just anti-Iraq-war, but even that stance should allow for some empathy (there’s a word we’ve heard a lot about lately from the White House) for members of Congress who (rightly) won’t vote for one red cent for the continued occupation of Iraq, and it should at least give him some perspective on the folks who feel that way about Afghanistan. But take a look at the reaction of the White House now that the extra war spending bill is floundering, from HuffPo:
The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won’t get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.
“We’re not going to help you. You’ll never hear from us again,” Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen. She wouldn’t say who is issuing the threats, and the White House didn’t immediately return a call. [UPDATE: White House spokesman Nick Shapiro says Woolsey’s charge is not true.]
The president (and his chief of staff…this has the unique feel of a Rahm Emanuel operation) is not flying solo on this. House Democrats are adopting the exact same rhetoric that the Republicans used when Republicans pushed war funding bills:
“We’re working it. We’re working it,” Pelosi told POLITICO before heading to a White House meeting with Obama. “The Republicans are saying they are not going to vote for the bill, the funding of the troops. They’re not going to support the troops.”
If I didn’t see it in print, I’d never, ever have believed that my former boss would utter these words. I’ve never been more stunned by the absolute hypocrisy of someone for whom I’ve worked. I have always been proud of my work for Pelosi when she was the Minority Leader, fighting against the regressive, militarized policies of the Bush administration and the pre-2006 Congress. But seeing her adopt the exact same rhetoric used against her own party when the Republicans were in charge makes me angry beyond description.
Next election, I’ll be hard-pressed to be anything other than a single issue, anti-war voter. If you want to have a chance at my vote, you’ll have to show your anti-war credentials. Otherwise, I’ll be writing in “Jesus of Nazareth” on my ballot where appropriate. I did not give time, sweat and money to watch and listen to Democrats enthusiastically embracing the rhetoric and policies of the pro-war movement. I want off the bus.