Friday, April 11, 2008


After her swearing-in yesterday, California Congressional District 12 term filler-outer Jackie Speier made a few comments which a sycophantic SFGate reported as a “fiery speech,” supposedly against the war, that caused “some” Republicans to “boo and walk out of the house chamber.”

Some interpret this as a hopeful sign. I have to admit it’s preferable that my congressperson receive Republicans’ boos rather than their cheers.

Is it time for me to soften my skepticism? I looked at the Congressional Record.

The war-related parts of Speier’s comments were quoted in the SFGate article in their entirety. It wasn’t a long speech against the war: here’s all she said about the war, per the Congressional Record:

While holding over 60 community meetings across my district this year, the most common question was, ``When will we get out of Iraq?'' It was asked by voters across the spectrum: veterans, students, parents, the prosperous, middle class, those still working towards their piece of the American Dream.

The process to bring the troops home must begin immediately. The President wants to stay the course, and a man who wants to replace him suggests we could be in Iraq for a hundred years.

But, Madam Speaker, history will not judge us kindly if we sacrifice four generations of Americans because of the folly of one.

Here is a summary of Speier’s points following by my comments in italics:

1. Her constituents position: “When will we get out…?”
This is a weak representation. I bet her constituents position is closer to “immediate, complete, unconditional withdrawal,” not some wimpy quizzicalness.

2. The process of withdrawing troops must begin now.
It already has begun. The only question is, “When will it be completed?” Hillary and Barack are talking about 2010. My suggestion—all troops out by April ’09.

3. Bush has the wrong position.
Cheap shot, not appropriate for a non-partisan swearing-in ceremony.

4. McCain wants a 100-year war.
See #3.

5. We must get out of Iraq in less than 100 years.

The congressional Democrats’ position on the war is essentially that of Pontius Pilate: innocence for the evil that happens on their watch. Speier’s gonna be a good, loyal democrat.

----- o -----

No comments: