Michael Moore has a list of five things he says Democrats should do to avoid a disaster at the polls in November. His first recommendation? That the Democratic Party run ads reminding voters “Who the Hell Put Us in the Misery We’re In”:
People need to be reminded over and over that it was the REPUBLICANS who concocted and led the unnecessary invasion of two countries, putting us in our longest war ever, wars that will eventually cost us over $3 trillion.
I know readers of this blog probably don’t need me to detail all that is wrong with that sentence but, fuck it, I’ll try to anyway. First, it was Democrat Bill Clinton who signed into law a bill that made regime change in Iraq official U.S. policy, and it was the Clinton administration, by continually bombing Iraq and maintaining a deadly sanctions regime throughout the 1990s ostensibly due to an ongoing, scary (and conveniently swarthy) threat of a madman with weapons of mass destruction, that helped make the 2003 invasion politically possible.
Second, Democrats were critical to selling the Iraq war in the wake of 9/11, with the likes of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry — and the top candidates for the party’s 2004 and 2008 presidential nomination — taking to the Senate floor with tales of ties to al-Qaeda and WMDs to justify an aggressive war against a country that was not threatening the United States. And the authorization to use force in Iraq was approved by more than half the Democrats in the Senate and more than 80 of those in the House. Sure, more dissented than in the Republican ranks — just not many in meaningful leadership positions and none with greater political ambitions.
Meanwhile, the war in Afghanistan was overwhelmingly supported by the Democratic Party; Congress authorized the use of force by a vote of 420-1 in the House and 98-0 in the Senate. And during the 2008 election campaign, and before that in 2006, Democrats across the country campaigned on a platform that labeled Afghanistan the Good, Forgotten War, with Harry Reid, Barack Obama, et. al denouncing the Bush administration for not sending enough young Americans to kill and be killed there.
There’s also this small quibble I have with the “blame REPUBLICANS for the wars” strategy: as “our longest war ever” drags on with no end in sight, draining taxpayers of tens of billions of dollars every year, the Democratic Party controls the House, the Senate and the presidency. The Democrats, it can be fairly said, control the government of the United States of America — the same government that not only continues to occupy two Middle Eastern countries, but has further expanded the war on terror in Yemen and Pakistan, killing hundreds of civilians with Predator drones and cluster bombs.
Democrats can go ahead and blame the GOP all they want for starting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I suspect some voters will rightly respond: “well okay then, Bush should’ve been impeached and John Boehner is totally a dick, but who’s dropping the bombs now?”