Friday, May 25, 2007

If Congress Doesn’t Step Up, We Should: National Referendum on the War in Iraq!

What next? What do we do now that 37% of the House Democrats voted to fund the War in Iraq without any timetable, bench mark, or anything else that will work toward an end to this unspeakably evil war.

Thirty-seven percent.

Do we primary 37% of the Democrats in the House? 86 seats? Well I can tell you this, if you primary Nick Lampson of TX-22 all you will do is put a Republican in the House in 2008. I’m sure that’s true in many other districts throughout the country.

Besides, Nick, I hear, won’t step up and run in CD 22 next year. He doesn’t think he will win. No, he doesn’t even know who he will run against, it doesn’t matter who runs apparently. He wants to run for Cornyn’s senate seat, and he wants to do it by elbowing everyone else off the primary ballot.

But I digress.

What DO we do?

Now that we’ve unleashed a 120 billion dollars for Bush to grab and distribute to his friends – yes, some of it will go to Halliburton and Bechtel, you can bet on it – how do we get Congress to extract our troops from this insidious civil war in Iraq? They won’t step up.

I’ll tell you what we do. It was mentioned off-handedly on my blog yesterday. Today I woke up and said “Hey . . . ”

We have to get someone in Congress, one of the 140, to file a resolution for a National Referendum on the War in Iraq. A National Referendum to be voted on November 6th 2007. The resolution should be funded because it’s going to take some money to put this on every ballot in the country. The resolution should specifically state that the referendum before the voters is binding. My suggested wording:
“Resolved, the President of the United States is hereby ordered by the Citizens of the United States of America to implement a plan to withdraw all US troops from Iraq by March 31st 2008.”
It’s an up or down vote and if it receives a simple majority, the President must acquiesce.

I don’t think there needs to be a penalty clause. If Bush doesn’t veto this one, it’s because he sees it as a way to extract himself from this without any consequences to himself.

Has this been done before? No. Of all the countries in the world ruled by democracies, the United States stands with 4 other countries as never having had a national referendum: India, Israel, Japan, and the Netherlands.

Apartheit, I am told, was voted out by South Africans in a national referendum.

Some say it sets a dangerous precedent. Once you have one, others can be brought up. How about a national referendum on abortion rights? Or one to suspend the Bill of Rights?

But what else can we, the people, who sent a Democratic majority to Washington so they would end the War in Iraq, do?

So really, we are left with little else to do.

An up side to this is that it will make an off-off year November election one with a high voter turnout. There may be lots of under votes, but I don’t know anyone who would pass up the chance to bring this war to and end with a popular vote.

There’s all sorts of reasons to have a national referendum on the Iraq War. All sorts. So do I think there will be one?

I am characteristically pessimistic.


Jaime Kenedeño said...

Now there is the definition of RECALCITRANT.

A Democraddick house I'm sure.

Pay attention Solly & you too Eissler!

musings: Echo Chamber....

The new House Parliamentarian, Terry Keel (former state rep. HD-47), is the man behind the curtain telling the Wizard of Tom what to say. Then, Craddick parrots back the Keel-speak to the Chamber.

P.M.Bryant said...

It is good to be thinking out of the box, but this idea won't work. First of all, even presuming it happens and the vote goes as you imply it would, it would no doubt be tied up in courts longer than the time Bush remains in office.

Second, it won't happen, because there isn't even majority support for this position in the current Congress.

Ok, so change the resolution to be the same as the terms of one of the bills that passed by a bare majority earlier that set timetables and benchmarks. It still won't happen because of the veto and the obstinance of the congressional GOP.

What is standing in our way is the congressional GOP -- if they get enough pressure from people in their districts, they will fold. And once Bush loses his core of support, he may have to fold, too. (No guarantees, though.)

So what we need is for those of us in districts represented by GOPers supporting this war to start making our voices heard.

And we also need to work towards electing a Dem President in 2008, and a more Democratic Congress, or else we will likely have at least 6 more years of this war, not just 2.

TXsharon said...

Maybe it won't work and maybe it would. At least it's something. I like this idea. Bookmarked.