View Full Version : Kabuki

03-25-2007, 06:21 AM
Ed. by SWC Admin - copied from here (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2401&page=15)to spawn as a new thread.


The recent house measure is nothing but political theater. Democrats were elected, in part, to do something about the war. Because congress is by design a debating society they have responded with classic meaningless legislation. The measure won't reconcile with the Senate version of the same bill (so it won't even get to the oval office to be vetoed), but it will drag out negotiations.

As an aside, one thing most people forget when watching our two parties tear into each other is that U.S. foreign policy is generally stable regardless of who happens to be in charge of it. The words change, but the music stays the same. We can talk about democrats not supporting the troops, but if the roles were reversed an John Kerry was in the White House with a republican congress you'd see much the same action: democrats demanding that we support a wartime president and republicans calling for accountability.
As support for this position I could cite Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Desert Fox, etc. The party out of power (i.e. that doesn't hold the White House) opposes everything the President does - they're just harder to deal with when they control the legislative branch.

In any event, Congress has tried to manage every war the nation has ever fought, from the Revolution on, and we've mostly muddled through all right.

Reid Bessenger
08-01-2007, 12:49 PM
I agree that what we see playing out in the US federal government is part of a long evolution characterized by fairly positive to neutral performance. The longer-term trend is one worth knowing. If for no other reason than curiosity, though, have the US branches of government collectively muddled through based upon enjoying at least comparatively more time to proceed? I ask this since the accelerating news cycle and a perceived waning of responsible reading on the part of citizens mix as trends. The impact is tough to discern with clarity, but I think we can agree that it makes it harder for the US government to assess situations, conceive of a better reality, and act to that end. If the availability of time to accomplish these activities in the public forum was a factor in the fair track record, what does it look like now?