A dysfunctional democracy?

I am a bit tired of the critics of congress who say that we send the wrong signal with our governamental standoff between the Bush admin and Congress dem majority. That it gives the impression that american resolve is weak. That as a democracy we set the wromng example to Iraq’s new found democracy. If we cannot get a consensus in our highly developed democracy for war funds, how can we expect the Iraqui new found democracy to resolve the oil revenue distribution?

Here is the thing.
At best, democracy is the managment of conflict. It is the managment of diverse interests. The best example of a democracy is the plain execution of check and balances, as it is occuring in Washigton over the funding for war bill. It is not pretty but it is freedom.
Mind you, I am not saying that Congress should approve the budget given by the President or that the President should accept Congress demands. That is not the issue. For me the issue is that this back and forth discussion is what we fight for. It is war by words which is better than by bayonets.
When we look at Iraq and what they do in these few years ahead let us remember that as long as dialogue, argument, presuassion, hearings, votes, continue to take place, there is hope for them. Let us worry when they try to abandon that, tired of conflict and trying to persuade and make a case for or against in a hall with words and decide that it is more efficient (and it probably can be) to just coerce all branches to submitt to the will, the decree of one faction with one interest. That day freedom ends.
Let us beware of that happening in this country as well. The resolve of the nation is a fiction these days. Fear does increse the sense of unity, of an “Us” in the face of “Them”, but that is an extra-ordinary situation brought by the Sept 11 attacks. Democracy, we might say, ebbed in those years that followed. It was not needed. Democracy is needed when there is no unanimous position. Democracy is certainly needed in Iraq and I hope that the US gives a good enough lesson by example.

Democracy fails when the legislature refrains from dissention in order to appease the executive’s or anyone else’s wish that the country appear united.

Those who exclaim that the congress is not showing unity with the president in times of crises are not champions of democracy but its underminers.

no, the opposition party fails, not the legislature.


What do you mean imp? What is the “legislature”? If it is not, ideally, the appointer of the executive, then it is a branch equal and independent of the executive. It is, then, by design, the opponent of the executive. The executive is protected from them by it’s veto power.
When the opposition party fails so does the principle of even having a legislature and we get into what PBS calls “Cheney’s Law”.

the principle of having a legislature is fine. the fact that the opposition party isn’t powerful enough to implement their tryanical whims causes their mouth pieces to whine which is nothing new.

co-equal means co-equal. not congress rules.


What Democracy are you referring to? The one where Shi’tes vote for Shi’tes, Sunnis for Sunnis and Kurds for Kurds? The reason the new oil law is not being passed is that it was written by Exxon/Moble and BP and other foreign companies and turns over all oil revenues to them for the next thirty years. Even the hacks in Iraq have trouble stumuching that kind of sell out.

It’s an example of the hypocrisy and cowardice to the Democratic Party. The Constitution inherently recognises that a runaway executive could run his own private war. So Congress has the power to provide funds or cut off funds for such a war. All they need is a simple majority to refuse to fund this war, which would in fact - End it. Something the Democrats claim they want to do.

There is no functioning government in Iraq. We manage to maintain the sham of one existing to justify our continued presense.

We absolutely should give an example by cutting the funds for Bush’s war in Iraq which has NOTHING to do with 9/11.

Just as Congress cut the funds to Clintons embarrasing fiasco in Somallia and ended it. Now THAT’S Democracy in action.


Strangely enough no one called the Republicans who ended that stupid war as “surrender monkies,” or “traitors.”


That’s the stupidest argument I’ve ever heard. That’s like trying to train someone on a new machine without turning it on. Turning it on - that is, seeing how it work in action - is loud, abnoxious, and gives off smelly fumes. Therefore, in order not to give our trainee a bad impression, we should leave it off and let him guess how it works.