Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Iraq is just like the US

Despite US government officials insisting that democracy has or is emerging in Iraq, it's not. But maybe neither country has democracy?

In March 2008, Iraq held elections. The political slate with the most votes? Left out in the cold while the runner up slate gets the prize of prime minister-delegate (Nouri al-Maliki, thirty days to form a cabinet and get it approved by Parliament or President Jalal Talabanai names another prime minister-designate.)

In the US?

First week of November saw the mid-term elections. The Democrats lost the House. You have to go back to FDR's era for a period when Dems lost so many seats in the House in one election.


Which, in a rational world, would mean Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would have announced she wants to spend more time with her family and family surgeon.

Instead, she ran for the post of Minority Leader and won. And issued a statement:

Pelosi Remarks at Press Availability Following Democratic Leadership Elections Today

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, Assistant to the Speaker Chris Van Hollen, Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson, and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra held a news conference this afternoon following their elections to new leadership positions in the 112th Congress. Below are the Speaker’s opening remarks and the question and answer session:

Speaker Pelosi Opening Remarks:

“Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I wish all of America could have seen our Caucus today—and yesterday, as you mention, Mr. Chairman. To hear the commitment that they have for fighting for the middle class, for saving Social Security, for honoring our men and women in uniform and building a future worthy of their sacrifice for our great country.

“We are just going to speak briefly each of us. But I am proud to be part of this leadership team. Our consensus is that we go out there listening to the American people. It’s about jobs. It’s about reducing the deficit. And it’s about fighting for the middle class. So I look forward to doing that with this great leadership team.

“Let me make one special mention because we have a new position for Chris Van Hollen, who has been chosen to be the Ranking Member on the Budget Committee. The budget many expect to be a statement of our national values. I know that Chris Van Hollen will make that fight based on values, based on reducing the deficit, based on fighting for the middle class. So I want to congratulate him on his new position.”

* * *

Question and Answer Session:

Q: What do you say to Americans who may look at this and say, you know, it’s the same leadership now as it was before November 2nd. They thought they sent some message. What do you say to those voters?

Speaker Pelosi. The message we received from the American people was that they want a job — they want jobs. 9.5% unemployment is a very tough screen to get through with any other message. What we want to say to the American people is what Mr. Hoyer was saying, we want them to “Make It In America” — to manufacture in our country so that their families can make it in America.

This is an experienced, diverse leadership team that is very strong. It is a team that took us to victory in ’05 and ’06 and will take us to victory again. In the meantime, I would say to the American people: “We extend a hand of friendship to the Republicans; we look forward to hearing their ideas on job creation and deficit reduction.”

I hearken back to a President in my youth who inspired me, John F. Kennedy, who said, “We must not seek a Republican way or a Democratic way, we must find the right way” to go forward as we take our own responsibility for the future. Now I have the privilege of serving under another young inspiring President of the United States, and I want the American people to know that we all strive to work together wherever possible in a bipartisan way to create jobs and reduce the deficit.

And I’m very, very proud of our leadership team and proud of the role that Mr. Clyburn will serve as Assistant Leader. He’s an icon in our country in terms of working for the middle class and a new change, Mr. Van Hollen as the ranking Member on the Budget Committee. And I say then, how sad we are to lose Mr. Spratt, a very distinguished Member of Congress who always put forth a budget that was a statement of our national values, what’s important to our country was reflected there. That’s what I would say.

The release continues but where in the above 'answer' to the question does Pelosi answer the question?


What does she say to voters?

Loosely translated, she says, 'I give them a long response that ignores and overlooks the sentiments they expressed at the voting booths and by their decision not to visit the voting booths. I tell them my wants matter more than their needs.'

In Iraq and in the US, the voters wishes were ignored and spat on.
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