Now liberals want a rubber stamp?
By J.J. Jackson
When Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House liberals used to complain that Congress was simply being a "rubber stamp" for President George Bush and his right wing agenda. They wailed and they moaned about how it was such a terrible thing and used procedural measures and phony filibusters to stop anything that they could from coming up for a vote. But now things have apparently changed. Apparently now that liberals are in power they are upset that there isn't a "rubber stamp" on their policies.
Last week, liberals in Congress cobbled together a bill to fund our soldiers in Iraq complete with all the typical Washington-style pork and demands that the President relinquish his role as Commander in Chief to them. In their bill they sought to take control over how and where troops were deployed and direct the generals in the field as to how to conduct the war against terrorists in Iraq.
But the President refused to "rubber stamp" their plan to usurp his constitutional powers and now they are mad. Liberal leaders in Congress such as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid proclaimed that what they were doing was the will of the people and that because of that claim the President should concede to their wishes. This was of course despite the fact that President Bush defeated the left's own anti-war candidate in one John Kerry just two years previously on a platform that the war needed to fought and won and they didn't fall in line.
When the liberals were out of power the "rubber stamp" was "bad". It was bad even though it never really existed. Many of President Bush's proposals met stiff opposition in the Republican Congress and were not even passed for better or worse. But now that the liberals are in power they seem to be demanding the "rubber stamp" be placed upon their policies and ideas based solely on the virtue that they are in power.
But it's nothing new. And I am certainly not surprised considering the left has a long history of demanding one thing and then demanding something else once that first demand would hamper their own pursuit of making the United States one nation under the nanny state.
Take away the "rubber stamp" from their policies and they get a scowl on their face and talk in dire tones. It's the only thing they can do once they are not given what they want. Like Nancy Pelosi on the veto of the war spending bill who said "Make no mistake, Democrats are committed to ending this war". She said this of course even though the bill they sent didn't do that. It actually continued the war. It provided funding specifically for continuing the war. So which is it?
The truth is that if Ms. Pelosi had been honest she would have said "Make no mistake, Democrats are committed to pulling out of and losing this war,'' because that is exactly what would have happened if Mr. Bush would have "rubber stamped" her agenda.
Then there was House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer who piped up wailing, ''We're not going to leave our troops in harm's way ... without the resources they need." But that is exactly what has happened when he and other liberals knew well in advance that the President would veto this hideous bill and when they knew they did not have the votes to override said veto. Where are the funds Mr. Hoyer? They aren't here yet so we're still waiting for you to make good on your promise.
Then there is Robert Byrd who is no doubt upset that the "rubber stamp" was not flashed and said of the veto, "I urge the President to think through the consequences of his choices, the consequences of his rejection of this new plan for Iraq, the consequences of clinging to false hopes. For that is what this veto does. This veto endorses the falsehoods that took us to war."
Perhaps he refers to the "falsehoods" he himself touted when he addressed the Senate on October 3, 2002 saying, "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability." Or maybe he meant the "falsehoods" he promoted when he said, "Iraq had biological and chemical weapons long before September 11. We knew it then, and we know it now. Iraq has been an enemy of the United States for more than a decade," or even "we should focus on those things that pose the most direct threat to us - those facilities and weapons that form the body of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
So Mr. Byrd you are saying that you promoted these "falsehoods" as well? To be fair to Byrd he was against the Iraq war despite making the same case as President Bush and many others.
Let's be honest. The liberals have always loved the "rubber stamp"; on their policies that is. The reason for this finger wagging and hand wringing by liberals is the same as it always has been. That reason is liberals do not respect the Constitution because the Constitution is a stern roadblock to their policies when the "rubber stamp" they have used so effectively over the years is denied. The Constitution has never been kind to the left no matter how many times they have tried to illegally usurp it by legislation or judicial fiat.
Over the years they have gotten used to their policies being "rubber stamped" year after year by White House after White House and their fellow members of the House and Senate. So any time that "rubber stamp" is revoked they begin to hyperventilate and enter fits of convulsions like a crack addict in withdrawal.
Year after year liberal policies and unconstitutional exercises of power beyond the limits imposed in Article I are "'rubber stamped" by other liberals and non-liberals too scared of being called "evil", mean-spirited" or just plain "cruel" if they even so much as mutter in a dark and locked closet that they want to end such practices.
We all know the actions of which I speak and the list is far too long to publish but includes the oft mentioned "third rails" of politics such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and any other of the myriad of wealth distribution schemes dreamed up, hoisted upon the American public and then expanded, morphed and "improved" upon until no one dares utter their names in vain.
When it is one of these un-constitutional and distinctly un-American programs that is "rubber stamped" the liberals are joyous and celebrate! They shake each other's hands and pat each other on the back while planning how to take even more money from the American public each year to pay for their commitments and get more Americans dependent upon them.
History shows that the left demands a "rubber stamp". And they are doing it again. When the President refuses to cede his powers as Commander in Chief to Congress they demand the "rubber stamp" they decried for so long return without question.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the lead editor of Conservative News & Opinion – The Land of the Free and also the owner of The Right Things – Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.