Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Why No Anti-Iraq War Resolution? Scott Lilly explores Congressman Obey’s “Liberal Idiots” Remark

Posted by K.E. White on March 15, 2007

Why haven’t the new Democratic majorities sent a resolution against the Iraq War to the President’s desk?

Proliferation Press can’t answer that question, but it can offer this belated case study.

Last week Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) called anti-war activists “liberal idiots.”

The Daily Kos reflects the immediate responsive from the progressive blogosphere.

This press clipping actually reports on what took place.

But Center for American Progress’s Scott Lilly gives some much-needed perspective on the blog-worthy spat:

Scott LillyMembers of Congress of both parties have overwhelmingly gone on record against such an approach. Many of the individual states and congressional districts responsible for the President’s party losing control of Congress were won by candidates who specifically promised their constituents that they would not support such a strategy.

Well-meaning people can argue about whether or not such a strategy would be good policy or whether or not it would be good politics. But there is little room for argument as to whether such a stance is a viable legislative strategy. There are 435 members of the House and if all are present and voting, 218 must support a proposition before it can even clear the House and be sent to the Senate.

If your opposition to the war extends beyond the blogesphere into the real world where laws are made and decisions have consequences, you have to think about 218 votes, where they might come from and what specific language might make it possible to attain them. It is hard work and it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it is a struggle that we will probably go through repeatedly in the coming months as the Congress and the White House face off on ways to put an end to our tragic involvement in Iraq.

At a very minimum, I would urge my fellow Ozarker, Tina Richards, to refocus her efforts in at least one respect. Your representative in Congress is not Dave Obey; it is
Jo Ann Emerson, who is also a member of the Appropriations Committee. Unlike Obey, however, she does not (at least openly) agree with you on the President’s Iraq policy. If you, your friends, and your neighbors would spend more time talking to Emerson, then Obey might find the votes for language that you and he would both like better than the language on which he will likely be forced to settle.

One Response to “Why No Anti-Iraq War Resolution? Scott Lilly explores Congressman Obey’s “Liberal Idiots” Remark”

  1. Tom Klammer said

    Tina Richards, Cloy Richards, and liberal idiot Scott Lilly

    Scott Lilly thinks he has a reality check for Iraq War Opponents after his ex-boss David Obey used the term “liberal idiots” in an exchange with Tina Richards, mother of an Iraq veteran.

    According to Democracy NOW, Obey later apologized for his reaction to Tina Richards, as well he should have.

    And Scott Lilly should apologize for, however indirectly and cutely he contrives to do so, continuing his ex-boss’s painting of Tina Richards or other Iraq occupation opponents as ‘liberal idiots’ and lumping her in with those whose “mindless antics”, in his view, hardened the resolve of VietNam war supporters in the 1970’s.

    Lilly suggests Tina Richards just showed up from Missouri last week with an empty head to accost Obey. Along with other earlier efforts, Tina Richards has been attending hearings and meeting with Representatives for six weeks.

    “I think it was just reflective of the frustration that’s being felt there on Capitol Hill…”
    Richards said of the exchange.

    “I hope I didn’t confront him (Obey), I actually wanted to have a dialogue, that’s what I’ve been doing here for the last six weeks, is trying to have a dialogue with the lawmakers, to let them know that there are other ideas out there…as far as with Representative Obey, when I talked to him, I didn’t expect for him to react that way because I’ve spoken to Jim Moran, I’ve spoken to John Murtha, I’ve spoken to Sanford Bishop, I was speaking to all the people on the sub-committee of Defense Appropriations, and they were all very gracious to me, most of us disagreeing with each other, but at least they got an insight to what the military families are suffering.”

    According to Juan Gonzales on Democracy NOW, in his apology, Obey said “we are both frustrated and that left us to have an argument we never should have had.because we both want to see an end to U.S. involvement in that war. What divided us was the question of how.”

    Scot Lilly assumes Richards has not lobbied her own Representative, but beyond that he apparently wants her to to do what the majority of “good German” Americans continue to do: shut up and leave things to the experts, ie, notwithstanding Obey saying he voted against the war in the first place, the experts who let this illegal and immoral invasion and occupation happen in the first place.

    A couple months ago I heard Tina Richards speak on KKFI radio in Kansas City, and heard about how, if memory serves, her son Cloy Richards was ordered to fire on supposed insurgents at Fallujah. The dead bodies of those fired on turned out to be civilians, including women and children, fleeing the city ahead of a U.S. Marine action.

    I’ve not met Tina Richards, but I did very briefly meet her son, twice deployed to Iraq, while he protested the war during a visit to Kansas City last September by George W. Bush, and recorded a very short interview with him.

    Cloy Richards said there that: “if you want to support the troops, then don’t send them to a war where they end up killing women and children because nobody joins the military to go kill women and children in a far off land. You join the military to defend this country. So, the troops need to know that we still support them and support them defending our country, we just don’t support what they’re being told to do by our leaders.”

    Instead of playing politics telling citizens to butt out, liberal idiots like Scott Lilly should encourage more patriots like Tina Richards to speak up. Then maybe Representatives like his ex-boss would have more cover and support to do the right thing.

    Tom Klammer
    host ‘Tell Somebody’
    90.1 FM KKFI Kansas City

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