Tale Of A Connecticut Donkey
"Every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for
sending 50,000 young Americans to an early grave. This chamber
reeks of blood...It does not take any courage at all for a
congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the
flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our
blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young
men and their lives and their hopes." ~~Senator George
McGovern, Sept 1, 1970
By Sheila Samples
-- -- Jim Bob came out of the feed store, threw his purchases
into the back of the wagon and climbed up beside his wife. He
picked up the reins, shook them and called out to the donkey --
"Giddy-up Joe! Come on, Joe, let's go!"
But Joe just stood there, oblivious to Jim Bob's pleading, his
tongue-clickings, even to the lash of the reins on his rump. Jim
Bob sighed, picked up the baseball bat, climbed down, walked
around in front of Joe and, with a mighty swing, smashed him
right between his long ears with the bat. Jim Bob hopped back
into the wagon, grabbed the reins and, with a single, "Go, Joe!"
the donkey headed off at a brisk trot.
Jim Bob's wife was horrified. "Why did you hit Joe in the head
with that bat?" she asked.
Jim Bob grinned, "Sometimes ol' Joe forgets who's the boss
here," he said. "When that happens, you just gotta get his
That was back in the day -- but little has changed since then.
Donkeys are still stubborn. Especially on the political scene,
where most are completely oblivious to what's going on around
them. It's easy for some to forget who's the boss when they're
free to gallop through the halls of power -- trot around with
the big boys...
Unless you happen to be a Connecticut donkey.
Democrats in that very blue, anti-war state are unhappy with
their three-term senator, Joe Lieberman, for his stubborn, rabid
support of President Bush and his bloody, illegal war. They
pleaded with Joe to recognize that the war on Iraq was planned
long before 9-11, that there were no weapons of mass destruction
in that pitiful, unarmed country, and that thousands of US
citizens and tens of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children
are being blown to pieces, maimed, and poisoned with depleted
uranium -- all because of a lie.
But Joe refused to move. He responded by penning an op-ed in the
Nov. 29, 2005 Wall Street Journal entitled "Our Troops Must
Stay." In that piece, Lieberman "catapaulted the propaganda"
that Iraq was experiencing a great deal of progress, underscored
by "continuing security and growing prosperity." The Shiite
south, he said, "remains largely free of terrorism, receives
much more electric power and other public services than it did
under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity."
And Lieberman said even the Sunni triangle -- Baghdad on the
East, Tikrit to the North, and Ramadi to the West, where most
American troops are slaughtered, is showing progress...
Warming to his subject, Lieberman wrote, "None of these
remarkable changes in Iraq would have happened if Coalition
Forces, lead (sic) by the U.S., had not overthrown Saddam
Hussein ...The question is whether the American people and
enough of their representatives in Congress from both parties
Lieberman then chided war naysayers on both sides of the aisle
with, "I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on
how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost
three years ago, and Republicans who are more worried about
whether the war will bring them down in next November’s
elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the
progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead."
Lieberman underscored his stance in December by hitting the
talk-show circuit to wrap himself in the flag and scold his
anti-war constituents -- "It is time for Democrats who distrust
President Bush to acknowledge that in matters of war we
undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."
But Connecticut yankees are hard to fool. They know civil war is
raging throughout Iraq. They know we are there under false
pretenses. They know in November, while Lieberman was polishing
his commentary, 88 American servicemen were killed. In December
- 67, January - 65, and 15 in the first seven days of February -
for a total of 235. They know there was never any reason for
even one of the nearly 2,300 U.S. servicemen and women to die.
They know a lie is not good enough reason to destroy an entire
generation of Americans -- nor to remain silent to keep from
embarrassing the man who sent them to their deaths.
In January, Democrats in Manchester attempted to get Lieberman's
attention by overwhelmingly passing a resolution opposing his
"unconditional support of President Bush." The measure stated
that Lieberman was not acting in the best interest of the
American public or the Democratic Party by supporting Bush in
the handling of the Iraqi conflict. Dorothy Brindamour, one of
the many Democrats to speak out, said, "I think it is one thing
to be an independent thinker. It's another thing to be a
Democratic senator who is acting as a lobbyist for King George
and his chancellor, Cheney."
Lieberman responded by trotting to the annual State of the Union
speech on Jan. 31 and, when Bush defiantly claimed that the only
exit plan from Iraq was "victory" in his noble war on terror,
Lieberman was the lone Democrat to rise with the Republicans and
give Bush a cheering, standing ovation.
Four days later, Windsor Democrats joined their Manchester
counterparts and, with a mighty swing, bashed Lieberman right
between the ears with a Vote of No Confidence "for embracing
Bush's position on the war, including denying that the United
States wrongly entered the war and that it was not accomplishing
the objectives set out by the president."
Windsor Democratic town Chairman Tim Fitzgerald admitted the
resolution was a "practical way" to get Lieberman's attention,
but added he was "not delusional that this is going to change
his fundamental way of thinking."
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lieberman's approval ratings
in Connecticut are at a weak 52%, which puts him in a shaky
political position, and sharks are beginning to circle for the
upcoming August primary -- something the Democrats don't need
right now. To make matters worse, Keith Crane, from Branford,
not only created a "Dump Joe" Internet site, but shows up at
meetings with fists full of anti-Lieberman buttons and bumper
What Lieberman's constituents don't understand is that his
stubborn defense of the Iraq war in all probability goes much
deeper than mere support of Bush's war on terror. Rising numbers
of innocents sent to early graves in an unending war is the
price that Lieberman and others within the U.S government --
willingly or unwillingly -- are committed to pay in order to
keep Israel safe from madmen such as Iranian President Mahmooud
Ahmadinejad who has openly called for Israel to be "wiped off
Lieberman, like so many of his congressional peers, has sworn to
do whatever it takes to protect Israel, and all appear to be
blinded by ideology. Therefore, they are condemned to show up
for work morning after morning in a chamber that reeks of blood.
U.S. politicians have removed their fingers from the pulse of
the nation. They have forgotten who's the boss. Face it -- if
you're an elected political animal who refuses to move, refuses
to pay attention; refuses to pull the state wagon -- you could
likely find yourself "put out to pasture" in the next election.
Especially if you're a Connecticut donkey.
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US
Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor
for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at:
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