On Friday, July 20, 2007 Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Mike Gravel published an open letter to Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. Sen. Gravel sounds like many other disenchanted progressives, who are wondering what ever became of the concept of “representation” in our representative democracy. Following is an excerpt from his letter, which was published on the Huffington Post:
I am glad to see that you have finally used the powers of the Senate to try to stop the war, but frankly I agree with the Republicans: this week’s Senate sleepover was more theater than substance….
Harry, it’s time to get serious about forcing a constitutional confrontation with Bush even if it means canceling the Congress’ summer recess. Can you do anything less after a number of Senators have publicly ridiculed the Iraqi parliament for not canceling their summer recess. But why should vacations matter when American and Iraqi blood is being needlessly spilled? We Democrats need real leadership right now – not political showboating. Your colleagues in the Congress are not going to like the tough leadership I am suggesting. But believe me if you’re successful, and you will be successful, your leadership will make Senate history.
Clearly you are not getting proper council and support from your fellow Senators and my presidential candidate colleagues. They all talk a good game about ending the war but they haven’t shown any legislative leadership on the matter. As a former Senator with experience stopping an earlier futile war, I will be happy to meet with you and my candidate colleagues to explain how the Senate can begin the process of ending this war once and for all.
While I may not agree with Senator Gravel, it is interesting that those who openly express their outrage are so regularly labeled as radicals or “whackos”. I don’t know Gravel, so I will reserve judgment.
I do agree, however, that The United States of America has no legally justifiable reason for its occupation of Iraq.