My Letter to Dick Durbin

I’m never this intemperate when addressing public officials, but I’ve had it.

Senator Durbin,

I’ve supported you for as long as I’ve lived in Illinois. I even supported you, reluctantly, after you blubbered on the Senate floor when Republican operatives played rough with your accurate criticism of U.S torture. But in reading your response to Bush’s $50 billion Iraq supplemental request, I’ve reached the point where I can no longer support the path you’re taking.

As the Chicago Tribune reported:

In the debate in Washington, the White House reportedly will ask Congress for an additional $50 billion to expand funding for the war in Iraq, a request that seems likely to prolong troop levels at their current elevated number into the spring of 2008, Durbin said.

Even opponents of the war, as Durbin calls himself, find themselves likely to vote for the extra money, he said. “When it comes to the budget, I face a dilemma that some of my colleagues do,” he said.

He voted against the war “but felt that I should always provide the resources for the troops in the field,” Durbin said. “But it’s now reached a point where we have got to change the way we appropriate this money.”

Though he said he is likely to approve the increased request — it would accompany a pending request for an additional $147 billion in war funding — Durbin said he would work to attach conditions to it that would require troops to begin coming home in the spring.

What the hell? Is this why you think the American public elected Democrats to Congress in 2006? To continue to act as Bush enablers, too scared of their own shadow to voice some opposition?

The American people, including your constituents, are overwhelming opposed to this war. They want our troops to come home. And yet you and most of your fellow Democrats mew about “supporting the troops” and “not wanting to withdraw funding”—propagating a Republican talking point the entire time!

THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT THE TROOPS IS TO BRING THEM HOME! That’s all you need to say. Bush is down to a core bedrock of support—25–30 percent of Americans—and Democrats are pissing their opportunity away because they’re afraid Chris Matthews might call them names on Hardball. Why should I give you any money? Why shouldn’t I just take the tack I’ve already taken with state politics, which is to throw my vote away to the Green party because there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans?

You’re my senator. Don’t give another cent to Bush in Iraq. Certainly don’t provide any money that could be used to invade Iran. And for God’s sake, show some spine in standing up to this failed President. The American people aren’t rubes—the Democrats in Congress are just mumbling instead of speaking forthrightly about what they believe.


James Seidler