RSS FeedFacebookSearch
Gary Younge
What's the point of 'symbolic opposition'?

The Democratic leadership it seems has started as it means to go on. Not by using its democratic mandate to thwart the most egregious elements of the Bush agenda but by using their legislative majority to provide the appearance of opposition without actually doing anything concrete.

And so it is that in response to President Bush's decision to escalate troop levels in Iraq they have decided to voice "symbolic" opposition.

"If you really want to change the situation on the ground, demonstrate to the president he's on his own," said Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. "That will spark real change." Go get 'em Jo. Show them how unhappy you are. The truth is the American people already know that the President is alone. The reason they elected Democrats is so they would do something about it.

Following the president's speech they have the option of refusing to fund the escalation. But if they don't set that train in motion soon, then the troops will be on their way and they will be accused of refusing to equip troops in the field. Quite what they think a non-binding resolution will achieve is difficult to fathom.

Thankfully it does seem the Democratic party's base has mobilized significant resources and efforts to remind the party why they were elected and what is at stake if they disappoint the voters. Presidential hopefuls should take note. By November next year this occupation will be an even bloodier mess than it is now and the electorate will want to know what prospective candidates will do about it. The deaths aren't symbolic; the civil war is not symbolic; the violation of human rights are not symbolic. Why should the opposition be?

© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
 follow on twitter
RT @sulaimanaddonia: I have an extreme fear of technology, but this festival prompted me to get over my technophobia. So I built my 1st eve…
RT @Ciaran_Laval: @therealmi5 @Saffiya_Khan1 @davidschneider @EHRC This is an issue that hasn't been addressed for decades, it came to a he…
RT @jielbyr: "We are trying to raise self-confident children for long lives, not hashtags for slaughter." Gary Younge
I dream of a world without borders; but in the meantime I’m more than happy with my friends without boundaries. https://t.co/Tg9vuEXxie
RT @MsJeanRhys: I had two longings & one was fighting the other. I wanted to be loved & I wanted to be always alone.
Wow. Twitter has many faults. But when someone can use to let you know they’ve found one of your late mother’s scho… https://t.co/tYlcKhLdbh
RT @courtneyyusuf: Tune in to @garyyounge ‘s beautiful last column after 26 years at the @guardian , and get behind the curious case of Car…
RT @DawnButlerBrent: So happy to be on the ballot for Deputy Leader 😊. Thank you to all colleagues who nominated me and all the members sup…
RT @NesrineMalik: A kangaroo court is set up. The outcome of the litigation is certain. The whole point is the spectacle, rather than the i…
RT @DawnButlerBrent: I'm proud that the field of candidates standing for @UKLabour leadership and deputy leadership are diverse. I hope the…
© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc