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
Another Day in the Death of America
book review
Younge’s masterwork. To be read through tears. Brilliantly reported, quietly indignant and utterly gripping. Naomi Klein
 follow on twitter
RT @itsmikelike: For the new @SightSoundmag Steve McQueen talks to @DavidOlusoga about #SmallAxe. It’s a powerful conversation that I’m pro…
RT @OldBankBooks: Tune in today at 11.30 am on @BBCRadioScot & listen to the voices (including the excellent @garyyounge ) speak about the…
"Joe Biden is the only viable electoral answer to this moment. But there is precious little in his record to sugges… https://t.co/Nnp3rQFZk0
RT @jsmooth995: I can't handle Wayne twitter and Greenwald twitter at the same time y'all gotta space this out
RT @uomsoss: If you're interested in the topic, we've still got spaces on our upcoming talk with Gary Younge speaking on the US election, 1…
@BellaSankey @DetentionAction It was a masterclass in both delivery and content. Calm authority with a hint of exasperation
"It's the same disease infecting American democracy that killed Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and has been blighting… https://t.co/2fj7LN3rSh
"In the election hoopla we shouldn't so easily forget the lessons of this summer’s rebellions. Trump’s violations o… https://t.co/mOy6BqysMc
RT @JeremyCliffe: "It's an old disease; one for which they have yet to find an effective vaccine and from which no American can fully isola…
© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc