Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Isn’t this a democracy?

President Bush carried through with his threat to veto the Iraq spending bill because Democrats included a timeline for withdrawing troops by October. This was no surprise.
What disturbed me, however, was this quote from Bush’s speech in which he tried to justify his veto:

Bush said the legislation was dangerous because it “substitutes the opinion of politicians for the judgment of our military commanders.”

Excuse me, but I thought this was supposed to be a democracy. Aren’t the politicians the ones who represent the people, while the military commanders are supposed to be working for the people?
In any other country where the military commanders were allowed to overrule the elected representatives of the people it would be rightfully criticized as a military coup and not a democracy.

Of course, Bush is an elected politician exercising his legitimate authority to veto the legislation and Republicans still have enough votes in the Congress to sustain the veto, so we are still operating in the realm of a democracy. But his explanation that military leaders should hold sway over political leaders is disturbing nonetheless, especially in light of the right wing’s recent flirtations with the idea of a military coup in this country.

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