A few months ago, I wrote an article about how the Patriot Act was renewed in the Senate by an overwhelming 89-11 vote. This lopsided margin makes one wonder what all the fuss is about, as legislation passing by such a margin, with even 33 out of 44 Democrats voting in favor, is simply not controversial by any meaningful degree.
In the same way, a Senate vote on withdrawing US troops from Iraq by the end of 2006 was defeated by an even wider 93-6 margin. This time, 37 of 44 Democrats voted in favor of and only 6 voted against keeping US troops in Iraq beyond 2006. This effectively means that most Democrats are willing to incur several hundred more US troop fatalities in the hope of helping Iraq achieve a stable Democratic society, and that they too believe that victory is on track (by 2008, in my estimation). Furthermore, along with the vote on the Patriot Act, this is ample proof that despite their rhetoric in order to appease fringe anti-American voters, most Democrats fully agree with the most basic principles of the War on Terror.
This is also an indicator of how far from the mainstream the media has drifted. When the media pours so much energy into positions that 89-93 Senators do not favor, and manages to persuade fashion sheep (those who form political opinions based on watching under 20 minutes of television news per day), it does extreme damage to our national security. It also hastens the demise of the traditional media at the hands of the blogosphere, where the decentralized model and huge number of participants ensures that issues are inevitably given an amount of coverage in exact proportion to their importance and gthe political leanings of the general population.
The 6 Senators who voted for troop removal contain, predictably, Kerry, Boxer, Kennedy, and Feingold, who depend on a substantial number of fringe leftist, fashion activist, and even fifth column voters to stay in office. For the remaining 37 Democrats, I have sympathy, as they are caught in the absurd situation of having to say one thing on television, but quitely voting the opposite way on the floor, hoping that the media does not publicize their actual voting patterns. Hillary Clinton was recently heckled when addressing an audience of extreme leftists, and will have difficulty finding issues to unite her prospective voters around during her Presidential campaign.
Some fanatics believe that any supporter of the Patriot Act or Iraq occupation is 'dumb', 'evil', or both. If that amounts to 89-93% of all Senators, that is also the approximate percentage of the population that would reject the traitorious views of the fifth column in the absence of media sympathy for these extremists. Only 8-10% of the US population is a fifth column that sides with terrorists, but the majority of normal Americans have still not quite figured this out yet, even if the Senate has.
As usual, Cox and Forkum always puts a thousand words in a picture :