Monday, October 05, 2009

We Need a New Political Party with True Federalist Features

By Bernie Quigley

- for The Hill on 9/5/09

Anyone who has had the experience of wandering in the vicinity as I had during the Tet Offensive would have by now fully gotten that Yogi Berra feeling of déjà vu all over again. The generals, the men in suits, so fully self assured and autonomous and the top political leadership oh so coy and reassuring. But they have no clue as to where they are going and how they will get there. There is one difference between this and Vietnam. Jim Webb, the Virginia senator who served heroically in Vietnam, said recently that he saw positive exit possibilities in Vietnam. He sees none in Afghanistan.

It has gone on this long without firming up any principled opposition here in the hills of New Hampshire and throughout the heartland possibly because we have become, as John Kenneth Galbraith called us back in 1992, a culture of contentment. When the threat of difficulty occurs we wind up like a dervish and surround the Pentagon, then it passes in the night. Those who wish for war have always depended on the expediency of opposition. It is their most valuable tool.

At the beginning of the war in Iraq it was proposed up here in northern New England that the war was illegal and the use of the National Guard to fight it was illegal. Today, as New Hampshire prepares for its biggest deployment ever, 1,100 troops, it still is. They have adopted this approach in Wisconsin. The Bring the Guard Home movement is a national movement of state campaigns to end the unlawful overseas deployment of the National Guard. Our New England governors should sign on with them. But clearly they won’t.

More than half of the country opposes this war. According to a recent poll more than 40% no longer consider themselves Democrats or Republicans. Perhaps it is time for a new political party. An Independent party or a Federalist party or a New England party to emphasis our rights as states and regions under the Constitution, under natural law and common sense. A party to institutionalize our own collective determination on vital moral issues and our responsibility to do what is right on issues of life and death whether it is constitutionally defined or not. Because one woman or man as governor with the courage to refuse deployment would change more than the war. It would change everything.