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Open Letter to Dick Gephardt from Cheryl Seal: How Could You Do This To America?

After weeks of struggling here at democrats.com to help encourage our reps in Congress to do the right thing and reject the Bush W-ar, after a week of protests all across the country by anti-Bush W-ar activists, after poll after poll now shows that Americans are swinging toward the Democrats - mostly because they have started to show some spunk against Bush, you did a 180-degree turn and compromised with Bush on the war resolution. Why, Dick, why? There are whispers around Capitol Hill that you sold out, that your real motivation had nothing to do with America's welfare - it was, instead presidential aspirations that motivated you. I fear they are right. Look at the evidence. Who did you most hurt by your self-appointed, unanticipated actions? Those same people who would be your strongest competitors in a presidential election. You isolated Tom Daschle, who, after months of failing to stand firm, had at last risen to the occasion and spoke out against Bush's rightwing lunacy, his self-serving manipulations of America and the rest of the world, his constant demeaning of anyone who fails to support his fascist schemes as "unpatriotic."

Your Judas-like betrayal also came the same week that Al Gore was electrifying Americans with his new, more aggressive stand against Bush's disastrous policies. The Return of the King. Both Gore and Daschle had stepped into the public eye and the response from the public was enthusiastic - the real public, not the tiny but well-organized army of "freepers" who make their own voices heard above the true majority. Your response to allegations that you sold out for political gain made me laugh - a bitter laugh to be sure - when you self-righteously declared it would be "immoral" to speculate on the political implications of your move. Not so immoral, Dick, as what you have just done in the name of politics. I predict that you will find that come 2004, the last person any self-respecting Democrat or patriotic American will want to see on a presidential ticket is YOU. Bush is inherently evil and no longer even pretends to be anything but. You, on the other hand, pretend to support the Democratic ideals of this nation and your party and, yet in a few hours, were willing to throw them all away in a truly miscalculated effort to upstage stronger leaders than yourself. Yes, the Washington Post commentator was right in the prediction that your actions will have consequences for you for a long time to come. And I don't think you are going to enjoy them.

All over the Internet -people from all quarters send me links and posts, everything from far left to far right - you are being slammed as a traitor, a sell out and a joke. The supportive attitude that had begun to grow toward the Democrats among many former, disillutioned Bush supporters, has evaporated overnight if the posts I have seen are any indication. The revival of a flicker of faith in our representatives to protect our interests, to place the people above politics, has been snuffed out. Not one post, link, note, or comment overheard has been supportive of your actions (Oh, I'm sure you'll hve -plenty of the "freeper" brigade sending you kudos - you handed them quite a triumph). Worse yet, there are so many truly weak human beings in the Democratic party right now who are willing to follow any lead over the cliff as long as they don't have to think too hard, long, or deep about anything - like the total lack of substantiatable evidence that Saddam poses a threat, or that this war is about anything but oil. You just gave them the easy out they were looking for. So you have rewarded both evil and weakness. What a hollow victory you can claim credit for!

Now, the final dark irony comes: This morning, the evidence of just who and what you are compromising with was revealed in the UK Guardian this morning. The entire "compromise" resolution from Bush is nothing but a sham - a Trojan Horse designed to insure that the Bush W-ar will go forward, no matter what.

"The Bush administration is seeking to transform the inspections process into a coercive operation. The resolution would place a full-scale invasion of Iraq on a hair trigger, authorising UN member states "to use all necessary means to restore international peace and security" if Iraq does so much as make an omission in the weapons inventories it presents to the security council. Weapons inspectors would operate out of bases inside Iraq, where they would be under the protection of UN troops. UN forces or the forces of a member state would enforce no-fly and no-drive zones around a suspected weapons site, preventing anything being removed before inspection. "

Even military experts are astounded by the transparent intent behind this proposal: John Pike, the head of GlobalSecurity.org, a Washington military thinktank, said the resolution was worded in such a way that Iraq was almost certain to reject it, even if the alternative was invasion. "I could never imagine Iraq agreeing to this. If you're going to be invaded you might as well make the invading force shoot their way in. It's the sort of proposal meant to be rejected."

But this is the sort of double-dealing, deceitful, war-like "horse" you have chosen to back, Mr. Gephardt. In a way, we should all be glad that you have come forward with this action. Better to find out now just where your soul and consecience lies, than later, had you actually made it as far as a presidential nomination. I will never forget, nor forgive this. Neither will the parents, husbands, wives, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, friends, and relatives of the coming dead, killed in the war you decided to sponsor.

Followup: According to Oct. 3 afternoon reports, Daschle is now acting as if the bipartisan passage of a resolution granting unprecedented power to a man with an unprecedented lack of scruples and leadership is "inevitable." Why inevitable, Mr. Daschle, if you indeed were acting sincerely in your recent stand against Bush, and not merely playing a very high-handed game of politics in which you scoop up credit from Americans for appearing bold, while scooping up political benefits by helping Gephardt make backroom deals? If your performance last week was for real, prove it. If you want to cut any deals, then I suggest you sit down with Senator Byrd and listen to someone with real guts and statesmanship!