The Definition of Insanity

05/25/2011 12:15 pm ET
  • David Sirota Newspaper columnist, radio host (AM760), bestselling author

Someone (either Ben Franklin or Albert Einstein) once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Yet, congressional Democrats want American voters to subscribe to this very form of insanity when it comes to the Iraq War.

On Bill Maher's HBO show this weekend, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) first pushed the Innocent Bystander Fable, then, when cornered, said the only way to end the war is to elect more Democrats and a Democratic president.

Now think about that for just a second. We elected Democrats in 2006 to end the war. They are now taking to the television airwaves to brag about their refusal to use the power they have to end the war - the constitutional power of the purse. And yet, we are expected to believe the real way to end the war is to elect more Democrats. Why should anyone believe simply electing more Democrats is going to end the war? Where is there any proof that that would help end the war? Or do Democratic leaders think we are so stupid and so insane that we will believe this self-serving line of reasoning without any shred of evidence? This is the definition of political insanity: Electing the same candidates over and over and over again and expecting different results.

Getting more Democrats in Congress would probably mean a better chance to pass progressive legislation. I think electing more Democrats to Congress is an important goal in the general sense.

But as it relates specifically to the Iraq War, Democrats have the power to end the war right now if they wanted to. They just don't want to take the political risk to do so - and there's no reason to think that with more Democrats they would be any more inclined to take those risks in the future (Remember - Richard Nixon campaigned in 1968 on a promise to end the war - and he only followed through many years later). The only way they are going to end the war is if they are forced to end the war, under threat of being thrown out of office. And to argue otherwise is to be blinded by Partisan War Syndrome.