Getting The Government An Electorate Deserves
When an electorate selects its governmental representatives and leaders, that electorate - without fail - gets the government it deserves. Elections matter.When the new House Majority Leader nominated for the Chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee a representative who was previously impeached by a Democrat-controlled Congress as a federal judge for corruption (bribery), so much discontent was voiced from both sides of the political aisle that the nomination had to be withdrawn. But in his place is a nominee who fares little better in perhaps today's most important leadership position within the House of Representatives. Former Marine and Green Beret turned journalist Jack Kelly explains.
If Sun Tzu had met Silvestre Reyes, he'd have understood at once why the United States is faltering in Iraq.
Rep. Reyes, D-Tex, has been chosen by incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He granted an interview last week to Jeff Stein, national security editor for Congressional Quarterly magazine.
Toward the end of a 40 minute interview, Mr. Stein asked Rep. Reyes whether al Qaeda was comprised chiefly of Sunni Muslims, or Shiites. "Predominantly -- probably Shiite," he responded.
The opposite, of course, is true. Al Qaeda is comprised of Sunni extremists who regard Shiite Muslims as heretics who deserve to be killed. Al Qaeda attacks on Shia civilians is what triggered the civil strife in Iraq.
Mr. Reyes has, alas, much company in his abysmal ignorance. Two GOP members of the Intelligence committee, Reps. Jo Ann Davis of Virginia and Terry Everett of Alabama, flunked Mr. Stein's little quiz last summer.The pressing business of Congressmen (raising money for their re-election campaigns and stuffing earmarks into appropriations bills) takes up a lot of time. But is it too much to ask that members of the intelligence committee -- especially the chairman of the intelligence committee -- know the basic facts about the enemy who attacked us on 9/11?
As Jack notes, this inexcusable ignorance among our elected leaders exists on both sides of the aisle.
We, the American people, must first demand more of ourselves in understanding the situation that history will surely reflect was the conflict that defined at least one entire generation. Only then will the American public demand more of its elected leaders.
Until then, we will not deserve better. We as a nation will continue to get the government we deserve, for better or for worse.