But, hey, when did not having any answers ever stand in the way of Washington making life-and-death policy? While Clinton cynically wrapped Plan Colombia in anti-drug rhetoric, George W. Bush is now reselling the expanded initiative as crucial to the war on terrorism. Considering the Congressional Democrats’ supine posture over these last six months, it seems unlikely the White House will have to stampede them into approving the dive into Colombia. Nowadays, all Bush has to do is stand on the congressional steps and whisper ”Here kitty, kitty,“ and the Democrats come purring out and roll over on their backs anxiously awaiting a presidential pat on their tummies.
And yet, the Colombian case is so detached from the logic of intervening in Afghanistan, or Yemen or even Iraq, this seems the perfect moment for Congress to draw the line against the Bush juggernaut and Just Say No. Read Jack Langguth‘s Patriots and his stirring account of the Committees of Correspondence and the confrontation at Concord and you can imagine Congress calling on those traditions and actually doing the right thing. But read the same author’s history of Vietnam -- with such levels of official venality and mendacity -- and you suspect they won‘t.