Sen. Barbara Mikulski: Dubya Made Her Do It!

“He who makes excuses accuses himself.”

— A French Proverb

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), on Sept. 22, 2008, was up to one of her old tricks–talking out of both sides of her mouth! She was on the Senate floor, on Capitol Hill, reading an anti-bailout rant. [1] If you didn’t know any better, you would think that she was a hero of the Middle Class. Sen. Mikulski pretended to rage about how Dubya had a track record of “stampeding” the U.S. Congress into voting for draconian laws, such as the U.S. Patriot Act. What hogwash! She voted for that measure, and other repressive laws like it, because she really wanted to do so! Sen. Mikulski, along with a majority of her fellow Democrats in the Congress, has been complicit in many of the worst excesses of the Bush-Cheney Gang. [2] Now, she’s looking to fault Dubya! Oh, that poor, victimized and powerless Sen. Mikulski! With respect to the taxpayers’ $700 billion giveaway to the Wall Street parasites, well, on Oct. 1, 2008, she ended up voting in favor of the Fat Cats.

Let’s take that Patriot bill as just one example of Sen. Mikulski’s phony attempt to rewrite history. Here are her lame excuses for aiding and abetting the shredding of the U.S. Constitution: “During the last seven years, every time there’s a crisis, ‘they’ generate fear and ‘they’ generate bad ideas. Do you remember after the horrific days of 9/11, when we all came to the floor and pledged our patriotism, and I said we needed to put politics aside because we needed to be [the] red, white and blue party? Well, ‘they’ took advantage of that, and in that process we passed something like the Patriot Act, allowing the government to act with undue secrecy, and with no parameters.” [1]

If a defendant in a criminal case tried to justify his gross behavior by saying: “They made me do it,” the judge wouldn’t buy it, and that defendant would be headed for the slammer. So, does windbag Sen. Mikulski take her constituents in the state of Maryland for bloody fools? She took a solemn oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution and to vote “her” conscience on matters that come before her in the U.S. Senate. Where did her dubious notion of pledging “our patriotism” come from? The Miltiary-Industrial Complex? V.P. Dick Cheney? Halliburton? Or, the “K Street” lobbyists? And what is this crap about belonging to a “red, white and blue party?” What planet is she living on?

Sen. Mikulski is legally, morally and ethically responsible for her votes, not Dubya, not the Bush-Cheney Gang, not “fear,” and, surely, not something she refers to as “bad ideas.” I would have more respect for Sen. Mikulski if she owned up to her disaster of a voting record. For her, however, to blame Dubya for making her do it, is the pits!

Sen. Mikulski wasn’t finished! She also accused Dubya, and his slick tactics, for making her vote to create the Department of Homeland Security, currently headed by Michael Chertoff. Sen. Mikulski labeled it a “dysfunctional” agency. [1] Are you starting to get the feeling here that she hasn’t really been up to her job as a member of the U.S. Senate? Sen. Mikulski insisted: “They generate fear…and…bad ideas.” Well, why didn’t she do her Congressional duty, and combat the “fear,” and fight against the “bad ideas?” Why didn’t she speak out against the serial wrongdoings of the Bush-Cheney Gang, including its unlawful spying on Americans and its condoning of the torturing of detainees? [2] Instead, the record shows Sen. Mikulski chose to remained silent.

There have certainly been plenty of opportunities for Sen. Mikulski to lead a campaign in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Patriot Act and to shut down the Homeland Security Department. Has that “bad’ Dubya kept her from doing any of that, too?

In her silly spiel, Sen. Milkulski said: “We [the Congress] cannot be a ‘rubber stamp'” for the Bush-Cheney Gang. But, that is exactly what she, and many of her Democratic cronies, such as the Speaker of House, Nancy Pelosi, have been, for nearly eight years–a rubber stamp! They have mostly gone along with Dubya, and the blood stained Iraq War is “Exhibit A” against them. [2]

The Democrats promised the voters that if they won the 2006 midterm election, that they would end the Iraq war. Since, Jan. 2007, the Democrats have controlled the Congress and have been in a position to “stop funding” the conflict. They have failed to keep their word to the people. [2] Sen. Mikulski’s pretext for repeatedly voting to fund the war is that she does so in order to “support the troops.”

Let me repeat a plain truth: Sen. Mikulski supports the Military-Industrial Complex, which is a one-trillion-dollar-a-year drain on our treasury. [3] She doesn’t give a good hoot about the troops, who are dying and suffering in Iraq. Her votes for war-funding puts the troops in harm’s way, in a conflict which was launched by the Bush-Cheney Gang based on 935 lies. [4] Since Jan., 2007, 1,172 U.S. troops have died and many more have been seriously wounded. Experts estimate that the Iraq War will cost the taxpayers over $3.5 trillion and that the war funding has also been a trigger for the global economic and financial meltdown. [5]

Getting back to Sen. Mikulski’s blusterthon. [1] She also failed to mention that the federal government doesn’t have $700 billion! As Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, underscored: “[The U.S.] must ‘borrow’ the bailout money from foreign creditors, already overloaded with U.S. paper. At what point do America’s foreign bankers decide that another addition to the U.S. debt exceeds what can be repaid?” [6] Mr. Roberts also pointed out in his article for Counterpunch: “The deregulation of the financial sector was achieved by the ‘Democratic Clinton’ administration.” Why didn’t Sen. Mikulski include that important fact in her Senate sound off of Sept. 22nd? Meanwhile, a true champion of the people, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), who voted against the bailout, has labeled the megabucks’ giveaway: “The largest single act of class warfare in the modern history of this country…an outrage…[and] Democracy’s Black Friday.” [7]

Finally, Sen. Mikulski said: “Americans are mad as hell!” She’s right about that. They are also a lot smarter than she gives them credit for. They know when someone is talking to them out of both sides of their mouth, like she was doing, by trying to blame Dubya for her stinker of a voting record in the U.S. Senate. I say that it’s long past the time for Sen. Mikulski to tell the full truth and to stop trying to con the public.


[1]. and