Those in the still-newly-elected Democratic congressional majority have a powerful fear of being labeled “surrender monkeys” by the criminally irresponsible crazies in the White House. Meanwhile, the deaths and casualties continue.
About a month ago, Bush’s “war czar,” Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, raised the possibility that Washington could reinstate conscription. Few paid much attention to his words. Perhaps they should have. The draft, last employed during the Vietnam War, was ended by President Nixon in 1973 in order to defuse wide-spread, anti-war sentiments. But for reasons that are equally understandable and absurd, Washington today is paralyzed by Bush’s war. It knows that Iraq is straining the military. The breaking point is expected to come shortly before Bush leaves office.
This strongly suggests that if the Iraq madness is not concluded, the draft could be revived. It is hard to imagine the political consequences of such a development. Paralysis today may finally lead to political revolt tomorrow.
Good news for the arts
It began with a series of studies sponsored by the Boston Foundation, and it gained political traction when House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi recognized a good idea when he saw one. As a result, 62 arts organization from Provincetown to the Berkshires are now receiving $16.7 million to invest in refurbishing their facilities.
Having finally recognized that the arts in our state generate more revenue than all of our professional sports franchises combined, state leaders have said these grants will be only the first in what promises to be a multi-year program aimed at growing the Massachusetts economy by investing in tourism. Thanks to the state’s rich array of cultural institutions, after all, it is the Bay State’s second biggest industry. Better still, due to creative financial thinking, this is being done with no additional cost to taxpayers. The challenge now is going to will be to keep keeping this program in place. Next year is just as important as today.
: The Editorial Page
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