Bread, Bombs and a 9-Day Clock

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 The congressional vote President Obama has requested on military action in Syria is both serious and grave. But it couldn’t be coming at a worse time for the economic justice agenda of youth, people of color and the working poor.

The problem is that Congress has just nine legislative days to accomplish an economic agenda that would normally be difficult to implement over the course of a year. The peculiarities of the September congressional calendar have constrained the amount of time that the legislative branch has to act on urgent economic agenda items which, if mishandled, could set off an economic crisis yet again.

That’s why, given the ongoing financial distress in hard hit communities, a debate and vote on Syria at this time is a potential worry. There may simply not be enough time for it.

And added to the weight of the moment—just one week after commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom—is the fact that we may be on the cusp of initiating military action that like Vietnam will distract the nation’s leadership at a critical time and undermine the economic well being of America’s most vulnerable. The War in Vietnam wrecked the economic agenda of the 1963 march and drained resources from the War Against Poverty. Action in Syria may offer an eerie parallel. Read more here.