Washington Post: For GOP, Discord In Dissent On Iraq
Republican misgivings over President Bush’s new war strategy are increasingly dividing the GOP as the Senate moves toward a showdown over the deployment of 21,500 additional troops to Iraq.
Republican strategy had envisioned a single resolution that would allow the party’s senators to express doubts about the plan without stating their outright opposition. Instead, Republicans appear to be balkanizing, with at least five GOP drafts now in play and more Republicans stating their reservations.
Why can’t these Senators pass a resolution supporting VICTORY in Iraq? These idiots except a few are looking WEAK – and what does that tell our enemies?
“We’re all looking for a plan that will work,” said Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). “The current plan is not working, and 21,500 additional troops — it’s a snowball in July. It’s not going to work.”
“This war has been mishandled. No one doubts that mistakes have been made in Iraq,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), long a supporter of Bush’s war policy, told Adm. William J. Fallon at Fallon’s confirmation hearing to become the top U.S. commander for the Middle East. “I have to tell you, this committee did not get candid assessments in the past, and I view that with deep regret.”
Specter, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, pushed back against Bush’s claim he is the “decision maker,” saying the White House needs to accept Congress’s role in shaping war policy.
“I would suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider,” Specter said during a hearing on Congress’s war powers. “The decider is a shared and joint responsibility.”
“Resolutions are flying like snowflakes around here,” Specter said.
“This isn’t about party loyalty. This isn’t about presidential politics. It’s about policy,” said an exasperated Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), who has been urging Warner to negotiate an agreement to meld his language with the Democratic-driven resolution approved last week by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “What America is desperately thirsting for is for the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives to come to terms with where we are in Iraq.”
One group of ruminating Republicans is made up of the 20 GOP senators who will face voters in 2008. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) said she plans to support at least one of the measures — but first “I’ve got to study them all.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), another Republican whose term will expire in two years, said he was speaking for many of his GOP colleagues in asserting, “I’m not persuaded that sending 21,500 troops into a civil war in Baghdad is a good idea, but I haven’t found a resolution I can support.”
Pressed on what he is looking for, Alexander replied: “I’d like to express my unhappiness with the way this war is being conducted, but also my support for the troops. I think that’s what we all want.”
Sen. Trent Lott (Miss.), the GOP whip, said most Republican senators believe they must support some statement about the war, given the public’s growing concerns. But he noted: “I am actually reading all the different resolutions, and each one of them does have critical differences.” He added that he is leaning toward the Cornyn measure, which offers the fewest objections to Bush’s plan.
He said he will not try to rally Republicans around a single approach but, rather, will urge them to “vote their conscience.”
“The worst thing would be for the Senate by 60 votes to express disapproval of a mission we are sending people to lay down their lives for,” said Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), a member of the Republican leadership.
The Republican Senators need to grow a backbone. Flap supposes he won’t have to worry about a GOP Senate Majority any time soon.
Frankly, I wouldn’t give any of my money to any of these FOOLS except maybe John Kyl. There are 30,000 plus other GOP activists that feel the same.
Flap saved the best quote for last:
Democrats, who are united in their desire to stop the escalation, are regarding the Republican divisions with some glee. “You cannot have a resolution that is both meaningless and undercuts the troops. That’s impossible. Their position is totally inconsistent,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), a member of the House Democratic leadership.
The House is expected to embark on a similar debate in the coming weeks.
The plan should be simple: FILIBUSTER the Biden resolution and drop Warner et. al..
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