Tuesday, June 26, 2007

For Dick Lugar, Party Trumps Principle

This is why I put a 24-hour-hold on reporting anything that comes close to looking encouraging if it comes from a party apparatchik Republican. They always backpedal and retract and spin and explain what they really meant to say – probably after a visit from Karl’s boyz, but that’s just speculation…

Yesterday evening, Think Progress posted the following:

In a major speech on the Senate floor, Lugar said that “victory” in Iraq as defined by President Bush is now “almost impossible.” The current course of the war “has lost contact with our vital national security interests in the Middle East and beyond,” he said.

Lugar warned that “persisting indefinitely” with Bush’s escalation strategy “will delay policy adjustments that have a better chance of protecting our vital interests over the long term.” He specifically rejected claims that withdrawing U.S. forces will increase instability. Downsizing the U.S. military presence in Iraq would “strengthen our position in the Middle East, and reduce the prospect of terrorism, regional war, and other calamities,” Lugar said.

And today, MSNBC tells us that I was smart to hold off on praising him, because he intends to take the sniveling cowards way out, and has no intention of backing up his bold rhetoric.

Lugar won't switch vote
However, [Lugar spokesman Andy] Fisher said the speech does not mean Lugar would switch his vote on the war or embrace Democratic measures setting a deadline for troop withdrawals.

In January, Lugar voted against a resolution opposing the troop buildup, contending that the nonbinding measure would have no practical effect. In spring, he voted against a Democratic bill that would have triggered troop withdrawals by Oct. 1 with the goal of completing the pull out in six months.

Next month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to force votes on several anti-war proposals as amendments to a 2008 defense policy bill. Members will decide whether to cut off money for combat, demand troop withdrawals start in four months, restrict the length of combat tours and rescind Congress' 2002 authorization of Iraqi invasion.

Expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed in the Senate to pass controversial legislation, the proposals are intended to increase pressure on Bush and play up to voters frustrated with the war.

the proposals are intended to increase pressure on Bush and play up to voters frustrated with the war. Fisher says that like it’s a bad thing! In reality it is the only thing. Change ain’t gonna happen until this president is forced to deal with the reality that is “dealing with” ~30 Americans a week – and the only way he is going to be forced into facing facts is if members of his own party insist that he do so.

Dick Lugar should hang his head in shame. And he should also attend the funeral of every Indianan who falls and explain to the grieving family members why he puts party and politics above the lives of their loved ones.

[Crossposted from Blue Girl, Red State and OOIBC]