Friday, July 6, 2007

GOP anti-war caucus touts own ineffectiveness

Here's what I don't understand about the recent wave of anti-war statements coming from various GOP Senators. In recent weeks/months, we've seen Gordon Smith (OR), George Voinovich (OH), Richard Lugar (IN), and Pete Domenici (NM) come out against the war--or, at least, against the war as it is being waged. It's not difficult to see that in many cases, the people on this list are releasing these statements to defeat credible challenges in upcoming elections.

Clearly, the attempt is to tell voters back home: "Hey, look, I may have voted for the war at one point, but I've clearly seen the light, and am now urging the President to reconsider his policy." That sounds fine, but the proof is in the pudding: since these guys have released their statements, has anything actually changed? Have any troops left Iraq? Have we reduced our numbers? Have we stopped spending money at such an insane rate? The answer, plainly, is no. So in my mind, what these guys are doing is touting their own spectacular ineffectiveness to the folks back home. They are in the President's party, and in some instances (Domenici, Lugar) are senior, well-respected members of their party. These are the people who should be able to bend the President's ear and get him to deviate from what they believe to be a foolish strategy. But they haven't been able to do it. They talk, but nothing changes. I'm really not sure that this "The President doesn't listen to a thing I say!" strategy is the wisest one to pursue in the months before an important election.