GOP's Solidarity on War Is CrackingThat's what we like to hear. It's about time that Congress Critters acknowledged that, since we aren't currently on a course to win, a new direction is required. Now, once they look around at the options available and see there aren't any, they'll be forced to come around to a redeployment strategy, since nobody in their right mind would advocate a draft. We can move our troops to Kurdistan to protect against aggressiveness from Turkey and Iran, and to Afghanistan to deny the Taliban its continued resurgence.
On the campaign trail, 'stay the course' is a nonstarter, even among Bush's staunchest allies.
Public anxiety over the Iraq war, already reflected in polls and demands from some Democrats to withdraw U.S. troops, is now prompting calls for change from some unlikely quarters: Republican congressional candidates.
Across the country, GOP candidates are breaking with the White House over how long troops should remain in Iraq and who should lead the war effort.Even some of President Bush's staunchest allies in solidly Republican states are publicly questioning the administration's war policies, while others are scrambling to find new ways to talk about Iraq in the face of rising voter frustration over management of the war.
I still expect the bulk of the migration to occur after the elections, but I will admit that having so many Republicans distancing themselves before the midterms is a surprise. I suppose that even I, wrapped in my America-Hating Pessimism, thought the conditions in Iraq wouldn't get this bad this quickly. I should have remembered the perenial October Surprise that Ramadan represents.
Here's an example of a prominent Republican running scared from Iraq questions. This is Tom Kean, Jr., who is running for U.S. Senate in New Jersey. It's quite the remarkable video clip, wherein he wont answer questions about Iraq, steadfastly refusing to do anything but repeat the same talking points about "looking forward."