March 30, 2007
The vote by the U.S. Senate this week (50-48) to set a firm deadline for withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq was so wrong-headed that I don't know where to begin. That is not what the Iraq Study Group recommended! Sen. Chuck Hagel joined with the Democrats (except for Sen. Joe Lieberman), explaining that he could no longer support "failing" war policies. This position stands in marked contrast to what he and Sen. Joe Biden said back in December 2002 (via Instapundit):
Once [Saddam Hussein] is gone, expectations are high that coalition forces will remain in large numbers to stabilize Iraq and support a civilian administration. That presence will be necessary for several years, given the vacuum there...
So why has he changed his position? It would appear that, as with immigration, Hagel is now simply pandering to the mainstream media. For his part, Sen. John McCain has made some very strong and appropriate denunciations of the Senate vote. I think those on both sides who try to make war policy into a partisan issue are making our country weaker, but I must say that the Democrats on Capitol Hill are doing everything they can to validate the impression that they are, as Rush says, "invested in defeat." Please, Democrats, give use some reason not to think that.
Most of the complaints about lack of party loyalty have been heard on the Republican side in recent years -- those evil "RINOs"! -- but a similar flap has occurred on the Democratic side of the aisle in Richmond. State Senator Benjamin Lambert gave $1000 to conservative Republican Rep. "Buck" McKeon, from California, and Raising Kaine was incensed at this disloyal effrontery. The somewhat more free-thinking Waldo Jaquith admits that he too has given money to Republican candidates.
Who would have thought that the guy who replaced George Allen as junior senator from Virginia would be even more of a gunslinger? The arrest of Sen. James Webb's aide for bringing a handgun into the Senate office building was a deliciously ironic treat for Second Amendment fans. Webb, of course, has been as disingenuous about this hypocrisy as you could imagine. But might this whole episode have been a stunt concocted to lure hunters and gun enthusiasts into defecting from GOP ranks? Ominously, our local pro-gun bloggers have yet to weigh in on this matter.
Generally speaking, I pay little or no attention to the snit fits of Donald Trump vs. Rosie O'Donnell and other media personalities. But when Rosie O endorsed the lunatic fringe theory that government explosives were to blame for bringing down some or all of the buildings at the World Trade Center, I took notice. Rosie has hereby earned herself a place in my list of Unmentionable wackos.