The Congressional Republicans’ demand for “benchmarks” is becoming the GOP’s equivalent of Al Gore’s demand years ago for “lockboxes,” –an empty term originally intended to convey seriousness of purpose while disguising empty policy prescriptions, but which, by the sheer implausibility of the pose, became a term attracting deserved disdain.
Republican resolutions calling for “benchmarks” are being understood by people serious about victory in the war as a no confidence lite. To align with a call for “benchmarks” is to leave the victory caucus. The Republican leadership should figure this out in a hurry and drop the idea as the genuinely bad idea it was and remains.
The indifference of various Republican senators to the victory wing of the party –which is about 70% of the party, and 90% of the activists– is nothing short of astonishing. Senator McCain’s decision to abandon his previous unqualified commitment to looking forward and demanding victory will be the first great blunder of Campaign 2008, though there is still time for him to put down the benchmarks and return to his admirable insistence on winning.
Senator McConnell: Phone: (202) 224-2541 Fax: (202) 224-2499E-mail here.
Senator Lott: Phone: 202-224-6253 Fax: (202)-224-2262 E-mail here.
Senator Kyl: Phone: (202) 224-4521 Fax: (202) 224-2207 E-mail here.
Senator Ensign: (202)-224-6244 Fax: 202-228-2193. E-mail here.
Senator McCain: Phone: (202)-224-2235 Fax (202)-228-2862. E-mail here.
Senator Warner: Phone: (202) 224-2023 Fax: (202) 224-6295. E-mail here.
Senator Cornyn: Phone:202-224-2934 Fax: 202-228-2856. E-mail here.
Senator Smith: Phone: 202-224-3752 Fax: 202-228-3997. E-mail here.
Senator Coleman: Phone: 202-224-5641 Fax: 202-224-1152.E-mail here.