Memo To The Hill: Take Off The Beltway Earmuffs
And while your reporter couldn’t get a comment from the NRSC, the NRSC’s Chairman John Ensign was interviewed at length, by me, on yesterday’s program and the transcript posted on the web.
In fact, over the past 40 hours, I have conducted five interviews with Republican senators on the absurd dance of the resolutions underway in the Senate: Norm Coleman, John Cornyn, John Ensign, Jon Kyl and John Thune. All the transcripts are posted. Together they provide the most comprehensive coverage of the Republican internal debate over how the war will supported or the enemy encouraged. The posts at my site, Powerline, Instapundit, CaptainsQuarters, Misha, RightWingNews, Blackfive etc are a systematic and serious discussion of the war and the consequences that would flow from the embrace of any defeatist memorandum from the Senate, even one signed on to by the previously reliable-on-the-war John McCain.
The blogosphere and Republican activists have refused to allow the MSM to “cover” this debate in the Senate in the traditional fashion, via the creation of an echo-chamber in which Republican senators are warned again and again of the consequences of standing on principle. Thus last week we saw the slow caving that marked the spring of 2005 Gang of 14, the December 2005 Senate resolution undercutting the war, and the refusal in the summer of 2006 to condemn via resolution the New York Times’ decision to publish a story that could assist terrorists in eluding capture. Time and again the Republican caucus in the Senate has gone wobbly, and yet it seems to wonder why the roof fell in in November.
Republicans like their elected men to act like Reagan and their elected women to act like Thatcher: Principled, firm, sunny and full of resolve. “We win. They lose,” was Reagan’s prescription for the Soviets, and it ought to be the GOP’s prescription for Iraq and the far greater war beyond. That is the clear message of the rightroots, and it isn’t hard to hear, even for senators wearing Beltway earmuffs.
Please print off some Pledge Cards and pass them around. if you are headed to the National Review summit, take a stack. Be sure to hand them to passing senators. Tell them the lefties are outraged –a very good sign.
And if you see John Warner, whisper “Mark Warner” in his ear and see how far he jumps. If the Warner resolution passes in the Senate, I think the grand old man of Virginia politics will have given himself a self-inflicted wound to rival “macacca.” If he seeks re-election Senator Warner will appeal to the Republican base in Virginia and beyond to rally to him, and a large slice of it will say: “Why? When he didn’t rally to the troops being sent into Baghdad?”
All of this is obvious –to anyone not a prisoner of the Manhattan-Beltway media machine. Those entombed in the buzz are still chatting about Green Room asides from Sunday’s Meet The Press appear to be oblivious to the rightroots. But the country approved of the president’s State of the Union and applauds the appointment of General Petraeus and earnestly hopes that his leadership, the reinforcements, and the new rules of engagement will stabilize Iraq and allow that country to develop into a fixture of Middle East progress.
UPDATE: Your handy activism agenda:
Please tell the candidates in the ’08 cycle especially