I will invite the senator on, but suspect that like Senators Warner, Collins and the few others who are refusing General Petraeus the opportunity to succeed, he will take a pass.
What had been a very bad week for al Qaeda with the foiled attacks in England and the desperation in Zawahiri’s recent video just got a great deal better with proof that their strategy of defeating the U.S. in the United States Senate is working.
Mitch McConnell has turned back attempts to hamstring the president in the past, and needs 40 Republicans plus Joe Lieberman to do it again.
The Domenici announcement complicates John Ensign’s efforts to reinvigorate the tattered NRSC fundraising efforts, as it means the NRSC is now committed to supporting at least three re-election campaigns for incumbent senators who are cutting and running on the war. I haven’t sent in a dime, and won’t be.
I suspect that the November elections will see Domenici and Oregon’s Smith defeated as the GOP base in New Mexico and Oregon simply will not support candidates who do not support victory in the war, and out-of-state contributos have many other non-defeatist candidates to support. Both men are fine senators most of the time, but getting the war wrong means getting national security wrong. Even wildly contrarian views on immigration policy are much more easily forgotten and forgiven than deserting the president and the troops on the war, and that is what Senator Domenici did today.
The GOP base demands (1) victory in the war, (2) border security, and (3) aggressive support of the president’s judicial nominees. Loyalty on taxes matters of course, as does real commitment on spending reform, but the minority party cannot do much on these last two fronts, whereas they have a huge amount of say on the war and the other policy issues for which Democrats are planning u-turns from the policies of 2001-2006.
Here’s some classic lousy analysis from kournalist Heath Haussamen that assumes the GOP supporters of Domenici are indifferent to his position on the war:
The move is certain to help Domenici’s 2008 re-election bid. The newest SurveyUSA poll gave Domenici a 51 percent approval rating-the lowest in the history of the monthly poll that goes back to May 2005. His new approach to the war is certain to resonate in his purple home state.
Note that Haussamen has not a single bit of data to support his assertion, and the only datat that would matter would be polls showing that more war critics would rally to Domenici’s banners than GOPers who will desert it because of the defeatism.
A poem from a former Domenici supporter.
No dollars for Domenici, no dimes for the doves,
The NRSC will need help from above.
Where are the Henrys, the Lincolns or Churchills?
Not in the Senate where the Norm is round heels.
If backbones aren’t stiffened if courage still wanes,
08 will be disastrous, the Senate will change!
We need candidates with valor not afraid of the fight
to support our brave military who are doing what’s
Come on Republicans! Show us the way
We’ll support leaders who refuse to sway.
Our checkbooks are open to those who stand firm
but not to the Chafee’s who uneasily squirm.
God Bless our soldiers, airmen, Navy and Marines,
They are the patriots of old,our thin khaki team.
We’ll do here what we can to stay on track
To find some Senators who have your back!
This bard is a little unfair to Norm Coleman who has walked back from the brink to a policy of supporting the surge, and thus gets my strong support in ’08. If Domenici also wakes up to the reality of the impact of his defeatism, I’ll be happy to support him as well.