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“Two Parts Grandstanding to One Part Suicide”

Wednesday, November 16, 2005  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

That’s the title of Powerline’s Scott Johnson’s post on the Senate GOP’s capitulation yesterday. John Hinderaker adds that “moral preening” is an apt description.

GOP Senators who wake up this morning to discover stacks of angry phone messages and e-mails have a stark choice: Keep their collective heads low and wait for the furor to pass, or quickly admit an enormous mistake was made, one which they regret and will not repeat.

The latter is a far more honorable course, and it also has the advantage of candor which is increasingly a widely valued quality in elected officials. “Oops” isn’t a pleasant admission, but it is necessary here. Doubling down in defense of this huge misstep would be to compound the damage.

Cutting and running from Iraq is a terrible idea. Cutting and running from cutting and running is a fine response to a miscalculation of the first order.

Bill Kristol correctly brands the Senate’s action as “pathetic” and writes:

All honor to the 13 Republican senators who stood up against the me-too, we-want-to-get-out-as-well-but-not-quite-as-quickly, Republican leadership: Bunning, Burr, Chambliss, Coburn, DeMint, Graham, Inhofe, Isakson, Kyl, McCain, Sessions, Thune, and Vitter. Let’s hope their colleagues reconsider and join their ranks in the near future.

BTW: The New York Post editorial today sums up the reaction to the Senate’s action among supporters of the Adminsitration’s conduct of the GWOT:

Et tu, Bill Frist?

It’s disturbing enough that Democrats have become so hostile to America’s efforts to fight terror, particularly in Iraq.

But now Republicans ‘” like Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist ‘” also seem to be peeking at the polls and going all wobbly on the Iraq campaign.

It’s pathetic.

And dangerous.

And D. J. Drummond gives an assessment of the post-vote presidential ambitions of Majority Leader Frist.

Today’s radio show is open to any GOP senator who would like to discuss his or her vote yesterday.

Pour it on in calls to the GOP leadership and individual GOP senators. Here’s the key contact data:

Senate Majority Leader Frist, (202) 224-3344, e-mail

Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, (202) 224-2541, e-mail

Armed Services Chairman John Warner, (202) 224-2023, e-mail

You can also use the Congressional switchboard to contact any office: 202-225-3121.

This is also a moment of huge opportunity for Rudy Guiliani and Governor Mitt Romney: The vast majority of the Republican rank and file want a clear declaration of support for victory in the GWOT. Incredibly, and I suspect and hope fleetingly, Virginia Senator George Allen left himself open to being flanked on this issue. The Mayor and the Governor have a chance to set themselves apart on this issue at a time when future primary voters are watching very closely indeed.

UPDATE: Bill Quick adds:

Yes, dangerous. Today, four years after thousands died at the WTC, the Pentagon, and in a Pennsylvania field, unserious and posturing politicians in Washington still don’t seem to understand that this is no longer politics as usual. I think most of these bozos do understand that we either fight Islamofascism now, or fight it later. But they are making the personal calculation they’d rather make the fight later – after they have retired on fat pensions, most likely, so that somebody else will have to make the tough, necessary decisions they don’t have the spine for today.

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