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Weekend Work: Stopping The Retreatists In The Senate From Undercutting The Troops

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The decision of the democrats –manifest over the ten days since the president’s Library Room speech– to go into full opposition to the war and to demand withdrawal signals a crucial moment in American history.  Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsak started the sprint to the left among the would-be presidents, and Nancy Pelosi’s condemnation of the “escalation” and Harry Reid’s warning –profoundly wrong–  that “The president does not have the authority to launch military action in Iran without first seeking Congressional authorization” combine with sharp turn left to underscore that the president  and the military are now facing not just a relentless enemy abroad but a political opposition blind to the consequences to the region of withdrawal, and not just the region, but to American people.

It is against this backdrop that Congressional Republicans, and especially GOP senators, have to prepare for a combined MSM-Democratic activist assault on them, an assault which has already turned two –Hagel and Snowe– into retreatists.  The ominous word that Senator Warner is circulating a “compromise” draft of a non-binding resolution brings immediately to mind the disastrous “compromise”  resolution of December, 2005 that Senator Warner midwifed, which dealt a huge blow to the Adminstration and divided the president’s supporters. Even though the president did his best to put lipstick on that pig, the damage done by the attempt to “compromise” with the anti-war Democrats was doomed, just as this effort would be.

We have quickly arrived at a moment where the sides are going to line up, and Republicans on the wrong side of that line –and that would include so-called “compromises” that are in fact slow motion retreats– will not only not get support from the GOP base, they will see a revolt in their re-election campaigns like the one which Lincoln Chafee encountered.  (Dean expands on this theme in his new column, “The 11/7 Republicans.”)

Please take a moment to call or write the three GOP senators identified with the half sell-out of the war and the troops:  Senator Warner, Senator Collins of Maine, and Senator Smith of Oregon.  There is also concern that Senator Brownback will vote for one of the resolutions that John McCain has accurately labeled “defeatist.”  Please contact Senator Brownback as well.

Senator Warner’s e-mail is here. His phone number is 202- 224-2023.

Senator Collins’ e-mail is here. Her phone number is 202-224-2523. 

Senator Smith’s e-mail is here.  His phone number is 202-224 3753.

Senator Brownback’s e-mail is here.  His phone number is 202-224-6521.

Please call and e-mail these senators and urge them to rethink their support for a resolution which will be cheered by the enemy.

Here is Commander Smash’s open letter to an opponent of the war who forwarded to Smash a “cut off the funding” petition, a letter that should be read aloud to the senators in the retreatist caucus:

I’m dismayed and a little bit hurt that you forwarded this petition to me. You know that I served in this war, and my brother as well. You know that I lost my college roommate, and my brother lost one of his best friends. You know that despite bearing these burdens, I remain passionately committed to the success of our military in Iraq and around the globe.

Although I am not currently serving overseas, you also know that I continue to make difficult personal sacrifices in order to serve our country. While most Americans are enjoying their three-day weekend, I will be here, far away from my wife and family, doing what I can to support the effort. The enemy won’t take the weekend off, so neither can I.

Fortunately, I won’t be alone. There are hundreds of thousands of brave and bold Americans serving around the world who don’t know the meaning of the word “quit.” Perhaps you should consider showing us some support, instead of blindly forwarding an email to your contacts list urging people to lobby Congress to cut our funding!

Let your conscience decide.

Hopefully the Democrats will have more than one senator who will understand the stakes and put aside the politics to support the troops.

And voting for a defeatist resolution is most certainly to vote against the troops, just as it is to vote against victory.

The active duty military who called the program today disgusted with the Republicans who are undermining their efforts and their sacrifices are just the tip of a vast iceberg of revulsion that will roll out against any senator who ran on national security in 2002 and seeks re-election in 2008 on a retreatist/compromise platform.  The country is dividing into an isolationist/pacifist Democrat Party and a serious-about-national-security Republican Party, and those who straddle the divide on the GOP side are badly misjudging their party’s widespread and deeply felt positions.  Senator Lieberman understood that there was still a national security vote in the Democratic Party, and combined its remnants with GOP support to turn back Lamont, but Republican retreatists will not find an anti-war isolationist remnant in their party.




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