This made me laugh out loud:
His Republican colleagues regard him warily. The White House barely speaks to him. He is reviled by his party’s conservative base.
Looks as though Sen. Chuck Hagel is on a roll.
Both parties have their Iraq war contrarians. For the Democrats, it is Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, whose steadfast support for President Bush nearly cost him his seat last year and forced him to run as an independent. The Republican version is Hagel, a career maverick from Nebraska and the only GOP senator to call for an end to the war.
Hagel’s sharp criticism of the war has placed him squarely in the mainstream of public opinion on Iraq and revived long-dormant speculation about his presidential ambitions. Hagel has been eclipsed by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a leading contender for his party’s presidential nomination who has vigorously endorsed the president’s war policies.
Chuck Hagel, if he ran, would not win one primary. Hell, he couldn’t even beat McCain in South Carolina, and the base hates McCain for a number of reasons (not to mention half of South Carolina still thinks he has a black baby).
One of the most amusing (depressing) aspects of the GOP’s descent into lunacy (I can say that now that I am officially a moonbat! Do I get a certificate in the mail, Misha?) the past few years has been listening to the rhetoric of the 28%er’s, who faced with the fact that their ideas (and that is a charitable name for the babble they spew) are rejected by the majority of the country and a sizable portion of the party, are now focussed on purges within the party. I was only half-joking yesterday when I wrote the silly pledge should actually read “Follow Bush over a cliff or we will make sure that we are a Southern regional religionist party with 12 seats in the Senate!” That is what some of them want. Enter Dean Barnett:
2) What is the purpose of the pledge?
It is not a loyalty oath. Nothing like it. The pledge rests on the premise that Republicans who are supporting the anti-surge resolution are doing so as a craven political play. The pledge is merely a way of showing them that it is an extremely poor political play. And since political advantage is the coin of their realm, we think it may serve to change their hearts and minds.
3) But isn’t it somehow unseemly to demand that these people sign a petition to show their loyalty to the White House?
Again, as is so often the case, you completely miss the point. We’re not asking the Senators to sign the pledge. We’re asking people who will move any Republican who votes for the resolution to the head of their s**t list to sign the petition. The pledge is merely a way for the grassroots to communicate their feelings to the Republican Party.
All well and good, but bullshit. The point of the pledge is to stop Senators from being Senators, and continue to be lackeys for this administration. The point is to stifle any dissent. What would Barnett do if they cut off funding from the troops? Aside from having an aneurysm, they would immediately fire up the stab-in-the back machine they have been warming up for months, and then work to get all these folks unelected anyway.
But cutting off funding for the troops would be irresponsible. We all know that. So what is one to do, as a Senator, if you deeply oppose this piddling surge because your recognize the futility and underwhelming nature of it, yet do not want to fully cut off the troops. Particularly when you are dealing with an extremely obstinate President and an administration in full-fledged spin mode? An administration who has screwed up EVERYTHING they have touched over the course of the past few years, and who listens to no one?
You do the only thing you can. You signal your displeasure with the current plan through a non-binding resolution. And EVEN that is too much for the authoritarians on the right, because any dissent from the Decider is not to be had. Hell, his choice of personnel was just unanimously confirmed, and even THAT pissed off the knuckledraggers:
General David Petraeus has been confirmed by the Senate. He received 81 votes. No, he didn’t get 19 ‘no’ votes. Senator Tim Johnson is in the hospital, still. But 18 others just did not bother to show up and vote.
The United States Senate cares so much about retreating from the battlefield that we’re going round and round over a negotiated non-binding surrender resolution. They care so little about prosecuting the war that 18 of them could not be bothered to show up and cast a vote for or against the general who will lead our soldiers in Iraq — for or against the general who said he needs more troops to get the job done.
Not only are they pissed that Petraeus didn’t get all 100 votes, but they are snippy because people had the unmitigated gall to vote for the non-binding resolution saying the current surge is a bad idea, but for Petraeus:
John Warner is reportedly authoring a resolution that essentially mirrors the recommendations of the bipartisanly disregarded Iraq Study Group report while disapproving of the ongoing increase of US troops in Iraq.
Yet during Petraeus’ confirmation hearing he was unabashedly in favor of the troop surge ordered by the President.
The dichotomy here is simply bonejarring. On the one hand a clear majority of this panel will vote that sending additional troops to Iraq is not in the national interest. This is an extremely strong statement, one that approaches alleging treason on the part of the president and which would clearly constitute an impeachable offense. On the other hand the panel voted unanimously to confirm as military commander in Iraq a man who supports the deployment of those troops to Iraq. In essence, the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmed to four-star rank and to the command of the most critical military effort of the United States a man who is openly not acting in the best interests of the nation.
Senators possessing even a modicum of integrity would have the moral obligation to vote against David Petraeus if for no other reason than to force the president to send a nominee who does not support the troop surge. It they are truly serious about their beliefs it is hard to see how they could act otherwise.
Make sure you read the comments in that last link. The commenters patiently tried, repeatedly, to explain to Streiff that it is possible to signal your displeasure with the current surge plan while still believing a President has a right to his personnel, but he was having none of it. Nuance, as we know, is for pussies.
And back we go to Chuck Hagel, who, as you see, has no chance at ever being President. He has committed the greatest sin- he thought for himself. Hugh Hewitt, Dean Barnett, and Red State will make sure he is punished.