Second Thoughts

According to this article in the New York Times, some staunch GOP voters are having second thoughts about their support of the war in Iraq. And they’re letting their congressman, who was a strong supporter of the war, know it.

Through four elections, Debbie Thompson has supported Representative Mark Steven Kirk, a Republican and staunch backer of the Bush administration’s policies in Iraq.But Ms. Thompson, a mother of two from this affluent suburb of Chicago, says her views on the war have evolved, and she now wants Mr. Kirk to change, too.

“My patience for this war, it’s run out,” said Ms. Thompson, 53. “I think this is the most expensive, stupidest thing ever done. My frustration has reached a level that is so unsettling, something has to be done.”

Mr. Kirk is apparently getting the message; he was one of the eleven Republicans who had that little come-to-Jesus meeting with the president a few weeks ago to tell him that the shit was beginning to hit the fan, and he’s making noises on his blog that “The United States should increase the responsibilities of the elected Iraqi government to solve its own problems, while reducing the number of American combat troops sent overseas.”

This conversion — or shall we say “re-evaluation” — isn’t so much that the mounting casualties and bleak forecast for America’s role in re-shaping the future of Iraq have finally gotten to them. No, it’s the one thing that puts the real panic in any politician: that sense of impending doom that they are on the wrong side of the issue and that Mr. Kirk and a lot of their GOP colleagues might lose their seats if they don’t get us out of Iraq.

As much as they’d like to portray it as a realization that ending the war might save American lives, to them there’s only one life they really care about: their own political future.

Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.



Filed under 06_bobby

6 responses to “Second Thoughts

  1. oddjob

    to them there’s only one life they really care about: their own political future

    Well sure, but there’s nothing new about that, and it isn’t a matter unique to Republicans, either.

  2. Sadly, oddjob is correct.

    It’s also unclear that this shift is going to result in the necessary vote to cut off war funding and the numbers to survive a veto. So, Bush gets his war for another year and a half, anyway.

  3. NonyNony

    to them there’s only one life they really care about: their own political future.

    Yes – that’s how the system is designed. Every incentive and disincentive in the American political system is built to make Senators and House members accountable to two groups of people – the constituents in their district who actually voted for them (and thus are needed to vote for them again at the next election cycle) and the constituents from wherever in the country who donate money to their campaigns. The first is fundamental to American governance, the second is a side-effect of opening up elections to all voters and not just property-holding aristocrats and mass-market media.

    That’s why it is far more important that public opinion gets changed than it is for the “right” Senators or House members to get into office. The right-wing figured this one out in the 70’s and have done very well by it for the last 30 years.

  4. I always wonder if these guys ever have first thoughts.

  5. larkohio

    I lost patience a long time ago. I think it was the day that it dawned on me that they had lied about the WMD’s just to scare us and march us into this war.

    Over 100 Americans, and lots of Iraqis died this month alone, and I ask you for what? Cheney and Bush’s egos?

  6. Paen

    They died so that Bush and his oil industry friends can make more money.

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