Friday, July 6, 2007

Doolittle joins Domenici in call for pullout

Just hours after Senator Pete Domenici appeared to abandon his support for aWol and his failed Iraq strategy, Representative John Doolittle, a conservative Republican congressman from California announced he is withdrawing his support for the mess in Mesopotamia.

Speaking to members of the editorial board of the Sacramento Bee, he said Americans must disengage “as soon as possible” and turn the security of the country over to the Iraqis.

A longtime supporter of the war, Doolittle called the situation in Iraq a "quagmire" on Thursday. "We've got to get off the front lines as soon as possible," Doolittle said at Rocklin City Hall, the Bee reported. "And in my mind that means something like the end of the year. We just can't continue to tolerate these kinds of losses.

"I don't want to keep having our people dying on the front lines. I am increasingly convinced that we never are going to succeed in actually ending people dying (in Iraq). I think it's going to be a constant conflict ... and if that is going to happen ... it needs to be the Iraqis dying and not the Americans."

Later he told the Bee's editorial board: "My belief is that the majority of my colleagues on the Republican side have become skeptical of all of this. And that's a big change."

Doolittle said colleagues in Congress -- including an increasing number of Republicans -- believe the war "is something different than we believed it to be. And we're gravely at risk by constantly having our troops exposed."

Doolittle has been a key supporter of the administrations Iraq (cough) “policy” thus far, as has Domenici. Losing their support almost simultaneously is significant.

Now mind you, neither one of them have cast a vote or done anything besides pay a bit of lip service. But think about it for a second: this just isn’t a political climate where equivocating is going to be tolerated by the American public. We are pissed off. We are as collectively pissed off as we have ever been. A politician who says what his constituents want to hear and then continues on his merry feckless way is a politician soon to be unemployed. Domenici, in Class II, will have to face the voters in his state in 2008 if he wants to retain his seat, and he is already in the doghouse over the firing of David Iglesias. He knows he’s in trouble there, because he hired Lee Blalack, consigliere to the powerful and connected when they think they might end up in the slammer.

Sure, it’s purely political, and somewhat craven, to abandon a position they held “on principle” right up to the moment it was no longer politically expedient to do so, but whatever route they took to arrive, they got there. It will be up to their constituents to hold them to account next November. In the meantime, it’s up to us to keep the pressure on the powerful and make certain they cast votes accordingly. Next November is coming, and accounts will certainly be settled. But in the interim, I will take all the Republican defections I can get if will get my brothers and sisters the fuck out of the sandbox.

[Cross-posted from Watching Those We Chose and OOIBC Caucus Central]

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