Saturday, August 26, 2006

Running away from the war and Our Dear Embattled Leader

The LA Times has a rundown of the Republicans leading the pack in their efforts to put distance between themselves and ODEL and his Glorious Little War.
Since U.S. forces attacked in 2003, Rep. Christopher Shays, a moderate Republican from Connecticut's liberal 4th District, has been a stalwart defender of the Iraq war.

"I've been carrying the bucket when it comes to the war," Shays said in September.

But facing an antiwar Democratic opponent in a tough midterm election race, Shays is starting to express reservations.

In a telephone interview Friday after he returned from his 14th trip to Iraq, Shays said that he believed the U.S. should consider setting a timetable for the withdrawal of its troops, and that he planned to hold congressional hearings on the question next month....

....In Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district, freshman Michael G. Fitzpatrick, elected in 2004 with 55% of the vote, faces a challenge from Patrick Murphy, an Iraqi war vet with a Bronze Star and a plan for redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq within 12 months.

In a mailing to constituents in mid-August, Fitzpatrick urged an alternate course in Iraq while criticizing his opponent's plan. "American needs a better, smarter plan in Iraq," said the mailing. "Congressman Fitzpatrick says NO to both extremes: No to President Bush's 'stay the course' strategy … and no to Patrick Murphy's 'cut and run' approach."

In Minnesota's 1st District, conservative incumbent Gil Gutknecht has long supported the war. He made headlines recently when he returned from his first visit to Iraq, declared that Americans don't have "strategic control" of the streets of Baghdad and advocated a "limited troop withdrawal — to send the Iraqis a message."

Retired National Guardsman Tim Walz, who is seeking to unseat Gutknecht, wants to move U.S. troops to Kuwait so a regional security force can take over in Iraq....

....In North Carolina, Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., a staunch conservative whose district includes the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune, originally supported the war. In 2005, he said there had been little reason to go to war and called on Bush to apologize for misinforming Congress. His opponent, Craig Weber, is also an antiwar candidate.
But Our Dear Embattled Leader doesn't have to worry. If they are re-elected, they will come right back and snuggle up close to ODEL, just like before.


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