Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Lost The Plot

Harry Reid said back in December 2005 that "even Republicans don’t agree with Joe" on Iraq. And as the civil war there rages on (albeit on the second and third pages of newspapers around the world these days), even Republicans seem to be waking up to the reality of the situation:

Rep. Christopher Shays (Conn.) is using his House Government Reform subcommittee on national security to vent criticism of the White House's war strategy and new estimates of the monetary cost of the war. Rep. Gil Gutknecht (Minn.), once a strong supporter of the war, returned from Iraq this week declaring that conditions in Baghdad were far worse "than we'd been led to believe" and urging that troop withdrawals begin immediately....

Said Gutknecht: "Essentially what the White House is saying is 'Stay the course, stay the course.' I don't think that course is politically sustainable."

Republicans are speaking out against the war. But Joe? He "lost the plot" a long time ago, and shows no signs of finding it. He continues to insist that progress is being made, all evidence to the contrary.

Never mind that the civil war in Iraq is raging as bad as ever, at a cost of over 100 civilians per day in June, according to a recent UN report:

United Nations officials said Tuesday that the number of violent deaths had climbed steadily since at least last summer. During the first six months of this year, the civilian death toll jumped more than 77 percent, from 1,778 in January to 3,149 in June, the organization said.

This sharp upward trend reflected the dire security situation in Iraq as sectarian violence has worsened and Iraqi and American government forces have been unable to stop it.

In its report, the United Nations said that 14,338 civilians had died violently in Iraq in the first six months of the year.

Harry Reid is now calling the conflict in Iraq what it is - a civil war - and says he plans to re-introduce a debate on Iraq in the senate in the coming days:

Democratic leaders say they do not yet know what kind of resolution or resolutions they plan to offer, but they hope to come up with what Reid called "lots of" Iraq-related measures the last week of July, when the Senate debates the defense appropriations bill....

A part of their strategy appears to be challenging Republicans, especially those facing tough re-election campaigns, on whether they will remain squarely behind the president, as they were during June's debate.

Sen. Lieberman, of course, was also squarely behind the president during June's debate, literally leading off for the Republicans as they defeated a Democratic attempt at consensus on this issue.

The last week of July. I wonder if Sen. Reid asked Sen. Lieberman if he appreciated the timing of this? Reid, of course, knew back in December that Lieberman was "...out there alone. I mean, literally alone" on Iraq. Eight months later, nothing has changed.

Iraq will be an issue in August. It will be an issue in November. It will be an issue in New Hampshire in late 2007. It will be an issue in November 2008. It will be an issue in 2012. It needs to be debated. And being dead wrong "on principle" is not acceptable.

Time to find the plot.
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