While it is nice to see some prominent republicans at least pretend to act like they don’t have their heads firmly planted in their own ass or their noses firmly entrenched in Bush’s ass, these latest words are not new, credible or believable. And frankly, in a time where we have seen empty rhetoric from Specter about how he would run his Judiciary Committee (only to cave in time and time again) or how he would stand up to the Bushistas (only to cave in time and time again), not to mention a time where Lugar rightfully criticized the US lack of planning for “postwar” Iraq (only to nearly never vote his conscience on Iraq or on “diplomats” like John Bolton) – these words ring even hollower.
You see, Senators, things have been ugly for quite some time, and you have written a blank check for Bush in Iraq for quite some time – whether you are just admitting it or not.
The two quotes (somewhat paraphrased due to no official transcript) are as follows (first Lugar):
“[I]n the past, the administration has been inclined not to disregard Congress but to not take Congress very seriously. I think this time Congress has to be taken seriously.”
If Bush ignores Congress, Lugar said he should expect “a lot of hearings, a lot of study, a lot of criticism,” and “demands for subpoenas.” Fox host Chris Wallace said, “You saying this could get ugly.” Lugar replied, “Yes, it could.”
And now Specter’s:
Specter went "on the record" as saying he did not support escalation, he is "inclined to support the conclusions of Jim Baker", and he is "not going to give the President a blank check."
See, here is the problem - We can flash back to April 2006 to find another time that Specter said this about Bush and Iraq. And this was just 2 months after Congress approved $60 billion or so for Iraq. This of course, doesn’t include the “other” $60 billion approved for fiscal year 2007, or any of the other “emergency bills” that will come out either.
Yes, it is apples/oranges, but early estimates were that it would take approximately $32 billion to rebuild New Orleans. Oh yeah, we can’t forget the $177 billion (yes, that is a B) in CORPORATE tax cuts from the 2002 and 2003 tax cuts. Sorry, Arlen, but that sounds like an awful lot of blank checks already.
As for you, Dick – it is nice that you have made some basic observations which even a child could have made over the past six years. But to say that “things could get ugly” now? Come on. And I’ll preface by saying that Lugar is one of the “better” republicans when it comes to foreign relations (but even a “better republican” has been a rubber stamp). But jeez – look at the stellar voting record when it comes to backing up the tough talk.
You would have thought that it got ugly when Congress didn’t exercise its oversight or due diligence regarding the lies and flimsy evidence rammed down its throat before marching into Iraq. And yes, that includes Democrats as well.
You would have thought that it got ugly when Paul Wolfowitz was listened to over General Shinseki about the troop levels required in Iraq.
You would have thought that it got ugly when the Iraqi army was disbanded without consulting the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
You would have thought that it got ugly when well over six months ago many people realized that Iraq was descending into a civil war.
You would have thought that it got ugly when over two years ago, the soldiers called bullshit on Rumsfeld for a lack of armor and equipment.
You would have thought that it got ugly when the republicans were swept out of Congressional control this past November – when the most important issue on people’s minds was the desire for a change of direction in Iraq.
So please, pardon me for not feeling the “warm and fuzzies” for your
tired and old new and improved tough talk. Forgive me for not having that welcoming holiday cheer for your newest threats to Bush. Let’s see that talk backed up with action.
Let’s see you actually take Bush – or anyone else for that matter – to task for doing what We the People (as well as many experts, military leaders and other leaders/citizens around the world) are dead set against.
Let’s see things REALLY get ugly. Not for the Americans. Not for our troops. Not for the Iraqi civilians.
But for those who are responsible for this disaster we are in.