Friday, January 05, 2007

Senate second thoughts

In a stark sign of how far the political winds surrounding Iraq have shifted -- and a sign of how difficult it will be for Bush to get Iraq initiatives through Congress -- a majority of senators who voted 77-23 to give Bush authorization to invade Iraq now say they regret the vote and would vote differently if the vote were held today.

By ABC News' count, if the Senators knew then what they know now, only 43 — at most — would still vote to approve the use of force and the measure would be defeated. And at least 57 senators would vote against going to war, a number that combines those who already voted against the war resolution with those who told ABC News they would vote against going to war, or said that the pre-war intelligence has been proven so wrong the measure would lose or it would never even come to a vote.

For any Senate vote to switch from 77-23 in favor to essentially 57-43 against is quite remarkable, and far more so for a decision as significant as the one to go to war.

This isn't a comparison of that Congress to this Congress; it's asking those who cast a vote on the resolution -- be they current or former senators -- how they would vote today.

There's a small hole in ABC's methodology, in that they didn't ask those who voted against the resolution whether they now supported it. But that's a tiny thing, because it's highly unlikely that the answer would be "yes."

Hindsight is great, of course. But it demonstrates how impossible it is anymore to paint war opponents as far-left extremists or naive hippies or Al-Qaeda sympathizers.

And there's this observation:

The president, not up for re-election, can try to move forward on his plans for Iraq regardless of public sentiment, Ornstein added.

"But if Lyndon Johnson were alive today, he'd tell the president you can't keep prosecuting a war when the public — and many of your congressional supporters — abandon you," he said. "It makes it much, much harder to sustain it."

Among those who stood by their vote to authorize war were Republicans Dick Lugar, Sam Brownback, Pete Domenici, Orrin Hatch and Bill Frist, and Democrats Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson.

There's actually a lot more nuance to the answers than you might expect, so if you want the full taste, read the link.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's mostly Democrat Senators who have changed their minds with this 20/20 hindsight knowledge. Doesn't surprise me one bit. They jump ship when the going gets tough and don't stand behind their own decisions.

Of particular hypocrisy is the changed mind of Hillary Clinton----who in October of 2002 stood on the Senate floor in a speech and said she had done her "due diligence" before casting her vote. In an effort to prove she was NOT depending solely on Pres. Bush's administration to give her the true facts, she told the Senate she had talked to several previous administration officials (Her hubby, I'm sure) before casting her YES vote.

So, how much BLAME is she giving those from her hubby's administration, including him? I'm betting NONE. In fact, neither she nor any liberal media will point out what I just did.


1/07/2007 5:07 PM  

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