July 7, 2007

Two More RINOs Join the Blundering Herd

Hatched by Dafydd

Today, Sens. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee joined the chorus of Republicans gibbering that the "surge" is obviously failing:

"It should be clear to the president that there needs to be a new strategy," said [sic] Alexander told The Los Angeles Times. "Our policy in Iraq is drifting."

Gregg, who up to now had belonged to the camp of hardliners on Iraq, said in an interview with the same newspaper that attempts to put down the Iraqi insurgency with higher numbers of US troops "don't seem to be making a lot of progress."

It is vital to have "a clear blueprint for how we were going to draw down," he said. [That is, a clear policy to surrender quickly, before we accidentally win the war.]

Judd Gregg has an ACU rating of 72%, exactly the same as Lamar Alexander. Gregg and Alexander fit the pattern: So far, every GOP senator who has come out against the war or "the surge" has had a partisanship score of 75% or less.

The House of Representatives is too large for me to deal with now; but you would need at lesat 56 Republican defections, assuming every Democrat in the House votes for surrender. Let's just stick to the Senate for now -- as overriding a veto requires overriding it in both bodies.

So how many potential defections are there, if all the RINO senators -- who today swear they will not support timetables for withdrawal or a cutoff of troops -- change their minds and betray the country anyway? Are we in danger of Congress overriding a Bush veto of withrawal-timetable-defunding legislation?

How many GOP senators are there with partisanship scores of 75% or below? There are 18:

  1. Dick Shelby (AL, 74%)
  2. Ted Stevens (AK, 64%)
  3. Lisa Murkowski (AK, 71%)
  4. John McCain (AZ, 65%)
  5. Dick Lugar (IN, 64%)
  6. Olympia Snowe (ME, 36%)
  7. Susan Collins (ME, 48%)
  8. Norm Coleman (MN, 68%)
  9. Thad Cochrane (MS, 67%)
  10. Chuck Hagel (NE, 75%)
  11. Judd Gregg (NH, 72%)
  12. Pete Domenici (NM, 75%)
  13. George Voinovich (OH, 56%)
  14. Gordon Smith (OR, 72%)
  15. Arlen Specter (PA, 43%)
  16. Lamar Alexander (TN, 72%)
  17. Bob Bennett (UT, 72%)
  18. John Warner (VA, 64%)

No other Republican comes close to these scores: Above 75%, the next nearest Republican is Kit Bond (MO, 80%), followed by Lindsay Graham (SC, 83%), and then several senators at 88%.

In the list above, those senators who are up for reelection in 2008 (class II) are in blue font; those who have already "come out," that I recall (made anti-war, anti-counterinsurgency, defeatist comments) are in boldface.

Also, we must assume that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT, 75%D/17%R) -- who believes in the war so strongly that he actually left the Democratic Party over the issue -- will continue to support the war effort; so he will always be a vote against withdrawal, timetables, and defunding the troops -- so too with John McCain, despite his RINO status.

Now that John Barrasso (R-WY) has been appointed to take the seat of deceased Sen. Craig Thomas (96%), there are again 49 Republicans. Overriding a veto takes 67 votes, so 34 votes against overriding will sustain the president's veto: Thus, we can lose as many as 16 Republican defectors and still sustain (counting Lieberman as one extra "GOP" vote on this issue).

Counting the RINOs above who are up for reelection in 2008 combined with those who have already "come out," I get a total of 14 possible defections... which would be close, but not catastrophic enough to override a presidential veto. And that is assuming that every, single Republican RINO up for reelection next year votes for withrawal or defunding... which I actually consider pretty unlikely.

(In case anyone is interested, the Democrats have only six DINOs in the Senate: Mark Pryor (AR, 75%), Bill Nelson (FL, 60%), Mary Landrieu (LA, 65%), Max Baucus (MT, 70%), Ben Nelson (NE, 35%), Jay Rockefeller (WV, 60%); they do much better at herding cats than we. Even so, several of these senators might be persuaded to vote against surrender, especially the four of them up for reelection in states that went for Bush in 2004 [blue font].)

So we need to keep vigilant; and those readers in states that have wavering GOP senators need to keep their senators' noses to the fire about the counterinsurgency. But I do not think that the defeatists will be able to cram surrender down our military's throat.

At least not until the next Congress; and by then, I believe the war will be won, and the only thing left to do for Democrats and their "defeatocrat" allies in the Republican Party will be to claim credit for the victory: "We killed al-Qaeda and Iran -- vote Democrat in 2010!"

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 7, 2007, at the time of 3:19 PM

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» High Noonan from Big Lizards
In a comment on a previous post, commenter Terrye said the following: I know I am an Independent and I voted a straight Republican ticket in 06 while real true blue Republican conservatives like Noonan were telling people to stay... [Read More]

Tracked on July 8, 2007 3:27 PM

» Blundering Herd of RINOs: Endangered Species? from Big Lizards
A couple of weeks ago, we published a post titled "Two More RINOs Join the Blundering Herd." In it, we noted a fascinating phenomenon: Every Republican senator who called for us to declare defeat and withdraw from Iraq or Afghanistan... [Read More]

Tracked on July 23, 2007 9:32 AM


The following hissed in response by: hunter

They are stabbing the troops in the back, peeing on their President, and showing themselves to be utter poultroons.
I will not give one dime to any of them. period.
I will not give one penny to the Republican national Senatorial committee. period.
Not until they wake up from this ridiculous pandering to Sen. Reid.
This is happening so quickly, and now that we see how much dickering behind the scenes there is between these creeps, thanks to the immigration fiasco, I wonder if we will see mass defections to the dhimie party?
This is a ridiculous position on the part of these Senators.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2007 8:03 PM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

Worse yet, they are completely misreading the politics of Iraq. If we win the Republicans win, and no amount of cagy fence-straddling will save these characters if we lose.

The Democrats are ascendant because voters were disgusted with the way Republicans were running up the budget. Losing the majority had little to do with Iraq.

The fact that Democrats have proven just as bad, so quickly, is why Congressional approval ratings are the lowest in history. If the GOP had a platform now that voters understood as clearly as voters understood the contract with America, the Republicans would still control Congress.

These RINO's are weasels, yes, but they're also dumb as bricks. The worst fact is that these clowns think our struggle in Iraq is merely "playing politics", while our enemies think we're in a war. The lack of seriousness, and the lack of an appreciation of the the problem, is astounding.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2007 5:45 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

I maybe wrong {would not be the first time} but I don't think that these people will actually vote for running away. I think they are covering their asses and putting pressure on Bush at the same time.

However, I also think that the recent immigration debate with so many hardliners turning on more moderate members for failing to follow Michael Savage's lead might be putting stress on the coalition as well.

The right has not earned themselves many friends in that debate...and right now they need them.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2007 7:04 AM

The following hissed in response by: Mike

I maybe wrong {would not be the first time} but I don't think that these people will actually vote for running away. I think they are covering their asses and putting pressure on Bush at the same time.
No they won't. What amazes me is that everyone is working on the same timeline. We all want to transfer security responsibility to the Iraqi Government by 2008 and keep a large reseve of US forces in Iraq forevermore. Some call it victory, some call it defeat(?)

There is a lot of cheap talk in Congress these days. They pass non-binding resolutions they know will be vetoed... then they vote to continue the war. I'm not sure what to make of that anymore.

I watched the Zawahiri video that Powerline posted. Al-Qaeda is having a rough time too. It appears they have many, many Islamist Nancy Pelosis and Reids. Luckily for us, the political will for war is collapsing on both sides.

The above hissed in response by: Mike [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2007 8:00 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

I agree that AlQaida is having a rough time, but I think the right has done a lot of damage to the Bush administration and they have given moderates precious little reason to put their necks out.

Here in Indiana, Bayh...who long ago abandoned the war effort..was treated better for taking the Dorgan way out on immigration and voting with the unions than Lugar was for supporting immigration reform. After all these years in the Republican party Lugar is treated like a traitor by the right, so what do people expect? If the right cares about the war so damn much, why stab their own in the back?

McCain has been faithful on the war but the right hates him and constantly belittles him despite his war record and his strong national security stance. Malkin wants people like Graham run from office, so why should he kiss up to the likes of her?

This kind of thing works both ways, when we get this many years into an unpopular war it is not entirely fair to blame a lack of support on the socalled RINOs when the right is busy trying to undermine a war time president who is himself a Republican.

I know I am an Independent and I voted a straight Republican ticket in 06 while real true blue Republican conservatives like Noonan were telling people to stay home and let the Democrats win.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2007 9:05 AM

The following hissed in response by: Mike

Yeah, I hate that too Terrye. I'm an indy also and I'm mystified why Republicans eat their own.

This whole situation may not be so bad. Politically supports collapses in every war. Wars are partly a contest of political will, and we have more structural advantages than the Islamic State of Iraq. Congress is deadlocked into inaction by the Presidential Veto so their lack of willpower isn't as threatening as their rhetoric.

Al-Qaeda lacks mechanisms to retain political commitment. That's why Zawahiri is attacking religious scholars and Arab governments who waver. Unlike Bush, he can't veto anything to keep them in line.

Their whole stucture is more fickle and unstable than ours. If Bush keeps vetoing Congressional silliness, we can outlast the real enemy. Yeah, it will be easier if people stop calling McCain, Lugar and Graham traitors, but que sera, sera.

The above hissed in response by: Mike [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2007 11:25 AM

The following hissed in response by: Pam

Terrye, I agree mostly with what you're saying. I'm Conservative and live in the Red State of Alabama. I generally vote Republican, but if I saw a Blue Dog Democrate out there that supported the war, I could vote for he/her.

I like Noonan, but think she's wrong about President Bush. She said in an op/ed that she didn't know him anymore because of his stance on immigration. Well, all I can say is that she never knew Bush then, because he's always support immigration reform, comprehensive reform.

I think after 2004, when they turned out the vote and he won a clear and majority victory, hard core Conservatives felt like he owed them. He felt like hey, this is who I am, you knew me when you voted for me, so I'm gonna try a few things. Starting with Harriet Myers, Duby, mispelled, you know the port's deal, he seemed to tick off the base. The immigration bill was just the final straw. I admire the President on the war, and while I made have diagreed with him on immigration, I certainly don't think he was selling out the country for his rich friends. Conservatives need to get a grip. The immigration bill is dead; we had better stop knocking the president while he's down, or else the war effort will soon go the path of the immigration debate. What ever you may think of President Bush and the immigration bill, you had better know the loss of the war is much, much worse. It's time to rally behind him on the war if nothing else for the rest of his term.

The above hissed in response by: Pam [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2007 12:22 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

Well if they felt that strongly about immigration they should have nominated someone who would support land mines on the border or whatever, but back before 2000 the leading candidates were Bush and McCain and neither of them pretended to be Pat Buchanan.

And when it came to Harriet Miers and Dubai, once again the right went off the cliff. They said Bush had every right to nominate anyone he wanted, just so long as it was someone on their short list. And when it came to Dubai they accomplished nothing but making themselves look ridiculous. So far as I know Dubai Ports has not killed anyone as of yet. In fact they have a great reputation and no one else had any problem with them.

I remember when Chucky Shumer and Hillary Clinton came out and stood there at their mikes and start yammering about that I thought, Surely the Republicans will know these guys are just pulling their chains.Nope, it made perfect sense to them to think that Bush would turn the ports over to terrorists to kill us all. I began to think then and there that those people had a screw loose. I still think that.

So yeah, Bush won in 2004, but that was because people like me voted for him too. It was not all about the right.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2007 1:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: exDemo

This discussion is all academic.

The Surge is working, even NY Times reporter is on record, saying so. The last year's micro-Tet that hardly anyone noticed, but elected a Baker's dozen of Surrendercrats, has drawn down a lot of the opposition. The Surge has already killed lots more.

At least twenty six Sunni tribes, former insurgents have joined the Iraqi government, and are killing Al Queda. One dead-end Baathist insurgency, the 1920 Revolution Brigade, has quit too. Twenty seven former insurgent groups politically reconciled, is great "political" progress. The iraqi government will probably have an "Oil Law" as well.

AQI has lost hundreds of killers and the Iranian finks have tried to topple the Shia Iraqi government, and purged themselves, in effect. Good Riddance.

The Turks massing on the Kurdish border, reminded the Kurds that an independent Kurdistan would be invaded promptly. So it's better to be a sovereign autonomous portion of an American supported Iraq.

Bush will announce "Victory is at Hand". "Peace with Honor" has arrived; after "Staying the Course" despite mindless appeals to quit and surrender from the Copperheads.

He will show map saying 15 provinces in control at start of Surge, Anbar and Diyallah now largely peaceful or just needing mop up so 17 of 18 pacified; The majority of Baghdad City province pacified versus 19% at beginniing of Surge, as already reported by the NY Times. (NY Times bragged that it wasn't all of Baghdad City province, just most of it.)

Bush will announce with the coming of Peace, the first draw down of US troops for next Spring/Summer with more to follow next fall. (Provided that things continue as planned.)

End of anti-war movement.

Iraq stands but unlike Vietnam, continues to get aid. Insurgencies are infinitely weaker than North Vietnam with Communist bloc support versus South vietnam. Asymmetric warfar carried ot extreme produces extremely poor results for insurgents. Iraqis can tell the accents of foreign AlQueds fighters just liek a maine yankee can't hide too well in Alabama.

Vietanm stood for three years, without US aid before being conquerd by massive conventional invasion. Iran can't do that. All of Arabia would rise up against Persian foreign overlords.

Elephant landslide in 2008!!

The above hissed in response by: exDemo [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 9, 2007 4:47 PM

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