Over the last few days, we citizens have had an opportunity to watch our US Senators in action, as they stake out positions on the next step in the Iraq War. I have not, in my watching, had occasion to compare our current gaggle of elected officials with the likes of Clay, Calhoun, Goldwater, or any other "lions" in the history of the Senate.
The link takes us to a definition of gaggle, to wit: "An unorganized group doing nothing", which, I think, describes the state of the Senate today. Unwilling to follow the war policy of a President whose approval ratings are in the low 30s and high 20s, declaring that such numbers indicate a failed policy and voter alienation, some Senators cannot, apparently, read further down the page that describes their approval rating as below that of the President.
One might think, given the existence of common sense, that some of those "bright lights" taking down their recently enhanced pay package might take their low approval rating as evidence that the public does not support their positions.
Which leads me to an editorial in today’s Washington Times:
The Senate is emitting an embarrassing level of emotional policy
twitching on the topic of Iraq. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can’t
take the war any more. He "knows" it is lost. Sen. Olympia Snowe has
just about had it with the Iraqi government. If they don’t meet her
benchmarks — that’s it. Sen. Mitch McConnell thinks "that the
handwriting is on the wall that we are going in a different direction
in the fall and I expect the president to lead it." Who authored that
wall graffiti, he doesn’t say. After talking with grieving family
members of one of our fallen warriors, Sen. Pete Domenici "wants a new
strategy for Iraq."
I haven’t seen such uncritical thinking
since I hid under my bed sheets to get away from the monsters back when
I was 3 years old….
But the debate today in Washington is about none of these strategic
concerns. It is exclusively about Washington’s political timetable and
when the president will bend to such political necessity. For
self-admitted politics — rather than national security — to be driving
decision making in wartime Washington is not only an unpatriotic
disgrace — it is a national menace…
What we need from politicians in Washington is something more than the emotional response to crisis. What we need is men and women whose moral fiber, intestinal fortitude, and commitment to the best interests of our country rise above their petty, venal quest for political advantage.