Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lincoln Chaffee, Hillary Clinton, and the War

I cheered when Lincoln Chaffee lost his Senate seat to Sheldon Whitehouse. Although he bucked the Republican party in many of his votes, Chaffee, a Republican, voted with the Republicans for Senate leadership, which controls which bills come up, who chairs which committees, etc. In a Senate so closely divided, that's a HUGE vote, no matter how you vote on individual issues. So when Chaffee lost, I lamented the loss of a sensible Republican, but cheered the democratic majority.

As the race for President heated up, and the issue of Senator's votes to authorize the use of force were at issue, John Edwards stepped up and was the first (and still only) candidate to apologize to the American people for such a foolish vote. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has offered a series a weak excuses for why she voted the way she did, but has never said it was the wrong decision.

Among the excuses she has offered (and something I hear over and over again from supporters or sympathizers) is that the Bush Administration ginned up the evidence and wasn't honest with Congress, and therefore this is "Bush's War." Hillary tells us there was not other responsible course given the 'threat' posed by Saddam's Iraq.

Lincoln Chaffee, on the other hand, voted against the use of force. And in this New York Times Op-Ed he lays out his reasons why, but more importantly, he reminds everyone that there was a responsible alternative in the Levin Amendment. Hillary would rather you forgot this.

Well, Lincoln Chaffee is back, and talking Presidential Politics. Could he be nudging toward endorsing Obama?

It's important to remember all of this as we inch ever closer to war with Iran. Hillary, of course, voted to make that war easier, when she voted for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment expressing the 'Sense of the Senate' that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was a terrorist organization. As we all know, we don't distinguish between Terrorists and the Countries Who Harbor Them, so a this vote was a vote for attacking Iran. Plain and simple.

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