Monday, January 22, 2007

Sen. Warner: 'surge' ...not

Can you hear the chants? From out of the shadows on the right, the fringe -- “War-ner is a RINO! War-ner is a RINO!”

For those not familiar with the taunt neoconservative dittoheads hurl on cue at any Republican who won’t dance to the Bush administration’s tune, RINO means “Republican in name only.” Arizona’s Sen. John McCain has probably been the most frequent target for such.

However, with regard to President Bush’s newest scam/strategy for Iraq -- The Surge -- it won’t be occasionally maverick McCain who will be drawing the ire of the lathered up GOP hawks and their followers. No, this time it’s going to be Virginia’s John Warner, the distinguished five-term Republican senator who will turn 80 next month.

Reuters reports:

“Opposition to President George W. Bush’s plan to increase troop strength in Iraq broadened on Capitol Hill on Monday as a new bipartisan group of four senators announced their disagreement with the strategy. The senators, including conservative Virginia Republican John Warner, unveiled a proposal that they hoped would be embraced by lawmakers who disliked some of the wording of another bipartisan resolution that was introduced last week, opposing the boost in troops...”

Warner, once a captain in the Marine Corps, later a Secretary of the Navy, has survived such attacks from the far right before. When he absolutely refused to support conman Ollie North’s 1994 run for the U.S. Senate, similar charges of party disloyalty were leveled at Sen. Warner.

Yet, following his own conscience, Warner shrugged off the insults and threats, perhaps as easily as he will shrug off the angry finger-pointings from those who remain loyal to the clueless Bush stay-the-course policy in Iraq. In my view this surge business is just more of the same.

Me? I’m looking forward to Democratic Sen. Jim Webb’s remarks, which will follow Bush’s State of the Union Address tomorrow night. Coincidentally, like Warner, Webb was also an officer in the Marine Corps and once Secretary of the Navy.

For Bush, preparing for his speech -- while being bookended by Virginia senators with such credentials, who are opposing him so publicly -- is tough duty. Maybe the toughest of his flatlining presidency.

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