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Sunday, June 19, 2005 

Dissention in the (R)anks

Did you ever think you'd hear a Republican senator utter these words:

"Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality.... It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."

That is Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb) responding to what US refers to as the "sunny assessments from the Bush administration" that the insurgency is in its "last throes."

Another seismic shift under the Republican bedrock comes from none other than Walter Jones, the North Carolina Republican who brought "Freedom Fries" to government cafeterias everywhere. He and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex) have joined House Democrats in supporting a bill that would set down metrics for determining just when the US military's mission in Iraq is complete and set a timetable for withdrawal.

Obviously, two reps (one of whom, Paul, has opposed the war from the start) do not constitute a revolution, but with public support for the war at an all-time low, you have to wonder. Even this Republican-controlled Congress would not be able to stave off calls for an investigation forever, given the right combination of public outcry and a few key defections.

Mailbag: a true Conservative speaks

I try to answer all the email we get at, and that means reading the wingnut flame mail too. Occasionally, however we do get mail from people who, though they don't agree with our position, demonstrate a refreshing civility and humanity in expressing their views. Bob was one such individual.

He wrote in initially about the semantic argument that came up last week over the word "fixed" as used in the DSM, but the discussion expanded to much broader issues. Here is a recent email he sent to us:

I wish it was possible on a wider scale to have calm, intelligent discussions about the important issues.  The conflict in Iraq is very painful to all of us.  My son is serving in Iraq at the present time and I trust he will come hope safely.

Although I do support Bush and believe I understand why he and his advisers made the decisions they made, I unfortunately believe that we that we seldom get our "best and brightest" citizens in the highest levels of government.  With the level of real hate that seems to exist out there, it's no wonder the kind of people we need as leaders don't want to expose themselves and their families to that kind of life.

I think we need a third party - the "Common Sense Party".  Because I am firmly pro-choice and support a ban on assult weapons, am not an evangelical Christian, etc., etc., I really don't fit the image of what a Republican is but on the other hand, I just can't handle the kind of vicious language that comes out of people like Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, etc.

Well, thanks for your response.  I truly hope that the future in the Middle East will be positive and that the people of Iraq will soon be able to handle their own security and all our troops can come home.

Thank YOU, Bob, for your sober and candid thoughts. You are a true Republican, a conservative in the original sense of that now-perverted word. May your son return home soon.


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