Thursday, February 22

25 Tow the Party Line

Party Over Country: 25 Members of Congress Who Criticized Escalation but Voted for It Anyway

From Alternet and Think Progress
Wednesday 21 February 2007
Last week, Iraq war veteran and VoteVets founder Jon Soltz appealed for members of Congress to "put country above party" and vote against escalation in Iraq. Majorities in both the House and Senate answered Soltz's call. But at least 25 members of Congress caved to partisan pressure and voted in favor of escalation, despite having publicly criticized President Bush's strategy in the weeks prior to the vote. Here are four examples:
Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite (R-FL): "It's too little, too late, and should have been done a year ago. ... I just get a feeling our country is being used."
Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM): "I am not a supporter of a surge to do for the Iraqis what the Iraqis will not do for themselves."
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ): "I have little confidence that a surge in troop levels will change the situation in Iraq in any substantive fashion. It seems clear that the violence in Iraq is increasingly sectarian, and inserting more troops in this atmosphere is unlikely to improve the situation.
Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH): "I am skeptical that a surge of troops will bring an end to the escalation of violence and the insurgency in Iraq... I'm absolutely against the surge."

When it came time to vote, these four members - and 21 of their colleagues - couldn't muster the courage to buck their own party and vote against escalation. These members appear to understand the danger of sending tens of thousands of U.S. troops into Iraq's bloody civil war. They just don't care enough to do something about it.
The full list of the "Party-Over-Country" 25:
Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) Virginia Brown-Waite (R-FL) Vern Buchanan (R-FL) Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) Charles W. Dent (R-PA) Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) Jeff Flake (R-AZ) Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) David Hobson (R-OH) Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) John McHugh (R-NY) Candice Miller (R-MI) Jerry Moran (R-KS) Deborah Pryce (R-OH) Mike Rogers (R-MI) Edward Royce (R-CA) Mark Souder (R-IN) Tom Tancredo (R-CO) Mac Thornberry (R-TX) Greg Walden (R-OR) Heather Wilson (R-NM)

Gordon Smith (R-OR) Sam Brownback (R-KS)

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