Friday, August 17, 2007

Senator Gordon Smith

Republican Friday #3: Another in my weekly series which attempts to establish that some Republicans retain socially redeeming qualities.

Oregon Senator Gordon Smith is running for re-election in 2008. Perhaps because of the views of his constituency, he has apologized for his vote in 2002 authorizing George Bush to invade Iraq.

On 11-Jul-07, Senator Smith became the lead Republican co-sponsor behind the Levin amendment in the Senate that would put U.S. troops on a glide path out of Iraq, allowing for greater focus on combating terrorists.
We need to be fighting terrorists not civil wars. Iraq’s peace is one they must win on their own; we cannot win it for them. Our might should be focused on stopping terrorists who are plotting to bring harm to the United States. . . .

Underpinning the current course and the argument of many of my colleagues on this side of the aisle is the hope, the predicate, that at the end of the road there will be an Iraqi government that will govern effectively and democratically. I believe President Bush's formulation, that we will stand down when they can stand up, is backwards. I come to that conclusion, based on numerous trips to Iraq, that they will not stand up until we begin standing down.
Senator Smith recently toured Iraq with Senator McCain, but he certainly came away with different views:
What I have learned firsthand is that Americans have no comprehension of the complexity, the factionalism, and the intensity of hatred that exists in some parts of the Middle East. On top of the factionalism, there are ancient sectarian strifes which produced a low-grade civil war that we cannot win, and which is not ours to win. It is theirs to win.

. . . . My fear is that what our presence and current posture are doing is simply keeping a civil war at a low-grade level. Civil wars end in one of two ways: one side wins and the other loses, or they fight it out until they figure it out. My fear is that we delay the day for them figuring it out with our current posture.

. . . . We cannot want democracy more for them than they want it for themselves, and what they seem bent on is an ethnic cleansing of their neighborhoods, a religious division. Ultimately, those are their decisions, not ours. But as long as we say we will take the bullet first, they will let us.
14 months early, I am projecting Gordon Smith's reelection in 2008.

Erratum Maximus!
I have been in error!

Because of comments by readers (see below), I rescind any positive comments above!

14 Moderated Comments:

Blogger J.C. said...

Never trust a politician to tell the 'truth'.
It is doubtful that this person is doing any thing other than following the latest focus group, and catering to dumbed down public opinion.

Reading his statement, he seems to be mouthing only, a different set of platitudes.

8/17/2007 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Boris said...

Vigilante, Republicans are 1% redeemable.

8/17/2007 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger J.C. said...

As are Democrats, but I think that is cutting them a lot of slack Boris.

8/17/2007 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Vig, I hate to bust your bubble, but this is a subject on which I have a little expertise, as Gordon Smith is my Senator, and I have tracked his votes for years.

He faces reelection this year in one of the most progressive states in the nation. Therefore he has to try to paint himself as a moderate, which he clearly is not. His technique is pretty simple. He waits in the wings until he sees how the vote is going. If it becomes clear that his vote will not matter, he casts a progressive vote, but whenever the Reich needs his vote in a close issue, he goose-steps right behind his Fuhrer. For example, in the cloture votes over guaranteeing out troops time between deployments, establishing time-lines, and censuring Bush, he help the GOP prevent an up or down vote. Don't be fooled by his rhetoric. It's just attempt to keep his job.

8/17/2007 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Boris, Republicans are 99% COGS!

8/17/2007 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Not Your Mama said...

I don't know anything about this guy so I'll leave it alone but I will admit that western state repubs are often a very different fish than midwestern or eastern repubs. In the west it's usually all about the money and little or nothing to do with social values.

8/17/2007 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Tom Cat, you are slaughtering Vigil's slender reed of bi-partisan hope with your gang of brutal facts.

8/18/2007 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

On bipartisan hopes:

Louis Black:

What's worse than Democrats and Republicans?

Democrats and Republicans working together!

8/18/2007 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Sapo said...

"I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal," declared Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), a 10-year veteran of the Senate, in a speech last night. [December 7, 2006]

Speech is here.

Too bad he can't admit that the invasion was a mistake. He still has blinders on.

8/18/2007 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

B4f, facts have a nasty way of showing up the 26 percenters.

8/19/2007 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To back up what others have already said, don't let Smith fool you. Oregonians are used to his tricks, slightly shifting positions at key times in order to appear centrist. Even after he said the war was "criminal" he voted to continue it. Check out for a quick read and you'll see he's not what he appears.

8/20/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Readers have corrected me. (I hate that when it happens!) The good people at Stop Gordon Smith dot Com have set me straight!

Mea culpa! I try to find one good thing to say about one good Republican one day out of seven, and look what happens! I come up a cropper.

Well, I'm not about to submit myself to re-education yet. I'll try again this Friday. Good luck to me then?

8/20/2007 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Vig, I'm sure that someday you'll succeed in your quest to find an honest GOPer. May I respectfully suggest that to do so, you need to aim lower in the GOP food chain. The Dog Catcher level sounds about right. ;-)

8/21/2007 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Pink Liberty said...

Hi Vigilante, I salute your efforts toward peace and understanding...too bad there isn't any of that among Republicans (I'm not fully serious).

8/27/2007 08:52:00 AM  

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