January 29, 2007

Over at Hugh Hewitt and elsewhere, there’s a grass-roots effort brewing by conservatives in response to a planned “conscience of the Senate” non-binding resolution planned for early February condemning President Bush’s plan to increase troop levels in Iraq. Increasingly, the resolution is being seen by conservatives as a choice between wanting victory in Iraq, or giving the insurgency there encouragement and moral support.

At the core of this effort is a pledge being pushed in which signees vow to not only abstain from supporting any Republican senator who supports such a resolution, but also make any financial support to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) conditional on the basis that no part of one’s contribution go to the campaigns of Republicans who support such a resolution. The pledge Republicans and conservatives alike are being asked to take and sign contains the following language:

“If the United States Senate passes a resolution, non-binding or otherwise, that criticizes the commitment of additional troops to Iraq that General Petraeus has asked for and that the president has pledged, and if the Senate does so after the testimony of General Petraeus on January 23 that such a resolution will be an encouragement to the enemy, I will not contribute to any Republican senator who voted for the resolution. Further, if any Republican senator who votes for such a resolution is a candidate for re-election in 2008, I will not contribute to the National Republican Senatorial Committee unless the Chairman of that Committee, Senator Ensign, commits in writing that none of the funds of the NRSC will go to support the re-election of any senator supporting the non-binding resolution.”

Hugh and other conservative bloggers have been pushing other so-called “conservative” bloggers to not only sign such a pledge, but e-mail their friends and families to ask them to sign it as well, along with contacting Republican senators urging them to block or vote against any kind of like-minded resolution.

To make it short and sweet, I cannot in good conscience support such a pledge, and reject outright any effort by Republicans and conservatives to rally support behind such an idea. My reasons for this are two-fold:

1) While I have always supported “grass-roots” forms of political activism and consider them critical to any kind of well-functioning democracy, the very idea of signing pledges of any kind has always turned me off. Maybe I’m just too much of an independent or free spirit, but pledges of this or any other kind have always struck me as small-minded and childish, as if people don’t have the ability or desire to think and act for themselves, and therefore require someone else to tell them what to do or say.

2) The issue of supporting the President’s plan to commit additional troops to Iraq and putting more of our men and women in harm’s way should not be politicized and reduced to some cheap financial blackmail scheme, and I personally find the whole idea distasteful and downright offensive. A decision to support or not support increasing troop levels in Iraq should have no political threats or implications attached, and I see no problem with any senator, Republican or Democrat, voting their conscience on such a matter.

Here’s how I see it: let’s take the politics out of the situation and simply take a look at the issue involved, as if you or I were being asked to vote on such a matter. (Forget about whether or note this vote will have any real impact – the President as Commander-in-Chief has the authority to commit more troops based on the advice of his military advisors, and he will do so, I have no doubt about that.) So, in effect, the kind of resolution being bandied about in the Senate comes down to two things: a) whether you believe the war up to now has been conducted in an effective way, and b) whether the prospect of putting more troops on the ground and more of our young men and women in harm’s way is a good idea, given the situation there as it stands and the way the war has been fought up to this point.

These kinds of questions demand a moral and ethical response, not a political one. Personally, as someone who believes the war can no longer be won based on the way the President, former Secretary of State Rumsfeld, and others chose to go about it (i.e., with one hand tied behind our backs) following the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the initial invasion, I would have no problem voting for any resolution expressing dissatisfaction with the way the war has been prosecuted up to this point and rejecting the idea of committing new troops as a result. Feeling this way, were I to vote otherwise and the situation in Iraq remain unchanged over the next six months or so, I would feel as if I have American blood on my hands.

And to have someone’s own moral and ethical vote on such a resolution become the subject of some effort to not support them financially simply because they voted their conscience is something I find both ill-conceived and ill-advised. After all, this is not some lame vote on farming subsidies or budgets, or the like – this is one involving American lives and American blood, pure and simple. And because there are American lives involved, if an elected official feels within their heart of hearts that it’s time to either pull out, redeploy, or maintain the status quo (however you want to put it), while I may not agree with their position, or even support them in the future based on their vote, it’s one that should be respected.

Look, I don’t know if President Bush’s plan is going to work or not. Given the way the war has been prosecuted up to this point and the absolute mess we have created in Iraq as a result, I believe the U.S. Senate and its members have every right to be suspicious of following lock-step behind the President and his military advisors simply because they think it’s the proper course of action at this time. While I respect General Patraeus’ judgment and the opinions he expressed during his confirmation hearings before Congress last week, who can say if committing more troops at this time will do any good, or is even the right course of action?

Whether or not it’s time to add troops, redeploy, or pull out, I can’t say, but I do know that to threaten political blackmail against elected officials who have every right to express their honest opinions as to the way the war has been conducted thus far, and the moral and ethical dilemma of whether or not to throw more American lives at the problem, is at it’s very core offensive, disgusting, and distasteful to me. I therefore reject the very idea of ‘taking the pledge’, and will do nothing of any kind to support such an effort, and, as both a Republican and a conservative, I encourage others to do the same.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:35 | Comments Off on Rejecting ‘The Pledge’
No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info