Republican Flip-Flopper Shays Now Adopts Kerry-Like Timetable Plan for U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq
Back in May when Sen. John Kerry put forth his resolution calling for a timetable for withdrawal of our troops from Iraq, Republicans branded Kerry and the Democrats the party of "cut and run." Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) said "setting a timetable would be foolish." President Bush, VP Dick Cheney and the rest of the Bushevik clan said such a move would "embolden the terrorists" and cause chaos in Iraq. Three months and one Lieberman loss later, Shays is having a change of heart, essentially putting forth the same timetable proposal as Kerry. Political expedience, you say? That's exactly what it is. Shays, facing a tough re-election bid in Connecticut, would rather break ranks with the president than face a similar fate as the hawkish Joe Lieberman did in the state's recent Democratic primary.
Speaking on MSNBC's Hardball Monday, Shays weaved and bobbed, ducked and dodged, as host Nora O'Donnell pressed him to draw a distinction between his proposal and that of Kerry and the Democrats. Offering little, Shays said the only difference--but that it's a big difference--in his call for a timetable is that it's based on one major fact: that our troops will come home when they're replaced by Iraqi troops. Duh. Tell us something we don't know.
"The way to get the Iraqis to wake up to do the heavy lifting is to let them know that we are not there indefinitely, there's not an open checkbook, that were not going to take sustained losses indefinitely," he said.
Didn't Kerry say all this months ago? What makes it new all of a sudden? Some self-serving, frightened Repug incumbent just got the bajeesus scared out of him by watching his Senate colleague Lieberman get kicked to the curb over the war, that's what. It's not hip to be pro-war anymore. And, it can be suicidal. Two-thirds of the country is against the war; 51% see it as separate from the war on terror; and 65% disapprove of Bush's handling of it. And in Connecticut, as Ned Lamont proved, you're clearly walking on hot coals if you're a hawk.
When O'Donnell stated Bush's commitment to "staying the course," Shays responded with, "He's wrong."
Well, after 14 pro-war trips to Iraq, Shays curiously returned from his last visit finding sudden clarity on the issue. Is he flip-flopping because of the battleground in his home state versus the one in Iraq? Is he just another example of what may soon become a full-fledged desertion of Bush and the war as we get closer to the midterms? And will the GOP attack machine kick into high gear this week to skewer Shays for his abandonment of the King's policy? Stay tuned.