Monday, July 16, 2007

From last week's LEO:

It’s lonely at the top
With the overwhelming majority of Americans opposed to the Iraq war, even Republican senators are waking up and smelling the IEDs. In recent days, staunch Bush supporters Richard Lugar of Indiana, Pete Domenici of New Mexico, John Warner of Virginia and the somewhat-less-staunch Olympia Snowe of Maine have pressured the president to begin supporting the troops by bringing them home. Many other Republicans who face re-election are also cutting and running from “we can’t cut-and-run.”

Most red state voters are of one of two opinions about their political leaders: Either vote the bums out of office or at least persuade them to stop opposing the will of the people to end the war. Whichever camp you’re in, there’s a role for you to play at That’s the address of “Americans Against Escalation in Iraq,” a coalition of groups — including, Americans United for Change and the Center for American Progress — that routinely make Rush Limbaugh pop a neck vein. The coalition now has Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell — also facing major criticism for bailing on his party during the immigration debate last week — in its crosshairs. Over the next few months, the organization promises letter-writing and Web campaigns, volunteer events and other activities in Kentucky, all designed to shine a light on McConnell’s support for escalating the war.

McConnell, already the target of a campaign by the Sunlight Foundation for blocking a bill that would make campaign finances more transparent, is caught between Iraq and a hard place: He can abandon Bush and look like a flip-flopper, or stay the course and look hopelessly out of touch. The smart money says the slippery senator will search for some middle ground between now and autumn, which marks the famous “surge” deadline.

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