Friday, November 03, 2006

Republicans Running from Iraq Issue

Republicans, with the exception of Colin Powell, seem unaware that if you break it, you own it. Republicans not only own the fiasco in Iraq but they have spent four years rubber-stamping everything that Bush has asked them to pass.

The fourth ranking Republican in the House said something that shows why Republicans need to go. Lisa Goddard of CNN has the story (hat tip to Talking Points Memo; bold emphasis mine):
As she fights for her political life, Ohio Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce distanced herself Thursday from the Iraq war, telling CNN Radio, "What's happening in Iraq is not a direct reflection on me."

The seven-term representative is the House Republican Caucus chairwoman, the fourth highest-ranking position in the House. She won re-election in 2004 with 62 percent of the vote. However, experts say her current race with Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy is a toss-up.

Pryce made the remark Tuesday in an interview at a Columbus, Ohio, factory. When pressed by CNN on whether her position as a House leader connected her to the volatile situation in Iraq, Pryce objected to the interruption of her remarks and said the interview was over. (Watch Iraq vet campaign as Democrat in GOP-ville -- 2:40 )

"Thanks, I'm done," Pryce said. She expressed frustration and walked away saying, "Maybe we'll call you later when I'm feeling better."

In a statement issued to CNN later, Pryce finished her response, writing, "What's happening in Iraq is not a direct reflection on me."

"I voted to give the president the authority to use force in Iraq; that doesn't mean I'm always happy with what I see, but I can think of nothing worse for our troops or our prospects for success than having 435 members of Congress second-guessing our commanders," Pryce wrote.

It was obvious three years ago that Iraq was turning into a mess. It's not the job of the Republican majority to rubber-stamp the president when things go wrong. Congress has a constitutional obligation to find out what the facts are when things start going bad. In fact, when going to war, it's the job of Congress to make sure that the president is properly making his case.

In one area alone, the Republicans have absolutely no excuse and that's their failure to even bother to find out where all the reconstruction money was going. Congress, not the president, controls the purse strings. While Republicans continue to deny responsibility, the trail of neglegience and corruption is growing cold. If Republicans retain control of Congress, they will continue to sit on their hands and do nothing while Bush's recklessness and incompetence continue.

Seven Americans died in Iraq yesterday and the number of seriously wounded in Iraq last week was the highest in almost two years. When the number four ranking member of the Republicans in the House says Iraq has nothing to do with her, we have a problem that needs to be addressed. Congress is a branch of the government that is co-equal to the president. Blaming others and avoiding responsibility for four long years is not acceptable.


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