Saturday, January 20, 2007

Discontent with War in Iraq Growing in Kansas

For many years now, Kansas has been about as Republican as any state can get. But there has been growing discontent in the last couple of years with the rightward drift of the Republican Party, even by the standards of voters in Kansas. In the heartland of America, things may be changing. Here's the story by Steven Thomma of the McClatchy Washington Bureau:
President Bush is losing the heartland.

Conservative Kansas - home to the Army's Fort Riley, the U.S. Cavalry Museum, Republican icons Dwight Eisenhower and Bob Dole, and the place that gave Bush back to back landslide majorities - is turning against the Iraq war.

Kansas Democrats are quicker to oppose Bush, but growing numbers of Kansas Republicans also are rejecting his plan to send more troops to Iraq and the war itself. That threatens Bush's hope to maintain a solid base of support for his war policies and undermines White House efforts to portray war opposition as partisan Democratic politics.

(snip)

"I probably support Bush for the extra troops. He's our commander in chief," said Karl Dix, an Army veteran and welder at a Goodyear plant in Topeka who voted for Bush and Brownback. "But Bush is losing a lot of popularity here because of Iraq. What are the 19-year-old Iraqis doing? Why don't the Iraqi people stand up? It's like Vietnam. Where were the 19-year-old Vietnamese?"

(snip)

"I support the president. He's our commander in chief," said Dennis Jones, a county attorney in the west Kansas town of Lakin and a former state Republican chairman. "I wish we would get the war over and get our troops home. I see too many similarities to Vietnam. We're fighting using conventional methods. It's like the cavalry against the Apache Indians in the 1880s."

We have a lot of good people in this country but we need people to start thinking more clearly about what's happening in Washington. Leaving things in the hands of politicians who are thinking more about their wealthy friends or their tired assumptions about the world is something Americans can no longer afford.

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