Saturday, February 03, 2007


Whose Party?

Bill Kristol launches a shot across the bow to Republican senators straying off the "surge" reservation:
Some seven GOP senators are said to be wavering between the Democratic resolution and the McCain Graham-Lieberman alternative supporting Gen. Petraeus and the troops. They are Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, John Sununu of New Hampshire, and George Voinovich of Ohio. Alexander, Coleman, and Sununu are up for reelection in 2008. Some or all of the seven may still choose to stand with the president and the troops, and to give Petraeus a chance. This would leave the Democratic resolution short of the 60 votes needed to end debate. Perhaps the four ignominious ones could even reconsider and sign on with McCain, Graham, and Lieberman (whose resolution of support includes, incidentally, "benchmarks" of performance that the Iraqi government is expected to meet).

In any case, Republican senators up for reelection in 2008 might remember this: The American political system has primaries as well as general elections. In 1978 and 1980, as Reagan conservatives took over the party from d├ętente-establishment types, Reaganite challengers ousted incumbent GOP senators in New Jersey and New York. Surely there are victory-oriented Republicans who might step forward today in Nebraska, Virginia, Oregon, and Maine--and, if necessary, in Tennessee, Minnesota, and New Hampshire--
to seek to vindicate the honor, and brighten the future, of the party of Reagan.
(Emphasis added).

Uh, Mr. Kristol, would that be the "party" of this Reagan?

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