The reactions and views of Representatives Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) and Brian Baird (D-WA) concerning Iraq are instructive and important.
[T]he American people don’t want to see some kind of Saigon-like helicopter liftoff trying to remove people out of Iraq,” 2) they don’t want to see “ethnic cleansing and devastation of Iraqis” after we leave, and 3) they “don’t want the status quo.”
Tauscher was criticized, yes by me too, for some statements she made and some views she held. Rep. Tauscher has listened. The DC Establishment will call that pandering. I call that representing. I believe Rep. Tauscher listened to her constitutents, reviewed the facts and came to the right view on Iraq. This is what our representatives are supposed to do. More.
Rep. Brian Baird opposed the Iraq War and the Surge. But his review of the situation has led him to now support the Surge. He is denying the views of his consitutents and, in my opinion, putting into question his judgment. His explanations for his conversion are, to say the least, unconvincing. To say the most, they reveal little in the way of intellect. But I feel confident that his conversion is a genuine one made from conviction. I believe his constituents are well within their rights to question his judgment and to believe they would be better represented by another person. Baird said:
It could well cost me the next election," Baird said at the end of the meeting. "That's alright."
Given the importance of the issue, it should.
These two representatives highlight an important issue for me that we should all consider. Our representatives often make mistakes. Some honest. Some from political cravenness. But I hope we can focus on the issues at hand and press our representatives to make the right decisions now and not dwell on the mistakes of the past.
There will be a time for evaluating the performance of our representatives in 2008. But now is the time to press them to make the right decisions now, especially on Iraq. They must insist on a date certain for ending the Iraq Debacle. By NOT funding it past a date certain.
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