Monday, February 12, 2007

Adrian Smith Plays Guinea Pig for GOP's 'Iraq War' Talking Points

by Kyle Michaelis

Lisa at SmithWatch made a great catch this weekend, reporting on the twisted logic and say-anything approach of 3rd District Rep. Adrian Smith. In speaking with KNEB Radio out of Scottsbluff, Smith seems to have positioned himself on the cutting-edge in Republican talking points, making probably the most insulting and intellecutally shameless defense of President Bush's plan for a "troop surge" in Iraq that you'll find anywhere:
Third District Congressman Adrian Smith of Gering says a vote for a resolution opposing the placement of additional troops in Iraq is "by default a vote for the status quo. "

The freshman Republican told reporters during a press conference at his Scottsbluff district office that the President's plan offers a "quantified plan" to stabilize Iraq. Smith says he agrees with those that say "the status quo" is not the right policy, but claims because of the lack of alternatives proposed by critics, the resolution amounts to support for the administration's previous strategy.
To be making such a disingenuous argument, Smith - Nebraska's least capable legislator - must have gotten so confused by Sen. Chuck Hagel's recent self- contradictions on Iraq that he can't even think straight.

Either that or the Republican Party is using him as a guinea pig to test out the latest (and the lamest) in bald-faced Republican spin because, honestly, what we see above is about as low and illogical as an argument can get.

Has Adrian Smith even read the Warner-Levin Resolution? I assume not since he fails to recognize the very clear alternatives it proposes in Iraq beyond stating opposition to Bush's proposed "troop surge" (aka "escalation"; aka "augmentation").

Smith now says that "stay the course" is not the right policy, but - by supporting Bush's plan - he's just endorsed "stay the course" on steroids.

To then sit in judgment on those in Congress who are actually speaking up for our soldiers and for the majority of the American public who no longer trust Bush's leadership in Iraq is just utterly shameless.

Make no mistake - Smith stands for the status quo in Iraq. No matter what comes out of his mouth, he stands for the status quo because he wants to see the U.S. Congress be the same rubber-stamp for Bush's disastrous policies as they were during the last 4 years of Republican domination.

Smith doesn't want debate. He doesn't want dissent. He doesn't want the people to be heard. And, the same holds true of fellow Republicans Jeff Fortenberry and Lee Terry - all of whom have failed their constituents and their country by continuing to write Bush blank checks signed in the blood of young Americans.

The only thing I can say positve about Adrian Smith on this issue - where he's proven incapable of thinking for himself - is that it is nice to see actual evidence he can read the scripts laid out for him by staffers and Republican strategists.

Hey, so long as this guy is in office, we have to take what we can get.

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Anonymous Dave Sund said...

Well, I've wondered why Republicans haven't realized this yet: Warner-Levin does basically endorse "Stay the Course." There is basically nothing in the resolution that could be considered offensive to anyone in the Republican Party but the die-hard warmongers.

The House has the right strategy here: keep it simple, and I wonder why the Senate didn't pursue that strategy. The House resolution is two paragraphs long. Warner-Levin went beyond simply opposing the troop surge to endorsing every other aspect of Bush's policy. If that were what Smith was referring to, he'd be correct. But it's not.

Evidently, when the Democrats offer a plan, their plans are immediately dismissed because withdrawal cannot be an option. The Republicans are trying to prevent an outcome that has already occurred. The only way out is to bring our troops home. But we can't even have a debate on that, yet, because of the absolutely toxic level of discourse on the subject of Iraq for the last 5 years.

Blogger Kyle Michaelis said...


You're wrong about Warner-Levin endorsing "Stay the Course." It may not say what you or I would like it to say, but the statements of its supporters and the wording itself fly in the face of your silly and destructive over-simplification.

As for why Warner-Levin is necessary, there's one word we should all be familiar with after last week: FILIBUSTER. Besides, if you want to lend Smith's statements any creedence it would be in regards to the House Resolution offering NO SUBSTANCE and NO ALTERNATIVES. It's the definition of the non-binding feel-good legislation you've improperly accused Warner-Levin of being. According to Smith's talking points, it's this failure of substance that is the true endorsement of the status quo.

"The only way out is to bring our troops home" is mindless sloganeering. Yes, and the sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning as well. This is a serious debate, Dave....and its about damn time WE hold up our end of that bargain if we're going to do right by our men and women in combat AND the people of Iraq.

Anonymous Dave Sund said...

Kyle, my take is Sen. Feingold's take, and very clearly reflected in the text of a resolution that rejects any drawdown in forces, or any decrease in funding. In an effort to make too many people happy, they forgot that the resolution was supposed to be a simple statement of opposition.

The House resolution is stronger because of its simplicity. If the goal is to begin with a statement of opposition to this disaster of a policy, and move on to the debate of how to best get ourselves out of Iraq, then the resolution should be short and to the point. They'll get this done in three days. The Senate spent three weeks debating on language. The House managed to get the same point across in two paragraphs - without any language that would weaken the overall debate on withdrawal.

I'm sick inside about how half of the Democratic Party - and the frontrunner for the nomination - still will not support withdrawal of our forces from Iraq. It's disgusting.

Smith has no credibility on this issue, and I didn't mean for it to sound like he did. The Republicans don't want to have this debate or any debate on Iraq.

Alternatives come later - there have been many offered. First, comes a strong "no" to Bush. The House is in a much stronger position to do that.

Blogger Lisa Hannah said...

I got some more information the next day. Essentially, Adrian Smith was for the Iraq Study Group, diplomacy and non-combat troups for training the Iraqi....before he was against all that. Probably because he was told he must support the President. So, he changed his tune. Why are we not surprised?


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