Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nebraska's "Lockstep" Republicans Out-of-Step With Voters

by Kyle Michaelis
With Congress in recess for the week, I'm going to turn my attention back to the state legislature and stop repeating myself on the Iraq War debate. But, there was an excellent editorial in the Lincoln Journal-Star today that at least deserves some mention for its unflinching challenge to Nebraska's Timid Trio in the House of Representatives.
The Bush administration desperately needs oversight from Congress to change course in Iraq. Nebraskans who want to see members of their own delegation help provide that guidance can’t help but feel frustrated.

In the House of Representatives, Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, Lee Terry and Adrian Smith still march lockstep to the Bush administration’s drumbeat.

They were on the losing end of the 246-182 vote Friday when the House passed a nonbinding resolution opposing the administration’s plans to temporarily increase the number of troops in Iraq....

There’s little doubt that as time moves on the need for Congress to intervene in the Bush administration’s mishandling of the war in Iraq will become more acute.

The chance for united, democratic Iraq has passed...The House vote on the nonbinding resolution against the troop surge was only a token expression of the American public’s realization that the war in Iraq is taking lives and draining U.S. resources without a commensurate increase in national security.

But the vote was the first sign in a very long time that Congress finally has found the backbone to assert oversight.

Reps. Fortenberry, Terry and Smith need to reconsider their support of administration policies in Iraq that are being proved every day to be unrealistic and ineffective.
Congress may have found its backbone, but Nebraska's House delegation has not. Nor will they show any spine on Iraq without the green light from their party leaders.

Until the next election, the people of Nebraska will not have a true voice in the House where Iraq is concerned (along with many other issues). We will have only these rubber-stamp Republicans and our hopes of more progressive, more reasonable, and more independent representation in 2009 and beyond.

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