Anti-war Democrats have been squeezing CNY Congressman Jim Walsh with advertising attacks on his Iraq war stance. An open letter to constituents, published on Walsh’s Web site, indicates they’re made some headway. A few excerpts:
General Petraeus, briefing Congress last week, believes it will work. He has said that he will report back to Congress in September on his plan’s progress. That assessment must be fair without interference from the White House. The world will be watching…
Let me be clear, while voting to sustain the President’s veto, I did not sign a blank check. I do not abdicate my responsibility to provide needed oversight. And I do not advocate for a troop build up. General Petraeus has asked for time to implement his new strategy. He’ll assess in September. I think we have to give him that much time…
If Petraeus’ plan is successful, it will be obvious before September. His judgment should surprise no one. If it’s not working, we should be prepared to begin withdrawing our soldiers. If it is working, that will change the debate in this country. Until then, Congress has an obligation to our troops to give them the resources they need, without politics attached.
Rep. Jim Walsh
Walsh and other Republicans visit the White House today. There, he says, he’ll make his position of limited further support for the conflict, clear.
There’s some irritation in the Walsh camp about opponents holding his feet to the political fire, and the launching of a two-year campaign to replace him by Dan Maffei, the Democrat Walsh so narrowly defeated last November.
But when you think about it, everybody who goes to work in these very competitive times is campaigning every day to keep his or her job. The difference is, members of Congress get more attention (even when they don’t want it). They also get better pay than most of us, as they should for making decisions about things as profound as war and peace.