As the 2008 Presidential campaign has kicked into high gear we've noticed a gaping void in the GOP's Presidential conversation. While Iraq is clearly the issue of the day in the mainstream media, and certainly the issue that will most clearly define the rest of the Bush presidency as well as the next administration, the GOP 2008 portion of the blogosphere has been very quiet on the issue.
Instead of discusing this meaningful, momentous issue blogs instead have focused on Mitt-flops
, Rudy's personal travails
, and the need for a CCA
. So with the President's big speech coming this week, we thought it was time to put the issue up front.
The GOP 2008 set is not engaging in the same discussion as the D's on this issue. There's no back in forth on draw-down vs. troop surges, timelines, strategy etc... The one candidate who is outfront on this issue is John McCain. McCain has put himself on the line with his "urge to surge
." So much so the Democrats have pinned the troop surge on his head, calling it the "McCain Doctrine
." As the candidate with a clearly defined stance on this issue, his neck is on the chopping block. He has said for nearly 4 years that we need more troops, was out front with criticism of Rumsfeld, and has outlined certain things that need to be done for the mission to be accomplished.
The other main players have been varying degrees of silent.
Mitt Romney is "not going to weigh in yet
."Sam Brownback said
a troop buildup "could
be an acceptable plan" but
added that an increase "seems
shortsighted if its only purpose is to impose military order without also moving toward a political equilibrium." (Now there's a strong opinion)Rudy said that
"John and I pretty much
have the same view on the war, as far as I can tell
. And added, "I think in a very deliberate way, what's a better strategy, how do we succeed in Iraq, what can we learn from the mistakes we may have made, and then as we go forward, do a better job of creating a stable situation in Iraq." (not a lot of substance there.)
Huckabee has been quiet, Gilmore has talked more about the WOT generally, and Thompson can't stop talking health care and energy.
One would think that those we are putting forth to lead our country would have more nuanced views and a more in-depth discussion about the defining issue of this decade. Why the silence? And why aren't we insiders and activists demanding at least a thorough discussion on the topic?