Iraq & the failure of our Illinois Republican Congressional delegation

We recently finished posting a series of “Notes on the War in Iraq” to show how much information is available to anyone seeking it. You would think, of course, that our Illinois Republican Congressional delegation would already know the facts, arguments and history presented in that series. If they do – it makes you wonder why they haven’t joined the effort to help disseminate that information.

As we wrote, our Illinois Republican members of Congress have failed to make effective use of their bully pulpit:

Each member of Congress can command media attention and can reach out within their district’s communities in ways available to few others.

Our Congressional guys (and gal) haven’t done a darn thing to do that on the big issues of the day. None of the Illinois Republican delegation seems to have any sense of their responsibility to move public opinion back in their home state…

No United States President can do it all. That’s why it’s good to have members of Congress from your own party providing an assist. I would argue that President Bush received no such assist from any Republican member from Illinois.

There is no other way to say it except that these eight men and one woman have failed their constituents, their state, and their nation in a time of war.

Even after we’ve seen a turn of events on the ground in Iraq, our Illinois Republican members of Congress have been AWOL on the issue. There is still no concerted effort on their part to impact the minds of Illinois voters. Here’s just one recent report showing that there are signs on both sides of the aisle that the story of the Iraq War has changed:

There is a pervasive sense among Republicans, and even some Democrats, that the war debate has been re-framed by signs of success and that both sides need to adapt to facts on the ground.

“I think momentum has been lost for the argument that the surge has failed,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Bush’s strongest supporters in Congress.

“The momentum is to allow the surge to continue. I don’t see anyone defecting from our side. If there’s any change in votes, it will be on their side.”

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a moderate Democrat who supports a change in mission but not a mandatory troop withdrawal, said, “People understand that there has been a military success in Iraq. … There’s an expectation that more of that will happen.”

Every major issue of the day presents a communication challenge. If our elected representatives don’t want to get about doing their jobs, the sooner they will be replaced the better.




Here are the links to our “Notes on the War in Iraq”:

1. Since the terrorists target public opinion, so should we

2. September 11, 2001 and the reality of the threat

3. What didn’t work before 9/11 and what needed to change

4. Why we invaded Iraq & who supported the decision

5. What went wrong

6. What is going right

7. Why withdrawal is the wrong strategy

8. Why it’s difficult and taking so long

9. Where things stand as of November 2007

10. The good news from Iraq cannot be ignored

11. Examples of things that libertarians and liberals explain away

12. Many Americans have forgotten or never learned what war is

For more on the topic of Congressional leadership, follow these links:

Our Illinois Republican Congressional delegation has failed us

The wasted Congressional bully pulpit

General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker help the Illinois Republican Congressional delegation do its job

Republicans who won’t lead on Iraq War debate can’t lead on other issues