Yesterday, a bipartisan group of Senators announced a resolution to oppose the "surge" President Bush plans in Iraq. The measure was drafted by Joe Biden (D-DE), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and is now supported by Olympia Snowe (R-ME), along with many Democrats. It is a non-binding resolution and does not include language that would require Congressional authorization to fund the surge, as does a similar bill by Edward Kennedy (D-MA).
And what about our own Republican Senator, erstwhile foe of the war, think about this symbolic vote?
[H]e opposes the resolution because it uses the word "escalating," which he said is a partisan term that Democrats favor and that "unnecessarily inflames the resolution."
Hmmm. The sponsors said they could change the wording to make it more palatable--which would apparently satisfy the boldly anti-war Smith--so I called his DC office to find out if he supports the spirit of the resolution. Said the staffer I spoke to:
"He hasn't really spoken too much about the non-binding resolution. His basic position is that he wants to see a redeployment out of Iraq."
Here on BlueOregon, we've had some chatter about whether Smith is really trying to do something about Iraq, or offering a smart political soft shoe (see here, here, and here) in preparation for the '08 campaign. He has said he opposes the surge and finds the President's execution of the war flawed. But is he willing to do something more than make statements to the media? Will he support a re-worded resolution that officially states a position he's been claiming to hold for weeks?
Your move, Senator.