The discussion about Ron Wyden's town halls on Iraq continues across the Oregon blogosphere. Here's two alternate views -- Darrel Plant writing at DarrelPlant.com, and T.A. Barnhart writing at Tin Cup Chalice.
First, Darrel, who is disappointed in Senator Wyden's "naive" approach to the Bush Adminstration:
Smack Me Upside the Head With a 2x4, Or Maybe Just Start With Ron Wyden --- Just got back from the two-hour exercise in futility that was Sen. Ron Wyden's (D-OR) Portland Town Hall on Iraq at the near-capacity (about 400) Hoffman Hall at Portland State. ...
It was a rowdy crowd, and while Wyden got kudos from a number of people for his votes against the Iraq AUMF and war funding, he was jeered a number of times for statements on impeachment.
I had the misfortune of accidentally sitting in the middle of a bunch of 9/11 conspiracy theorists who were pretty vocal (although I have to admit I joined the general mob on a couple of points) so I may have been more in the thick of things than most. ...
[I] asked him the question I'd settled on. "Senator, do you really trust these guys?"
He grinned at me and said "I believe in the Reagan Rule: Trust but verify." Then he went on to explain how he was my guy in Washington to provide verification, but I have to admit I was a little stunned, well, no, really stunned, because after the past seven years of lies, evasions, and degradation this country has been subjected to by the Bush administration, I just wanted to say "Are you fucking kidding, Senator?" I'm nothing if not polite. I didn't say that. But I have to believe that anyone who thinks that they can start from a position of trust with the Bush administration at this point is incredibly naive.
And now, T.A., who praises Senator Wyden's "absolutely steadfast" opposition to the war:
Morality and stupidity both make bad politics --- This is a good idea: Attack Ron Wyden, one of the few consistent opponents to the war in the Senate.
What's really going on, of course, is an extention of Karl Rove's particular brand of divide-and-conquer. Nothing new with that, and the Dems and other lefties make it so easy. We all have our particular issues and our own form of morality, and most of us are pretty adamant about those things we know to be True. We get offended easily when someone violates our Truth. ...
There have been a few people who've stood tall, and Ron Wyden is among them. Unfortunately, he's not been able to turn his single vote into the 60 needed to end the war, impeach Bush or perform the other works of magic demanded by people as rightfully angry as they are politically stupid. Taking out their anger on Wyden is just daft. It's not like he's been mealy-mouthed in this opposition to the war. He's been absolutely steadfast. But until January, he was in the minority, and even today, there are not enough Democrats, not to mention Republicans, who will stand with him to end the war.
Politics is not about morality, not in the way many people want it to be. Conservatives want government to be a branch of the church, and liberals want it to be the living embodiment of Jefferson's soul.
And that's another reason why impeachment is the wrong approach. The calls for impeachment are ones that come from a moral perspective: What Bush has done is wrong. It's being couched in legal language, but the anger that flows demonstrates that this is anything but legal. It's a righteous anger driving the demand for impeachment, not a legal or political anger. Because seen politically, impeachment is a non-starter — and those who are demanding impeachment are quick to attack anyone trying to pose a political objection.
I don't care for anyone's morality being shoved down my throat, and I really dislike stupid politics that attacks our best friends in Congress.
And since neither blog has wide-open comments, feel free to discuss here.