Breaking: Gordon Smith to oppose Bush surge

Reported just moments ago by Chris Matthews on his MSNBC show, Hardball: "After meeting with President Bush at the White House, Senator Gordon Smith has decided to oppose the surge in troops."


  • Garrett (unverified)

    Good for Gordo...he is making the right decision. I welcome his support against a troop surge and I also will welcome voting him out of office for his lack of integrity.

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    Question for both him and the D's is, do they try to stop the surge by denying funding? Question for him is, how does this affect his support of McCain?

  • Garrett (unverified)

    I think that at this point the Dems need to do anything they can to stop a troop surge. If they can accomplish this by denying funding then do it. The real question comes is if Bush can manage to send the troops anyway and once they're there he can be political and say the Dems are denying bullets to troops on the ground.

    Gordo's support for McCain will be tied directly to McCain's chances of winning the Presidency and how much it will help/hurt Gordo's own reelection chances.

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    I am pleased that Smith has not backtracked on his famous speech. Now I would like to propose that Congress pass a resolution opposing Bush's escalation. Bush will be able to move troops into Iraq before Congress can cut funds or find another way to forcefully stop him. He and his supporters can then claim that the Dems are undermining the troops that he has sent by unfunding them.

    However, a resolution can be passed in a week. Let's see who is for and against. Bush did that to the Dems in '02. Let's do it now. Get names on the record. Does Smith melt or vote on against the President. Force the Republicans who will run in '08 to make a decision now. If the opposition to the President reflects where the country is the resolution passes. The Dems will then be in the position of cutting funding for the increase to reflect the spirit of the resolution and it will be harder to claim that this hurts the troops.

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    If only we could harness the power of Gordie's balistic run to the left (i.e. reality) and away from Bush just in time for the 08 election season, we could have a domestic, renewable source of energy that could replace our reliance on mid-east oil. Of course the amount of hot gas released would be catastrophic on global warming.


  • LT (unverified)

    Watch the details here, folks.

    John C is right about how soon a resolution could be passed. It could be a "sense of the Senate" resolution, which can't be called "depriving troops in the field of what they need".

    Also, requiring the budget for troops to go through the regular budget process incl. hearings instead of the "supplemental" gimmick would show where people stand.

    And where is the outrage that some troops might be in Iraq longer than their original deployment was scheduled to be? Something as simple as some Senators or Congressmen going public with "the troops from my state were expected home next month--can we even get a straight answer on whether they will still be in Iraq this time next year?" would have a big effect on a White House which has called anyone who even mentioned a timeline as unpatriotic, not concerned about terrorism, etc. Esp. if someone wanted to call on Bush or McCain or Lieberman or whoever to come to the base back home and explain to the families why their loved ones will be gone longer, for what purpose, how the effectiveness of this "surge" will be evaluated.

    Turn "support the troops" back at those supporting the President---are troops (esp. Guard and Reserve) merely pawns who don't deserve to know how long their deployment will be?

    Combine that with recent calls for "we have completed our mission and it is time to turn things over to the Iraqis" from Senators and Congressmen and we could have the sort of rhetorical blast that Rove & Co aimed at Democrats in 2002.

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    Even a tiger chnges his stripes every 5 years.

    Just like everything else Gordo SAYS watch how he actually VOTES.

    Remember Gordo is against drilling in the Arctic unless it is attached to any other bill whatsoever. Then he is for it.

    Remember how the Washington Dems took down Slade Gordon with the "slippery slade" moniker? We need something similar for Gordo.

    I am nominating that the State Dems invest in a nice panda bear outfit now and pay some intrepid intern to follow Smith around this state for the next two years as a "Pander Bear" to remind the people what this guy is really all about.

  • salem outsider (unverified)

    Last month, during his post-election realization that the war was "criminal", Smith still was floating the idea of the McCain troop escalation. From the Oregonian (12/9/06):

    "The Republican senator said Bush should consider either a major increase in American troops to end the street fighting and help the country rebuild -- or to greatly reduce the U.S. presence in Iraq while focusing on training Iraqi troops and on intercepting foreign terrorists entering the country."

    I am glad he has changed his mind again, even if Smith is opposing exactly what he called for less than 30 days ago. The thing voters should care more about is the profound misjudgement Smith displays on issue after issue. Sure, I can forgive the guy on a personal level, but that's doesn't mean I want him representing me in the Senate.

    Oregon can do better, and there are many other elected officials who more closely represent Oregon values.

  • Garrett (unverified)


    We don't need a new slogan. We can just use the one I heard Gordo repeat over and over during the 04 election for President Bush..."flip flopper."

  • progvoice (unverified)

    I'm not a great fan of Sen Smith, but I've never found that demonizing anyone accomplishes anything positive.

    There have been some very sophomoric analysis going on here. The one thing that congress needs to do is support a plan that brings us (and Iraq) to the happiest ending possible. The worst thing that dems could do is to propose a blanket block on scaling up troops in Iraq. To do so would be political suicide. It makes them look weak and worse, not supportive of the troops.

    What they should do (and probably what Sen Smith is doing,) is look at the plan that is presented, analyze the elements and come back and say "nah, that ain't going to do it, so we're not going to support it."

    For all we know, Sen Smith won't support the plan because there aren't enough troops in the "surge." I doubt that Sen McCain thinks that 20k will do the job.

    LT is right on target with strategy and positioning in this argument.

  • MarkO (unverified)

    Snarky, snarky, snarky. Give the guy a break - you rip him when you disagree with him - you rip him when you agree with him. Personally, I give him props for his stance on the war and troops and his work on health care issues. When I worked in Salem, I always found him to be sincere even when he was wrong.

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    Oh please he becomes sincere every 5 years when his re-election is about a year out and he races like hell to the middle. That is not demonizing - it is an honest analysis of his political behaviour in 2001/02 and what he is doing now.

    Does the name Matthew Shepard and HRC ring a bell? If not I will be happy to run down that sordid story of Smith the Pander Bear.

    Don't get me wrong I respect Smith for his political acumen but he is doing nothing here but pandering. The loss of majority has freed him to do this without consequence on the Hill and people are going to once again buy the "pander bear".

    Finally the Dems need to do what they are doing - oppose, oppose, oppose anything Bush is proposing to "fix" Iraq. By a 3-1 margin the American people are with them on this. Why are we pretending there is some national debate? The american people have made their decision on Iraq and Smith knows this. Why are Dems even still debating this?

  • Bert (unverified)

    I have a hunch that the surge is a fake issue that allows those who need it to save face. Challenged Republicans (e.g. Smith) and the Dems can oppose the surge, meanwhile funding the bulk of the effort.

    Iraq is quite a prize. Both parties face enormous pressure from big oil and other corporations not to give up the spoils.

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    Here's an interesting quote: "It would be a dishonorable thing for the Congress to budget away the bullets at a time when their commander in chief had ordered them to hold their place in the battlefront," said Smith.

    I'm just trying to decide what to make of it.

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    The worst thing that dems could do is to propose a blanket block on scaling up troops in Iraq. To do so would be political suicide. It makes them look weak and worse, not supportive of the troops.

    Putting more troops in harm's way is not "supportive of the troops." Bringing the troops already in harm's way home is the best way to support the troops. I think most Americans understand this at a gut level.

    And what's with "surge," anyway? What happend to the good old perfectly understandable word "escalation?" Reminds me when our invasion of Cambodia became an "incursion."

    I don't think the American people just voted for an escalation of the war.

  • DAN GRADY (unverified)

    I don't believe in half measures done half hearted when doing anything, but WAR!!!! We are the Americans; we come with overwhelming force so that the mere idea of opposing us is so frightening it’s not worth contemplating!! I’m only 49 years old, and I can remember the folly of Vietnam, I remember our foolishness of trying to impose democracy on nations that aren’t interested in it!! We are suppose to pick our fights as a matter of national security imperatives, not convoluted geopolitical parlor game strategies!

    War is not sport, no do over’s!! No technical fouls, no talking tough, and limping into to battle will do! We are supposed to approach war with overwhelming force, over kill!

    Rumsfeldt’s plan to go to war with the force you have and not the force you wish you had is the most pathetic effort America has ever put forth. We allowed it, we own it! We spent our treasure on it for no return in security, no strategic advantage, and at the greatest cost of prestige and respect which we may never restore!

    We have made our nation all but irrelevant on the international stage. We were only super power left from the Cold War to become just a spoil brat, a bully, and yes now a cry baby!!! We behaved as fools, all of us as we allow these scoundrels to be re-elected, and we empowered them to spend American blood for political ambition without consequence!!

    They spied on us, lied to us, and stole from us and we’ve done nothing!!! We know the problem, do we have the stomach, and the backbone to do what has to be done?!?! Can we afford not to? Do we wait till we have left with our tail between our legs and the region explodes into a Sunni-Shia holy war to do this right??? We will have to return soon enough, am I alone in recognizing this. The oil rich Middle East is not Vietnam, if this spills into Jordan, and Saudi Arabia we will be back in a real war, a World War!!!

    We need to replenish our military with the best ground forces in history; we need to show the world that when America focuses on a security issue for real we cannot be defeated.

    We also need to take measures to punish those who abused their power to perpetuate this disaster!! We need to have these scoundrels brought to justice to reclaim our collective souls as a nation, to be the Home of the Brave, Land of the Free again. We need to make things right to be Americans again!!

    If there is a CEO or corporate officer that got rich over this war, we need to take that riches back, and hold them accountable!! If a President/Vice President, or any cabinet member is found to have lied, or deceived us, we need to prosecute them, we need to see them in a federal prison!! No Pardons!!

    The only way we can come out of this with the least amount of carnage is to show overwhelming forces, we need a draft!! If the world sees us amass a 500,000 man force from a draft, if they see us cleanse our government of it’s scoundrels we may stil yet win our allies back!

    So do we stand by and allow them to do a half assed job of our security, or are we going to do something about it??? Are we going to let them lie to us so our military can be used as their bloody pawns again, and if we do what does that make us??

    Do we deserve democracy?? Civil liberties? We allow it to be abused so easily, and we as a nation standby and do nothing!! We are Americans????

  • linus (unverified)

    Please don't spank Ranger Gordon. We know that he has done some terrible things, but we must recognise that he has spoken for "We the People". Kudos to Gordon Smith for finally condemning the war that we all protested against in 2003. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and we can hear what he has to say about such things as Global Warming, and the proposed LNG ports on the Columbia river. We're going to need all of the help we can get. Maybe with his change of heart we can enlist his support on the impeachment of Dubya, Darth Cheney, and Condoleeza.

    Do-It-Yourself Impeachment

  • Zak J. (unverified)

    I'm still waiting for the politicians on all sides of the Iraq issue to stop posturing and to get serious.

    We have incurred tremendous moral obligations to the Iraqi people, who have bourne the brunt of Bush's and our Senate's blundering over the past 5 years. We have harmed our geostrategic position in ways difficult to measure, and a withdrawal under fire from Iraq is probably going to make that worse. But it may also be too late to acheive anything.

    So we--and our leaders--need to have the grown up discussion about whether (1) any vital national interests are still dependent on us remaining in Iraq and (2) whether any of these can still be acheived after 5 years of incompetence, corruption, missed milestones, increasing alienation of the native population, and the hardening of sectarian attitudes in that country.

    The debate about strategies--surge or no surge?--is a meaningless discussion that ultimately is still about short-term strateigic adjustments that will have no real bearing on the final outcome of this war. Does anyone really think this is actually a "Hail Mary," last-ditch-go-for-broke-effort--a nation of 300,000,000 offering up 20,000 troops for a couple of months? No, it's a pointless P.R. move to let the Prez. blame whoever opposes it for the ultimate failure of his overall policies. (Personally, I think the small surge numbers show Bush has already decided to throw in the towel--after a couple hundred more soldiers and sailors are sacrificed.)

    If we're staying in Iraq; we need to play to win and devise a winning strategy (starting with defining our goals!) If we're not staying; we should leave yesterday and stop thowing lives down the drain. All other discussions are political posturing to go along with the politicians' blow-dried hair.

    Get serious, Gordon. And the rest of them, too.

  • Garrett (unverified)

    Can't remember where I heard it but isn't Bush going to start pouring money into the Iraqi economy when he raises the troop levels? I suppose the theory is that if you get unemployment down from the 50-60% level to 15% there will be less people who want to shoot guns and blow themselves up. He does this at the same time as he raises troop levels and then says its the troop "surge" that is working rather than the fact Iraqis are employed and actually rebuilding their country.

  • j_luthergoober (unverified)

    "It would be a dishonorable thing for the Congress to budget away the bullets..." This rumination after having "budgeted away the butter" for the American citizenry. Our adolescent Senator can say anything he wants, but the point is, how does a subscriber to the "Party of Responsibility" atone for facilitating the liquidation of over 600,000 Iraqis by squandering 2 trillion US dollars, that enabled 50,000 US casualties while racking up an $8, er $9 trillion US Federal debt? Note to Gordon Smith; questioning the price of ordinance ain't a political reparation...

  • Geezer Power (unverified)

    More kudos to Senator Gordon Smith...

    Video: GOP Sen. Gordon Smith opposes surge

    RAW STORY Published: Wednesday January 10, 2007

    In an interview with CNN in the 5am hour this morning, Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) hit Bush's new surge plan and said that Iraq was no longer a US fight. He also said he supported Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-MA) proposal to have Congress to vote on any increase in troops.

  • (Not) Gordon Smith (unverified)
    <h2>Thank you so much for your support. As you've noticed, there has been some changes in my philosophy and a lot less ideology in my political stance. I just want you to know that I've decided to become a servent of We The People, instead of a bought and paid for politician. Yessir...No more golf trips to Scotland, no more lobbying in congress for dubious Neoconservative bills, such as The Healthy Forest's Iniative. Lets do something about the LNG ports that are proposed on the Columbia River. Lets do something about the excess use of chemicals, herbacides, and toxic poisons used for corporate agriculture...Grass seed comes to mind. Please contact me to discuss your concerns, whether you are homeless or a corporate exutive. I am here to represent you as your US Senator...</h2>
in the news 2007

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