02 October 2008

Oregon Senate Race: Smith v. Merkley

Gordon Smith disappointed me on the war. Initially, like 80% of Americans and most of the Senate & House, he supported it. And through the course of the war, he pretty much stuck to his support with occasional criticism. But then, when our forces in Iraq were in their darkest hour, he wavered and began to oppose the war.

As a fellow BYU alum, this was frustrating. I understood that he wanted to get re-elected this year and saw what happened in 2006. But I thought he took the wrong lesson from Republican losses in 2006. I thought the message was that the public was dissatisfied with corruption and big government Republicans who had not stayed true to core conservative principles. I wished and wish Gordon Smith had maintained his support of the war and The Surge as John McCain did. In July 2007, I wrote:
[I] may not agree with Senator McCain about campaign finance or immigration or a number of other things, but we admire his stalwart support of the current surge in Iraq. McCain gets it. He understands that retreat and loss in Iraq would result in hundreds of thousands maybe millions of deaths there and a huge setback in the War on Terror. McCain is willing to lose a Presidential election because of his unpopular yet principled stand. That's what leaders do. It's unfortunate some of his fellow Republican Senators aren't willing to take the same risk with their elected position. Senator Gordon Smith, [I'm] talking about you. Just because the Democrats are willing to play politics with the war, doesn't mean you or Senator Domenici or anyone has to. Senator Lieberman's win last fall is proof that elected officials can want to win in Iraq and persuade their constituents to re-elect them. [I'm] embarrassed to share [my] alma mater with Senator Smith.
Either way, he's still better than Jeff Merkley.

If you have tips, questions, comments or suggestions, email me at lybberty@gmail.com.