Today, ABC News reports that 28 Senators, knowing what they know today would not have voted to authorize the President to go to war in Iraq. Mostly Democrats, it's not a surprising statement, because we've been hearing several members or former members of the Senate (e.g. John Edwards) say their vote was a mistake.
Indeed it was. We now know that Iraq had no WMD, that Saddam was not a threat and that the Iraqi government had nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorist attacks on America on September of 2001.
The mistake the Senators have confessed to is the wrong mistake. One wonders how many of them would have come to the realization of the mistake had things taken a different turn in Iraq. What if we had indeed been greeted as Liberators? What if democracy had taken root in Iraq and the Shiite and Sunni factions put all their ethnic differences aside and started to rebuild Iraq in a harmonious manner? Would they still consider it a mistake? Would they have voted differently based on the outcome?
No, that wasn't the mistake. The mistake, which is why the Senate and House have egg on their faces is that they weasled out of their responsibility identified in the Constitution to declare war. By voting to give the President these powers to use force as he see fits, they were attempting to establish a "defense shield" that keeps them from harm if things went poorly. And Boy, did they! If things went well, it would also allow them to pat themselves on the back and say "We were right their with you Mr. President!" Isn't it great we rid the world of a notorious dictator and freed a people and brought Democracy to the middle east!
Well, now they are playing the distancing game. As the George Bush Presidency crashes and burns, the US Congress is stepping all over themselves trying to put distance between them and the White House. It's disgusting really, that this body of government shirks its constitutional responsibility for political cover.
I cannot stand George Bush. I think he is without a doubt the worst president in my life time, and I've lived through every president since Eisenhower. I will say this for him though, he's stayed true to his belief that this is right. In this case he's significantly more admirable than the Congress. At least he continues to support his decision, no matter how wrong-headed it is. The US Congress (excepting those who voted against the war from the outset) are a bunch of two-faced weasels who tried to have their cake and eat it too. A pox on all of them.