Mrs. Bysiewicz has called for U.S. troops to leave Afghanistan as soon as practicable and, by so doing, got a jump on the laggard Mr. Murphy, who has been advertising himself in different venues as the progressive’s progressive.
The modern progressives, nearly all of them Democrats, not so long ago were bestirring themselves as anti-war zealots. Who can forget Cindy Sheehan’s often reported march on former President George Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch?
During the Bush presidency, the air crackled with fervent calls by then presidential campaigner Barack Obama to shut down the Iraq war shortly after the Petraeus surge had been launched. The progressives were hot on closing down GITMO, still open for business. A not yet dead Sen. Edward Kennedy and several excitable congresspersons were besieged by leftists in the Democratic Party to start an investigation that might, God willing, lead to impeachment proceedings against the president and his dark star, former Vice President Dick Cheney. A bill of particulars, eerily resembling Mr. Obama’s venture into Libya, was drawn up by Ronnie Dugger and published in the Texas Observer:
“Bush announced in 2002 his illegal presidential policy that the United States can and will attack other nations first, waging war on them, when he so decides. He is now waging, as if he were doing it in our names, a bloody war of aggression against Iraq, which on the face of it is a crime against humanity under the Nuremberg principles that we and our allies established and enforced with hangings after World War II.”These were heady times.
All this rhetorical effluvia was launched before President Barack Obama began to morph into Mr. Bush, at least in matters of foreign policy. Domestic policy wise, the president still stands staunchly a bit to the right of Senator Karl Marx. But even here, disappointed progressive Democrats have noticed some unfortunate slippage.
Mrs. Bysiewicz’s bold and unambiguous call for a removal of troops from what has been called “the graveyard of empires” opens the door, unfortunately for Democrats, to a reconsideration of Mr. Obama’s “war of choice” in Afghanistan.
A few weeks ago, dark star Cheney characterized the assassination of Osama bin Laden as "a tremendous achievement for the military and intelligence professionals who carried out this important mission." And the ex-Vice President even went so far as to bestow a compliment on the Democratic president: “I also want to congratulate President Obama and the members of his national security team.” And then Mr. Cheney predictably went and spoiled it all, warning that the war on terror must continue. "Al Qaeda,” said Mr. Cheney “remains a dangerous enemy. Though bin Laden is dead, the war goes on."
Mrs. Bysiewicz and Mr. Murphy, both courting the progressive vote in bluer than blue Connecticut, beg to differ with Mr. Cheney and, perhaps more importantly, with each other.
On a return trip from Afghanistan, Mr. Murphy sent out to his progressive supporters an e-mail in which he said he supported a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan but favored a “long standing presence” in the country.
He was vigorously attacked by Mrs. Bysiewicz, who said “"I strongly disagree with Congressman Murphy on this issue." Mrs. Bysiewitz also took a roundhouse swipe at retiring Sen. Lieberman: “Connecticut Democrats deserve a replacement to Senator Joe Lieberman who will consistently be progressive on removing US troops from Afghanistan."
Following the dust up, former chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee John Droney, long a Lieberman supporter and a political realist, archly observed that the most leftward liberal of the two would want to capture the affections of progressives in a primary race. Mrs. Bysiewicz’s linking of Mr. Murphy and Mr. Lieberman, reviled by progressives, therefore might be a politically astute move.
Mr. Murphy affected a fetching bewilderment. What ever could Mrs. Bysiewicz mean? Does she favor a withdrawl of troops, like, tomorrow?
Neither of the two Democratic contenders for the U.S. Senate have been asked a question put to presidential spokesperson Jay Carney in a recent press gaggle. Asked on May 13 whether the Obama administration was prepared to ask Congress for approval to continue the participation in the no-fly zone in Libya, the president’s official spokesman, Jay Carney, responded,“I don’t have anything with regard to the 60-day issue, if that’s what you’re referring to.”
Unlike Mr. Obama, who sought authority from the United Nations rather than the U.S. Congress when he ordered the bombing of Libya, Mr. Bush was in compliance with the War Powers Act, which requires the president to seek authority from Congress 60 days after engaging in a war theatre.
The clock on the War Powers Act is ticking. Are the two Democratic contenders for Mr. Lieberman’s seat in the congress concerned?