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Landrieu still making decisions that could defeat America

Louisiana’s Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu did it again, voting to undercut a strategy to create a sustainable ally out of Iraq, calling into question her political judgment, even her motives.

In July, as did every present Senate Democrat, Landrieu voted for cloture to allow passage of an amendment to next year’s defense appropriations bill that would have had the practical effect of sabotaging the military strategy that promised progress towards winning the battle in Iraq, and a step towards winning the war against terrorism. The amendment would have shortened lengths of tours of duty, making fewer soldiers available for war prosecution thus gutting the plan of Republican Pres. George W. Bush to increase troop strength in Iraq to weaken armed resistance born mainly of adventurism by America’s enemies.

That failed. Over the next two months even as evidence of increased political success in Iraq government’s improving its democratic and civic capacity to lead a stable country was small, militarily demonstrable and substantial progress was made. Last week the report by the overall operation commander and by the ambassador to Iraq confirmed both points. Militarily speaking, with minor qualification the “surge” was accomplishing Bush’s goal.

But instead of supporting an effort beginning to pay large dividends, Democrats decided to make another attempt at undermining the policy, today bringing up the same amendment in a slightly different way in a parliamentary sense, but which still required the same three-fifths majority as did the July cloture vote. Once again, the move failed but, yet again, with all Democrats and a few mistaken Republicans, Landrieu was on the wrong side of the vote.

At the very least, one must wonder about Landrieu’s political judgment on this issue. After the testimony which led to the optimistic assessment, Landrieu brushed off this most valid and reliable data on the situation with “today’s testimony does little to assuage my conviction that a change of strategy is needed in Iraq …. and it is clear that our nation's priorities continue to be misdirected.” In other words, Landrieu employed the old liberal political playbook: if the facts don’t fit your worldview, change the facts. This attitude disserves Louisianans and Americans.

At the very worst, Landrieu is letting politics interfere with her judgment. Democrats have invested themselves in America’s defeat because they know their liberal ideology fails. Unable to compete in the arena of ideas with the conservatism expressed largely by Republicans, they can win elections only by discrediting Republicans in claiming the war was a GOP idea (even as most of them, including Landrieu, voted to support the president in prosecuting it) and cannot be won, and then having defeat occur even if they have to engineer it themselves – because if America wins, Democrats end up further discrediting themselves.

Shame on Landrieu if she has bought into this unprincipled politics, instead of her votes and rhetoric on the matter being a reflection of poor policy decision-making ability. Hopefully, she won’t continue on her flawed path by voting against funding the troops in an upcoming vote. Such as action would confirm further that she leads poorly and hereby provides another example of why a lot of better people than her could be elected as Louisiana’s senator in 2008

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