Think Pleasant Thoughts About Voinovich & Hagel — But Slow Down Calls


This may sound odd because I feel that it is the public’s right and responsibility to communicate criticism and praise regarding the positions our elected leaders take.
However, word has been reached here that Senator Voinovich can be negatively influenced by a mountain of phone calls from some organized campaign. Certainly, a blog or two could not be confused as generating such a campaign, but I wanted to share this intelligence.
Maybe Move America Forward folks can do the irritating. I don’t want to tell people NOT to call Voinovich. I don’t believe in that. Outreach that’s genuine and even-mannered can be an excellent thing.
But I did want to be open about the intelligence I received that Voinovich “prizes his independence.”
And while it may sound odd in these times, all I can say is “amen to that.”
On the Hagel front, there are some who don’t want to give him any credit for what happened in today’s hearings. I don’t buy that for a second. While Hagel may have said that he was inclined to vote for Bolton in Committee and then against him on the floor of the Senate, he made clear the collapsing nature of his confidence in Bolton.
As TWN wrote the other day, if Hagel, Voinovich, Murkowski, or Alexander broke ranks, it would be embarrassing and complicated for Senator Lincoln Chafee — who should have been out front and leading in this case. Voinovich stunned them all, but TWN thought this might happen, at least with one of the rarely mentioned Republican senators other than Norm Coleman and George Allen.
Hagel said the right things after Voinovich. I give him credit, and we should all appreciate his support. These guys are under some kind of huge pressure.
Joe Biden, Dodd, Boxer, Feingold, Obama, Bill Nelson, John Kerry, and Paul Sarbanes did a herculean, magnificent job of showing what minority opposition OUGHT to look like. I think we have all been waiting for a principled victory — and not something that has looked like concession before the fight had even begun.
I’m proud of them, and of Senator Reid today on the floor. And I think it’s important to be magnanimous during this time. Senator Lugar had reasons to do what he did, and after watching Japanese politics for a long time, there is something to “fighting valiantly” as Lugar did even though the tide was turning against him.
Many of my readers will disagree, but if we do succeed in blocking Bolton, the next agenda will be to do what we can to support a sensible, principled foreign policy agenda that Lugar, Chafee, Hagel, Voinovich and others might be willing to embrace.
They are responding to pressure from the White House, but there is new pressure making itself apparent. . .and that is a great thing.
Congrats to all of you who choose to be informed.
More later. . .I promise.
— Steve Clemons