Big deal

It seems that it’s o.k. for Republicans to criticize the President and even the inconceivably unpopular Iraq war if (1) they’re dead, as in the case of the late President Ford, who strongly opposed the President’s handling of the war (including the decision to have it) according to Bob “Head Courtier” Woodward writing in WaPo; or (2) if their party’s been thrown out of the majority, as in the case of Republican Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon, who gave a rousing speech critical of the Iraq war and its escalation (complete with reference to the word “criminal”).
Smith, of course, voted for the war, along with John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and former TD Darling John Edwards, Joe Biden and others, which, alas, disqualifies him (and them) from having any moral authority on the subject (or most likely from being elected President, another matter entirely; say what you will, but John McCain remains insanely gung ho on the whole war thing, which probably won’t do him any good anyway because the rank and file GOP typical primary voter just doesn’t like him, even if everyone else does… or used to, before he tried to court the rank and file GOP primary voter…)
My point? Oh yes… Gordon… you may be a decent man, but you’re an enabler of very venal, awful people and their extremist policies, which, you have just called “criminal” and I frequently call a lot worse. I didn’t see you lead a filibuster of the repeal of habeas corpus, now did I? You come from a state that has been the coolest (in the good way) on the subject of global warming, and yet you continue to vote and caucus with the party that would prefer that we not even talk about it so we can keep on jacking up oil and coal industry profits, even as we huddle up in hurricane shelters and fight for the world’s last usable water (speaking of which… perhaps the Bush family will be kind enough to invite you in to their new spread in Paraguay… or not…)
After a while, Gordon, I just look at you, and Snowe and Collins of Maine, and the soon to be ex-Senator Chafee, and say… WTF? YOU ARE ENABLING PEOPLE WHO DO THINGS THAT YOU KNOW ARE WRONG. The overhwhelming majority of the time. And you frequently vote with them (though the vote for caucus leader is the only one that counts.)
So… as interesting as the occasional speech you just gave might be, indeed, it might even be refreshing rhetorically, it ultimately means little or nothing, Gordon. And worse, I tend to agree that you are doing this out of conscience, rather than a craven desire to appease your state’s voters. To which I say: BIG DEAL. What you are is an enabler of an extremist party… worse… a party you (and your constituents) mostly disagree with.
So spare us.