Take the Trip Already

The lefty blogosphere was all abuzz last month when Senators Jim Webb and Lindsay Graham faced off on Meet the Press. The consensus was that Webb performed brilliantly and nailed Graham for politicizing the troops. I watched this clip over and over hoping to get the same feeling but one thing kept me from joining in the jubilee of my cohorts. It came when Graham asked Webb if he had ever been to Iraq. The answer was no.

Now, as a point in fact, whether Webb had been there or not made no difference to the success or failure of his argument. One need not go there to see that the Republican party has made a career out of wrapping themselves in the valor of our brave men an women in uniform. That being said, his point hit me fairly hard. For a man who was elected in part because of his military background it was a major surprise to hear he had not gone. I would have expected it to have been his first official act for Christ’s sake.

Sadly, Webb is not the only Senator to have come this far in the war and not taken the trip to Iraq.

Never visited
John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)
Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.)
Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)
Pete Domenici (R-N.M.)
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
Tim Johnson (D-S.D.)
Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)
Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)
Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)
Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Jon Tester (D-Mont.)
George Voinovich (R-Ohio)
Jim Webb (D-Va.)

Didn’t return calls/would not comment
Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.)
Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
Trent Lott (R-Miss.)
Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Now, I know this may seem un-Democrat-like but there is an obvious pattern here and it is the D next to many of these names. With the exception of Robert Byrd, who gets a pass on his age, the rest of these folks don’t have much of an excuse. If it is indeed a “dog and pony show” as Senator Webb claimed on Meet the Press then take the freakin’ trip already. You would certainly gain more credibility on the single largest issue of the day if you did.

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