Wars and Republican Lawmakers

It seems that any debate about the war in Iraq is treason in some quarters. Via Steve Benen, a look at how Republicans looked at other wars.

“What’s more, this phenomenon isn’t limited to 1995 and Bosnia.

When Republicans didn’t like the conflict in Somalia in 1993, the congressional GOP decided Congress had all kinds of authority to intervene, whether the president liked it or not. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), for example, on Oct. 19, 1993, argued that Congress had the power to force Clinton to begin an “immediate, orderly withdrawal from Somalia.” He added, “[I]f we do not do that and other Americans die, other Americans are wounded, other Americans are captured because we stay too long — longer than necessary — then I would say that the responsibilities for that lie with the Congress of the United States who did not exercise their authority under the Constitution of the United States.”

Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) said Congress should “force the administration to find a way out of the quagmire.” Dirk Kempthorne (R-Idaho) said it was up to the Senate “to get the American troops home.” Slade Gorton (R-Wash.) said, “It is time to retreat now…. It is time to leave and for this body, it is time to debate this issue.” Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) said, “I cannot continue to support … the continuing endangerment of Americans in the service of a policy that remains absolutely mysterious and totally muddled.””