It’s been a while since I directly responded to another blogger. Such things tend to be a waste of time and bandwith, even among fellow right-wingers (remember the Virgil Goode flap?). However, this time I need to speak up, because I’m afraid a lot of people in Virginia’s rightosphere simply don’t understand what so many of us have against Jim Gilmore.
I detailed my views in this link, but I feel the need to repeat it: James Gilmore – in an op-ed in the Washington Post while he was running for President, no less – turned on President Bush and the liberation of Iraq. At the time when the President, the nation, and our troops needed us (pundits, bloggers, and candidates) most, Jim Gilmore ran up the white flag.
Once again, here are his words from the July 18, 2007 op-ed (here’s the link again, emphasis added):
It has been my position that this troop increase should be given an opportunity to work. Increasingly, however, reports show that attacks on our troops, Iraqi police and civilians are not abating. It is clear from the statements previously made by your administration that there was never any intention to become embroiled in a guerrilla war, urban or otherwise. American power is not advantaged in such a situation. Trying to fight a guerrilla war in the cities and towns of Iraq has opened opportunities for terrorist enemies such as al-Qaeda and fostered an environment for a Shiite-Sunni civil war in which we have no stake.
. . .
I believe the only realistic alternative — the least bad option, if you will — is a limited deliberate drawdown of our military men and women and a redeployment of the forces remaining in the region to areas where they can more efficiently and effectively carry out a clearly defined mission . . . maintaining — either at bases in Iraq at the request of Iraq or in bases in Turkey, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia — a military force powerful enough to launch special operations missions against al-Qaeda or Sunni insurgents in Iraq; train Iraqi troops to defend their own country; and guarantee the security of the Iraqi government, if so desired by Iraq.
. . .
American interests come down to protection of our national security, protection of Israel’s right to exist, and averting, if possible, a general war in the Middle East, nuclear or otherwise. Our present conduct in Iraq distracts from or is detrimental to those goals.
Simply put, these are not the words of someone I want in the Senate; they are not the words of someone any of you should want in the Senate either. These are not the words of a knowledgeable person on national security; these are not the words of a person determined to win the Wahhabist-Ba’athist-Khomeinist War. Finally, Chris, these are not the words of “a conservative who . . . will actually work at building the party.”
Jim Webb Gilmore will tear the Republican Party of Virginia apart; his words will provide endless campaign ads for Hillary Clinton (or Barack Obama, or John Edwards, etc.); his nomination will send a signal to the nation (to say nothing of the rest of the world) that the Republican Party’s resolve on the WBK War is fading.
We . . . cannot . . . allow . . . this . . . to . . . happen.
This is why the folks at National Review are looking so hard, far, and wide for alternatives, and it is why I am, too.
If this were 2009, and Gilmore was running for Governor, I wouldn’t be posting this, but it’s a U.S. Senate race. The WBK War will be issue number one, and Jim Gilmore is weak.
He cannot be the nominee.