Lost in Iraq: The Election, Republicans, and Conservatives

In one of the most memorable lines in American political history, Joseph Welch, the patrician Boston lawyer, asked Sen. Joseph McCarthy, “Have you no sense of decency?”  Traditional conservatives should be asking the so-called neoconservatives if they have no sense of shame.

In the pages of Vanity Fair, on various television interviews, and in other media, the neocons have been trying to shift blame for our disaster in Iraq.  We should not let them escape responsibility, however—for Iraq or for the numerous Republican losses on Election Day.  Not only did the GOP suffer big losses in both the House and Senate, but several members who eked out narrow victories will face much tougher challenges two years from now.

It is almost sickening to read and hear Richard Perle, Bill Kristol, Kenneth Adelman (of “cakewalk” fame), and other architects of the misadventure in Iraq say that the war would have been successful if more troops had been sent or if the Bush administration had not botched it.  The worst thing, without question, is that nearly 3,000 young Americans have been killed, and many thousands more have been horribly wounded.  Our soldiers do a great job wherever they are sent, and it is certainly no criticism of them to say this was an unnecessary war.

A secondary but still important ramification of all this is the loss of conservative seats in...

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