Webb gave it a great shot today. I can't express how sad I am that he was done in by John Warner. The only explanation for Warner's terrible decision is that he wasn't wholly sincere in his pre-retirement announcement that a meaningful, albeit small, withdrawal was necessary. Once Warner did announce his retirement, he should have been more free, not less, to demonstrate his independence from Bush.
Bush's stance is, as it has been; he will not compromise, and he will not countenance a loss on any vote. At this point, the Dems would have to shut down funding for the war to accomplish any change. Alternatively, they could try to impeach and convict both Bush and Cheney. It just so happens that I'm in that still too small group who would favor such extreme actions. I challenge anyone who does disagree with Bush, but isn't willing to support those extreme actions, to shift focus to Congressional Republicans. While they don't have any more direct control over Bush than their Democratic counterparts, many of them have already begun their re-election campaigns.
My representative, Tom Davis, is waiting until after our state elections this November to officially announce his intentions for next year. People more knowledgeable than I predict that Davis will try to succeed John Warner in the U.S. Senate, and that Warner himself seeks that result. Davis has said absolutely nothing to discourage such talk. I also happen to be represented in the VA Senate by Davis' wife. Davis is campaigning vigorously for his wife. He's justifying a vote for his wife, in part, relying on his personal credibility. Davis has been anything but clear about where he stands on withdrawing our troops. I ask my fellow constituents of VA-11 to demand that Davis tell us where he stands on the war. If he won't clearly state that he would have voted with Webb today, it's fair to assume he'd act just like his mentor and the man he probably hopes to replace. That's unacceptable to me. I'm going to vote for Chap Petersen over Ms. Davis anyway, but I'd like to believe that on the most important issue facing us today, if someone siding with Bush asked me to vote for a particular person, I'd be highly inclined not to.