This is one of those moments when you'd just like to grab the politicians by the lapels and shake them. Virginia Senate candidate gave the Democratic radio address today and promised that the Democrats would provide a remedy to the Iraq war when they are put in power. What exactly the wonderful, magical remedy will be, that he didn't say. Just the usual empty, non-positions that continue to show the Democrats do not have any ideas, only criticism.
The former Republican, who was President Reagan's Navy secretary, said in the Democrats' weekly radio address that Bush's "incompetence" in Iraq had undercut the fight against terrorism.
Webb is locked in a close race in Virginia against Republican Sen. George Allen that could determine whether the Senate remains in GOP control.
"Since 2003, President Bush has laid out nine different plans for victory in Iraq, none of them serious and none of them workable. And most seriously, this incompetence has hindered our ability to fight international terror," Webb said.
It marked the second time since July 1 that Webb, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, has given the Democrats' address. Both times, his focus has been Iraq.
Webb warned in a newspaper column in 2002, the year before Bush ordered the Iraq invasion, that a war there would destabilize the oil-rich Middle East and mire U.S. forces in a bloody and protracted conflict. As of Friday, 2,810 American troops had died in Iraq.
"It gives me no great pleasure today to be saying `I told you so,'" said Webb, whose son, Jimmy, is a Marine on active duty in Iraq. "It pains me as an American that our casualties are again escalating while this president and his followers are still incapable of bringing forward an intelligent, commonsense approach to ending our involvement there."
Webb cited Iraq and other Bush-backed policies among his reasons for leaving the GOP. Now, other Republicans are reaching the same conclusions he did about the war.
"Over the past several weeks a few realists in the Republican Party, such as (Virginia) Sen. John Warner and former Secretary of State Jim Baker, have begun to make their voices heard. They are moving away from the fantasy world of this administration, toward real solutions," Webb said.
What solutions? Empty words are not a program. The capper here is that Webb as good as admits they have no plan whatsoever.
"A Democratic Congress will demand from day one that the president find a real way forward in Iraq. We'll work with the administration and other Republicans to develop a concrete plan, but none of us are ready to settle for empty rhetoric, or the same old unacceptable results," Webb said.
He'll demand Bush find a way forward. He won't actually help find that path. This is why the Democrats are not credible on defense.