With Congress in its Easter recess, I'm looking around for reports on how constituents are grading the early performance of new Democrat House Members. I've noted that some Freshman Democrats in swing seats have already taken several votes that could be unpopular with constituents - most notably for the Iraq withdrawal and the Democratic tax increase. Here's one item from a newspaper in Utica, New York - in the district of Democrat Michael Arcuri. It's a survey of 5 ordinary people, and Congressman Arcuri - asking them their views on Iraq. The reaction is mixed, but here's one that caught my eye - and which Mr. Arcuri could not have welcomed:
Mother Marine Sgt. Elisha Parker, killed in Iraq in 2006
Should we withdraw our troops from Iraq?
I would say no. I don't think we should withdraw them until we are done with our mission over there and I'm quite upset with Congress and the politicians. We feel that they are using our soldiers as game pieces in their little game, and their lives are at stake. They are taking this bill to say, 'yes they'll fund our troops, but they have to be withdrawn by 2008,' and they have added lots of little projects to that bill. Is it about our soldiers or is it about areas that they represent? Do they really care about or soldiers or is it about money? And they are tying the funds for our soldiers to an arbitrary date in the future.
I wish they wouldn't interfere. Our president is the commander-in-chief. You don't know what the future holds. You don't know if things will get better. In a war how can you say the end of next year we are going to withdraw troops?
They want American to give up and just forget about it and live our lives. Personally I believe that area in Iraq is a very important battleground for our future.
If we leave Iraq it's not going to be over, the battle is going to continue somewhere some place. They are not going to just leave us alone if we pull out of there. They have a much bigger agenda than just the war in Iraq.
Is the war winnable?
I'm not one to give up easily, I think perseverance is a great quality and I think that yes, of course, it's winnable. It's been much harder and more difficult and more costly in money and regarding the lives of our troops, and it's hit home much closer than we ever dreamed of, but I think it is winnable.