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In today's Columbus Dispatch, moderate Republican Senator George Voinovich--the same man who teared up while lamenting the inevitable appointment of John Bolton to head up the UN--ripped the Bush Administration's foreign policy and presidential leadership in no uncertain terms.

Says Voinovich:

"Our public diplomacy is the worst that it's ever been in the history of this country."

The fact that I can fairly call George Voinovich a "moderate Republican" is as indicative of the contemporary place of the Republican Party as are Voinovich's criticisms of its leader. As the mayor of Cleveland and the governor of Ohio, Voinovich was an unquestionable conservative, and a popular one at that. He has been conspicuously quiet during the Bush Administration, however, except when rebuking the Administration.

It is certainly possible that this has all been political maneuvering in able to hold onto his seat next fall.

But the criticisms are no less accurate even if such were the case.

"We all got conned -- everybody," Voinovich says regarding the rationale the Bush Administration championed prior to the Iraqi War, a rationale that Voinovich helped to enable to voting to send us to war. Sadly, Voinovich is yet to apologize for his initial support.

But that doesn't mean that Voinovich remains in lockstep with the president. And herein lies the most newsworthy item of Voinovich's remarks: He believes it's time for us to leave Iraq.

"I would tell [Bush] on the war that I would try to extricate myself as gracefully as I possibly can."

Voinovich said that Bush must stress anew to the Iraqis that American support "is not open-ended. We've got to let these people know that we're on our way out, and it's going to be your baby."

The entire piece is couched in the news that Voinovich recently pleaded with Colin Powell to run for President in 2008. That misguided desire was articulated this way by Voinovich when he spoke to Powell:

"I said [to Powell], 'You have a moral obligation and I have a moral obligation, and this country is running out of time. And if you're running out of time, then I'm running out of time, and I think we have a moral obligation to try to leave a better legacy than it looks like we're going to leave to our kids.'"

This is all very true, Senator Voinovich. But if we're to leave a better legacy, we'll need you to do more than ask Colin Powell to run for President, and to criticize President Bush in a regional newspaper.

We thank you for your patriotic dissent. But we humbly request a little bit more than that to ensure that your assertion of a moral obligation proves sincere and true.

Originally posted to The Wife of Bath on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:20 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you, Senator Voinovich (20+ / 0-)

    This is a good start.

    Now step up and lead your fellow reasonable Republicans with the kind of passion that will be necessary to end this war and bring our troops home.

    >> If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. | JAMES MADISON

    by The Wife of Bath on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:12:27 PM PDT

  •  Sorry, Can't thank Senator Voinovich (8+ / 0-)

    While I agree with his comments of today, this is a case of a person who whistles with the wind and is changing positions as the polls change positions.

    And although he's not as nuts as 90% of his caucus, Voinovich is no moderate.

    Voinovich could have showed leadership prior to 2004 when he knew everything he knows today.  But he didn't.

  •  this "not open-ended" crap (5+ / 0-)

    is getting old already; it seems to be the new 'thing' some republicans are trying to 'distinguish themselves' from Bush. Voinovich JUST voted against the Iraq supplemental.

    He's made it clear where he stands - with Bush

    "People hate Bush and hate this war. It's that simple, and it's been true for quite some time" - Atrios

    by atrexler on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:20:41 PM PDT

    •  Agree wholeheartedly, this is crap (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homoaffectional

      He kinda says that war should end, but doesn't say when, and then votes against a bill to end the war.  These Repugs are really twisting themselves up in knots these days trying to have it every which way on the Iraq war, and they can't.  Either they can stand up and show some leadership or they should just shut the f*** up.

  •  He Should Change Parties (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homoaffectional

    Or at least stop voting lock, stock and barrel with the George Bush agenda.  What a joke.  See you in Hell for your part in this, Sen. Voinovich.

    Middle Class Mother-F!cking Warrior

    by bink on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:21:52 PM PDT

  •  How did he vote on thr Iraq supplemental bill??? (9+ / 0-)

    My recollection is that we only had two crossovers in the Senate. Hagel and Smith. Until he puts his money where his mouth is he's just another gop hack.

  •  Lets pull him in. Lets PULL HIM IN. (3+ / 0-)

    He's a guy who fell off the boat who is looking for a life preserver. Lets send him one marked "veto override", and then pull him onto our ship.

    Once the war is ending, throw em back overboard and win that seat for Democrats.

    Like Obama says, "we need 16 votes." Lets start working em over one by one.

    "I got seven MAC-11s, about eight 38s , nine 9s, ten MAC-10s -the s**ts never end!" - Biggie Smalls

    by brooklynbadboy on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:25:18 PM PDT

    •  Throw him a life (0+ / 0-)

      perserver and then throw him back overboard after he helps us end the war?

      Sorry, that is exactly how Rove would handle things and I think that we are better than that.

      If Voinovich votes to end the war then he should ceaese to be a top takeover target; perhaps he might convert to our side becuase of Iraq just like former Reagan Cabinet officer Jim Webb.

      My Candidate's 10-point plan is less eye-glazing that Your Candidate's 10-point plan

      by Sam I Am on Sun May 06, 2007 at 02:11:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please tell the Senator for me that nearly (4+ / 0-)

    4,000 American life's later and billions of dollars spent on this Neo-Con whet dream has left me bereft of feelings for his tears.

    Vote correctly, not rubber-stamply and we might take you seriously.  Until then, you are just a wanna be elected again Senator.

    Now, back to work! -6.00, -6.21

    by funluvn1 on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:29:08 PM PDT

  •  Too bad Voino isn't up for relection until 2010 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    GWould love to see Paul Hackett come after him in 2010.  Saying Buh Bye to Voino would be welcomed by me here in Ohio.  Voino continued to let Cleveland rust away as Mayor, same for Ohio as Governor, both at key times when a major course correction was obviously necessary. Sound familiar?

    Folks like Voino that were in lock step with the Preznit on oh so many decrepit and immoral issues and activities deserve the boot, end of story.    

    The November 2008 Tsudemi Approacheth!

    by Public Servant on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:31:08 PM PDT

    •  On Cleveland (0+ / 0-)

      I have to take issue with one bit of what you said: he did in fact take positive steps to get Cleveland on track in the 1980's.  He helped Forest City revive the abandoned Union Terminal (which sits under Terminal Tower); he coaxed Society Bank and Sohio to build two new headquarters downtown; he laid the groundwork for Gateway, the Rock Hall, and the Great Lakes Science Center.

      NO mayor of Cleveland has tackled the big issues that need to be tackled: amalgamation at the county level, construction of a proper public transportation system, and programs to empower and educate the urban poor.  He wasn't the first to fail there, and he was the best (other than White) that the city has had in my lifetime.  

      •  OK, so he did't F up Cleveland... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, wecandoit7

        did't make it much better, didn't make it much worse.  Same for Ohio.  But the problem is that when Cleveland and later Ohio were at a crossroads, Voinovich was at the helm...and instead of making the tough but necessary course corrections, he took a pass and instead settled on shining things up a bit...and moving on to the Senate.  Taft just kicked it up another notch.  Gonna take a long time to recover from the complete F'ing mess that Voinovich and Taft left for the Dems to fix.  Ohio is what, first in bankruptcies, foreclosures, lost jobs, etc.  We're what, running neck and redneck now with laughable states like West Virgina and Arkansas in education.  

        Guess we'll have to agree to disagree on George Voinovich.      

        The November 2008 Tsudemi Approacheth!

        by Public Servant on Sun May 06, 2007 at 02:19:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  All the things you mention (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne
        were giveaways, erected at the expense of the city's people. This continued into the uultra-corrupt White administration which pretty much put the nail in Cleveland's coffin. with this valuing of big, splashy, expensive, taxpayer-financed downtown pleasure palaces while the neighbors eroded from within. The Rock Hall especially has fallen drastically short of expected attendance; the entertainment hub that the Rock Hal land Science Center were supposed to jointly create never materialized. Taxpayers have bailed out Gateway which has never paid for itself and which never created a fraction of the jobs they lied to ys it would. Sohio is long gone; Tower City (Terminal Tower) never took off and has become a wasteland of dollar stores and cell-phone cover kiosks. Even  stores like the Gap are long gone. Now the richie-riches want us to build them a convention center, surely the last thing Cleveland needs. Meanwhile, take a drive sometime down Cedar or Quincy and get a gander at Baghdad USA. There is no functioning economy in some neighborhoods at all. Cleveland never shared in the prosperity of the 90s and it never recovered from the recession of the early 00s. No wonder places like the Rock Hall are irrelevant; not many of us can afford the $20 admission.

        A new beginning for Ohio: The adults have taken over!

        by anastasia p on Sun May 06, 2007 at 04:27:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They were a good start, though... (0+ / 0-)

          For all the corruption, White at least ran a government there.  And Voinovich had laid groundwork.  If the opportunities created by the investments I noted above had been seized, we wouldn't be bemoaning the continued decline of the Cleveland core.

          And let's not forget, Cleveland did well (by Cleveland standards) during the 1990's.  Population loss stabilized (before nosediving again under Campbell and Jackson); large-scale projects got built; the city's reputation temporarily rebounded.

          Now, I supported Mayor Jane for a while, but ultimately she did a terrible job and my support was misplaced.  She was the first mayor in the city's history to say in a state of the city address that it wasn't a great American city.  ("We're a good city, not yet great." - Yeah, that's the way to stir the soul!)

          Now, the area has serious problems of the first order - no serious public transportation, no real adaptation to the global economy, a landlocked airport, the worst sprawl-vs-population ratio in the country... the list goes on and on.  Voinovich didn't stop any of that, and neither did White or Campbell or Jackson.

          I am just tossing a little credit in Voino's direction for the handful of things he did right.  And despite White's shortcomings - he was still the best in a very, very long time.

  •  He's feeling the heat (4+ / 0-)

    as Ohio trends blue.

    Ohio residents should shower him with letters encouraging him to make a clean and total break with the Administration's Iraq policy.

  •  What are his plans in 2010? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Public Servant, homoaffectional

    Does the OH Democratic Party plan to go after him aggressively that cycle?

    http://www.keen.com/jiacinto For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

    by jiacinto on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:32:50 PM PDT

    •  Busy trying to talk Colin Powell into running... (0+ / 0-)

      these past few weeks. Probably seems himself as the VP candidate in a Powell/Voinovich ticket.  

      The November 2008 Tsudemi Approacheth!

      by Public Servant on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:38:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have no inside knowledge (0+ / 0-)
      But my gut says Voinie will not run again. He will be 74 in 2010 and he just looks so damned defeated from six years of trying to hold back the neocon debacle that has destroyed his party. The newly revived Democratic party is going after EVERYTHING. You'll see at least a couple of congressional pickups next year, and with the wealth of great potential candidates we've got for 2010, things are looking good.

      A new beginning for Ohio: The adults have taken over!

      by anastasia p on Sun May 06, 2007 at 04:33:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP on the Hill don't want to play (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brooklynbadboy

    anymore.  They see that Bush's game is a losing one, for the GOP in 2008 and the GOP as a party.  They will continue to crack in the weeks and months ahead.

    "There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by duha on Sun May 06, 2007 at 01:35:28 PM PDT

  •  Powell for president? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc

    You mean the same Colin Powell that made false statments to the UN to close the deal on the Iraq invasion? Right. That's exactly the kind of moral leadership we need in America right now. That'll improve our legacy.

    •  Powell's time is past (0+ / 0-)
      and I think he knows it. He investigated running in 2000 and determined the country wasn't ready. Whether it's more ready now seems questionable recently but Powell ceded his shot when he stuck by George Bush until after the 2004. He could have changed the course of the country by standing up for the truth and resigning before the election.

      A new beginning for Ohio: The adults have taken over!

      by anastasia p on Sun May 06, 2007 at 04:35:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some republics have a conscience (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, RosyFinch

    or they listen to their constituents. He is one who either listens to his conscience or to the public who has had enough of this war, of these liers. Well done Senator. That is why people sent you to the Senate... to do the people's business.

  •  Why did he vote against the timetables? (4+ / 0-)

    And I don't think his re-election is until 2010, I could be wrong.

    If the Republicans promise to stop telling lies about us, maybe we'll stop telling the truth about them..

    by Romaniac on Sun May 06, 2007 at 02:10:13 PM PDT

  •  George Voinovich (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidkc, bayside, cwaltz, homoaffectional

    Voinovich is really good at getting headlines for comments suggesting disagreement with Bush (tax cuts, John Bolton, etc) but he is always with Bush when the actual vote is cast.

  •  Show some action, not just words.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homoaffectional

    I have heard this before from him..A lot..  He whines about bush then votes in lockstep with bush..

  •  I have called Voinovich's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homoaffectional

    office numerous times. Friendly staff. All talk. No action.

    "There must be more to life than having everything" -Maurice Sendak

    by lilypew on Sun May 06, 2007 at 03:04:06 PM PDT

    •  And he's got a spiffy redesigned web site (0+ / 0-)
      or as he calls it "online office." Meanwhile our other Senator, Sherrod  Brown, still hasn't gotten an actual permanent web site at all. C'mon, Sherrod, get with the program. I'll bet one of those Case College Democrats who campaigned so hard for you could put one up for you in an evening.

      A new beginning for Ohio: The adults have taken over!

      by anastasia p on Sun May 06, 2007 at 04:39:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't kid yourself (3+ / 0-)

    Voinovich ain't no moderate.  He's rightwing.  

    Strongly Opposes  topic 1:
    Abortion is a woman's right

    Opposes  topic 3:
    Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws

    Favors  topic 4:
    Teach family values in public schools

    Opposes  topic 5:
    More federal funding for health coverage

    Strongly Favors  topic 6:
    Privatize Social Security

    Strongly Favors  topic 9:
    Mandatory Three Strikes sentencing laws

    Favors  topic 10:
    Absolute right to gun ownership

    Strongly Opposes  topic 14:
    The Patriot Act harms civil liberties

    NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007: Strongly Opposes topic 17


    "Republicans tell you that government doesn't work. Then they get elected, and they prove it" - (Future Senator) Al Franken

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun May 06, 2007 at 03:24:22 PM PDT

  •  huh? (0+ / 0-)

    Powell's diplomatic skills are needed now more than ever, Voinovich said, making his point with perhaps an unintended but damning assessment of Bush's foreign policy.

    "Our public diplomacy is the worst that it's ever been in the history of this country.



    U-N-I-N-T-E-N-D-E-D ??????!!!!!!

    THIT!!  I think I thust thwallowed my tuggue.


    "Republicans tell you that government doesn't work. Then they get elected, and they prove it" - (Future Senator) Al Franken

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun May 06, 2007 at 03:28:40 PM PDT

  •  fuck (0+ / 0-)

    I hope this huge lie doesn't make it into the history books.......

    "We all got conned -- everybody," Voinovich said, not blaming Powell or anyone else in particular, but lamenting that the right questions were not asked of the right people in the run-up to war.

    He should resign his seat in the Senate just for SAYING that.


    "Republicans tell you that government doesn't work. Then they get elected, and they prove it" - (Future Senator) Al Franken

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun May 06, 2007 at 03:31:03 PM PDT

  •  Keep giving the Repugs more rope (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cwaltz

    It takes a lot of rope to help that many worthless pricks hang themselves. Keep sending the same damn bill back again and again and when these spineless repug toadys repeatedly say one thing and vote another way, consistantly, like Voinovich is doing, you hang it around his neck in 30 seconds ads and force these lemmings into an early career change.

    I hope that a dozen repug Senators see the light, before they see the door in 2008, because many lives would be saved in Iraq. If they fail to act in their own best interest, the republican party risks being made irrelevant by their own hand for an entire generation.

    For a liberal like myself, its not a bad consolation prize.

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