Huh. Maybe they should have been listening to that focus group of millions of people from the very beginning. Well over $715 billion, 4,705 coalition forces and who knows how many thousands of Iraqi lives later, the new conventional wisdom--among Republican congressmen is that the Iraq war was a mistake. From a Cato Institute panel discussion moderated by Grover Norquist:
Norquist then asked Rohrabacher to provide a “guesstimate percentage of Republicans in Congress who would share that view — not that they opposed the President at the time, but today looking back.” Rohrabacher replied that “everybody I know thinks it was a mistake to go in now”:
ROHRABACHER: Well, now that we know that it cost a trillion dollars and all of these years and all of these lives and all of this blood, uh, I don’t know many...
NORQUIST: Looking for a number. Two-thirds? One-third?
ROHRABACHER: I, I can’t. All I can say is the people, everybody I know thinks it was a mistake to go in now.
NORQUIST: That’s 100 percent.
Norquist then turned to McClintock, asking “what percentage”:
NORQUIST: Of Republicans in Congress, who would agree with the general analysis here that it was a mistake and/or we should go in.
MCCLINTOCK: I think everyone would agree Iraq was a mistake.
NORQUIST: Two hundred percents. Ok, we’re going to average these.
MCCLINTOCK: And, you know, again, I think virtually everyone would agree going into Afghanistan the way we did was a mistake. How many share my, my cynicism over this idea of a resolution of force, which I can’t find anywhere in the Constitution. And how many believe that in those rare cases where we go in, we put all of our resources behind our soldiers, I would say certainly more than half of the Republican caucus probably believe that.
Of course, if there was a President McCain sitting in the Oval Office and Iraq and Afghanistan were his "noble" inheritance, there might have been less candor from these guys.
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