In an interview from Israel yesterday, Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) said the political will of the United States is being stretched to the limit. He promised to offer a time frame for troop withdrawals when he returns next week from his 14th trip to Iraq.Add Shays and Fitzpatrick to other GOPers who have broken ranks in one form or another on Iraq, like Chuck Hagel, Gil Gutknecht and Walter Jones.
"We have got to find a way to come to some kind of consensus, so we can do what's right for our country and what's right for the Iraqis," said Shays, an ardent supporter of the war who is in a political dogfight with his antiwar Democratic opponent. "We have to say 'This is the latest we will leave' and be able to live with that."...
On Thursday, Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) wrote a letter to constituents declaring that he was saying no to "President Bush's 'stay-the-course' strategy" in Iraq.
Shays, of course, is buckling because Ned Lamont's victory - you know, the one that was supposed to be so good for Republicans - has racheted up the pressure on him to distance himself from President Bush on Iraq. The more Dems talk about Iraq, the more intense the pressure becomes.
- Greg Sargent