Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dimwit of the day

The Republican congressman here in RascalLand, Don Manzullo, doesn't often vote the way I would prefer, but he's not nearly as much an idiot as one his downstate colleagues, John Shimkus, who represents the Collinsville area across the river from St. Louis.

Shimkus, you may recall, was chairman of the House Page Board when Mark Foley was trying to have his way with some of the lads. In numerous other ways, Shimkus has distinguished himself as one of the dimmest bulbs in Congress.

Today, in a speech on the floor of the House, Shimkus likened the war in Iraq to a baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. You can find the text and video here.

UPDATE (Thurs., May 3): It seems that The Rascal wasn't the only one who found Shimkus' baseball metaphor inappropriate. Check this.


Dirty Harry said...

Rascal, stop fighting these side skirmishes.

The real question is this: How can we end our involvement in Iraq in a way that's beneficial to the US in the long-term?

If anything has been learned following WWII it's that staying tightly engaged with problem regions, i.e., Germany and Japan, pays off. When we've disengaged from problem areas, things tend to go wrong, i.e., Iran, North Korea, etc.

We have to stay in Iraq and wield whatever influence we can. Remember, the men and women in uniform are volunteers. We shouldn't sacrifice long-term policy goals because we're suffering casualties among forces who are willing to fight. Light casualties, at that.

All this blather in DC is covering the real problem, which is that the Democrats aren't offering any real solutions, just easy, short-term fixes.

And I'm a Democrat!

The Rascal said...

Harry: I'm not in favor of complete U.S. disengagement from that region. Rather, I'm inclined to agree with retired Gen. William Odom, who has said: "I believe that stabilizing the region from the Eastern Mediterranean to Afghanistan is very much an American interest, one we share with all our allies as well as with several other countries, especially, China, Russia, and India... Iraq is the worst place to fight a battle for regional stability. Whose interests were best served by the U.S. invasion of Iraq in the first place? It turns out that Iran and al Qaeda benefited the most, and that continues to be true every day U.S. forces remain there. A serious review of our regional interests is required. Until that is accomplished and new and compelling aims for managing the region are clarified, continuing the campaign in Iraq makes no sense...U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is the precondition to winning the support of our allies and a few others for a joint approach to the region. Until that has been completed, they will not join such a coalition. And until that has happened, even we in the United States cannot think clearly about what constitutes our interests there, much less gain agreement about common interests for a coalition." Harry, I recommend that you Google Gen. Odom and check out his various writings on this subject. I think you'll find them sensible, and I KNOW you'll find that he favors quick withdrawal of U.S. troops. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.