January 31, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Surge sharpens divisions in GOP

As Senators Hagel and Warner, and other Republicans on Capitol Hill continue to express dissent toward the Bush administration on Iraq war policy and other issues, the Washington Post reports that a rupture is taking place within party ranks. "Every man for himself!" It is terribly sad to see a president lose the respect of his own party, and at this point I don't know what could be done to repair the damage. For whatever reason, Bush seems deaf to concerns voiced by elder statesmen within his party, and seems unaware of the consequences of ignoring them. Again, I say this as someone who strongly disagrees with Bush in several respects but who believes nevertheless that he at least deserves respect for the office he holds. Republican ultra-loyalist Hugh Hewitt interviewed GOP House deputy whip Eric Cantor, and came away with a glum assessment for the prospects for party discipline in Congress. I think Sen. Warner's call for "benchmarks" to assess military-political progress in Iraq is off base, which is uncharacteristic for him.