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Republicans Should Embrace the War—and the Winning of It—for 2008

Jim Leahy 26 September 2007 4 Comments

The GOP has one chance of winning back Congress and holding on to the Whitehouse, and that is to embrace the war on terror and not run from it. I know the conventional wisdom is to pretend that President Bush and the war don’t exist and to admit it was wrong, but that is the recipe for disaster. The American people are taking a second look at the war in Iraq, but if there is no alternative presented to the anti-war “mainstream media” bias, that bias will paint much of history’s picture. The GOP has a chance to take the initiative if they get behind the most popular part of the federal government, the military!

In a New York Times poll–the day before General Petraeus gave his report to Congress—an overwhelming majority of the American people voted to trust the military to handle the war over the congress, 68% to 21%. To take advantage of the report and the pro-patriotic surge against the New York Times and Democrats, the GOP and its candidates must keep the pressure on. Thus, it is time for Republicans to embrace the war in Iraq and remind America that Iraq is a battle in the war on terror, not flee from it. While George W. Bush’s poll numbers are low at 31%, the Congress’s numbers are even lower at an unheard of 3%. In contrast the public’s rating of the military stands at 80%.

Accordingly, it’s no brainier as to whom the Republicans should side with. .

Where are the political consultants directing Republicans to take credit for what is happening now? Without knowing it, the media have been the Republicans best friend. It has been weeks since reports of large numbers of fatalities have led the newscasts. Yet where are the GOP’s claims that the country is on the right track in Iraq? Where are the Republican congressional leaders touting that things are going well? If it stays this quiet on the war front for another two to three months, aren’t we in fact beyond the turning-point?

Which means: wasn’t the President right?

Isn’t this what winning the war will look like?

The American people won’t know it unless the Republicans claim it.. And they won’t know it until and unless Republicans make that point.

The biggest disappointment of the Bush administration; has been their ineffective lack of communications.

The administration either won’t—or can’t—tell America all the good things that have come about because of the Presidents policies. When you are in the fifth year of a boming economy and the American people only give you a 30% positive rating in the polls for your handling of the economy, you have failed to get your message out!

Republicans can’t allow that deficiency to continue, unless they want to lose everything. The GOP has learned that it cannot rely on him to blow his own horn so the party will have to do it for him. Republican candidates are going to have to carry his legacy no matter what, so why should they let their enemies write it?

Ronald Reagan showed us how. We have to go right to the American people. We are in the beginning of a presidential campaign. With all due credit to Rudy Giuliani, last week he took the offensive and the Democrats and the New York Times are still reeling.

The Republican have to keep it up, keep giving out the real facts and set the agenda.

We will know it’s working when we hear the screams from the left!


Jim Leahy, a retired Marine veteran, is executive director of the Republican Assembly of Illinois and a conservative grassroots strategist. He is a regular columnist for The Chicago Daily Observer.


  • Rick Fisk (author) said:

    This is comedic. 70% of the population does not like the war. Your advice is a recipe for a GOP election disaster. Why do you think the GOP lost their majorities?

    Ronald Reagan, whom you mention, had the common sense and decency to walk out of Leabanon due to the irrationality of ME politics.

    Not one more Marine was worth the risk. What you suggest is a price worth paying is not one you have the courage to risk.

    But really, Iraq is not about fighting terrorism, it isn’t about WMD – of which there never were any – and it isn’t about our security.

    Its about control over the ME and remaking geopolitical boundaries to the liking of people who have never been to war.

  • Bill Baar (author) said:

    “Why do you think the GOP lost their majorities?”

    Because of some very foolish acts by GOP congressmen.

  • Jim (author) said:


    Of that 70% how many are angry that we are not letting our guys fight correctly? There is not a majority of Americans who want to lose!

    BTW the Marines in Lebanon were my peers, I had just left the USMC when that happened. We know who did it! It was Iran! But to you and Dr Paul they have done nothing that deserves our attack? I disagree.

  • Anonymous (author) said:

    kits pure Viking calculus discretionary dryly … Thanks!!!

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