Saturday, August 26, 2006

Some Republicans In Blue States Distancing Themselves From Bush Administration's Iraq War Policy

Three Republican Congressman from traditionally Democratic states have distanced themselves from the Bush Administration's Iraq War policy.

The three -- Christopher Shays of Connecticut, Michael Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Gil Gutknecht of Minnesota -- each face tough challenges this November. Shays' opponent, Diane Farrell, nearly unseated him in 2004, while Fitzpatrick and Gutknecht face anti-war veterans.

And while the conservative noise machine suggests that being opposed to the administration's "stay the course" policy makes one part of the far-left fringe, polls suggest otherwise. In fact, 60% of Americans disapprove of the way the administration is handling the Iraq War, while 57% say they want to see the start of troop redeployment from Iraq within a year.

"Republicans are trying to insulate themselves from Washington and the president's low approval ratings," Amy Walter, congressional analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told the Los Angeles Times. "They are distancing themselves from the war and from the president."

The fact that Shays and Fitzpatrick are from the Northeast shouldn't be surprising. An increasing number of Northeast Republicans are trying to position themselves as independent of the Bush Administration.

As the election draws near, don't be surprised if more Republicans follow in the path of Shays and Gutknecht, who now say they believe the U.S. should consider troop withdrawal, or Fitzpatrick, who says he is opposed to Bush's "stay the course" policy.

The truth is, the war is increasing unpopular, and Republicans don't want the war to cost them their jobs.

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