Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave dubbed a resolution on Thursday that opposes President Bush’s decision to send more than 20,000 troops to Iraq the “United We Quit” resolution.
“I’ve spoken with veterans of the Iraq war and they agree this resolution sends the wrong message,” the conservative told Gannett News Service in a statement. “They recognize the importance of victory and the consequences of pulling out.”
Some Republicans derided the resolution, which takes a non-binding stance against the president’s new Iraq strategy, as political posturing with no practical value but to cause division.
“There needs to be a more substantive plan,” said Ellen Steiner, president of the CSU Young Democrats. “I don’t think (Musgrave) has a mind of her own.”
The House is expected to pass a resolution today that will oppose Bush’s troop-increase plan with the help of crossover Republican support.
Bill Chaloupka, chair of the CSU political science department, said it’s unusual for so many Republicans to break rank and vote with the Democrats on such a divisive issue.
“Their party has been a highly disciplined party,” he said. “When the Republicans controlled the House, there were real punishments for people stepping out of line. I think it leads one to suspect that these are sincere policy-based concerns that they have.”
House members debated the resolution, which expresses “support” of American troops in Iraq and “disapproves” of the president’s January decision to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq.
“We all know the cost of war is very high,” Musgrave said, adding that today’s measure is the “United We Quit” resolution, according to the Coloradoan.
Congress next month is set to consider Bush’s request for an additional $100 billion in funding for the Iraq War.
Chaloupka said Republicans are still reeling over the mid-term losses in November, an election in which the Iraq War was a key issue.
“The war was important in defeating a significant number of incumbents,” he said. “Having that happened is a real wake-up call. It’s very unusual for an incumbent to get defeated in a race.”
Students were divided about Bush’s plan to increase Iraq troop levels.
“If we pull out then Iraq is just going to be a breeding ground for terrorists and a more messed up situation than before,” said Dan McCarthy, a junior construction management major.
Vincent Veit, a senior accounting major, disagreed.
“It’s a pointless situation,” he said. “Nothing is going to be accomplished. We just need to admit defeat and get out of there.”
Emily Gerdes, a freshman biology major, doesn’t think America should be in Iraq in the first place.
“We should fix what we’ve done and establish a way for them to take care of themselves,” she said.
Drew Macdonnel, a freshman psychology major, doesn’t necessarily believe the Iraq War is un-winnable.
“It reminds me a lot of Vietnam,” Macdonnel said. “We’re going to win but it is going to seem like nothing was done except for getting more oil and having more troops killed.”
But others remained optimistic and supported the president’s plan.
“I say increase troop levels because that’s going to be the quickest way,” said Ben Freking, a freshman business major. “Pulling troops out would be like giving up.”
Chaloupka called the Democrats’ plan the “Nancy Pelosi strategy” after the new Democratic Speaker of the House.
“Their plan was to start with this kind of non-binding resolution, and use that as a first step, and apply pressure with the implication that there would be more drastic steps,” he said.
“The Pelosi plan is to win this, emphasize any crossover votes they get, and build that into the next step.”
Staff writer Emily Polak and Managing Editor Vimal Patel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.