In his upcoming memoir, titled Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President, former Rhode Island senator Lincoln Chafee (R) “excoriates [President] Bush and his GOP allies” for exploiting “wedge issues,” but also “saves some of his harshest words for Democrats who paved the way for Mr. Bush to use the U.S. military to invade Iraq”:
Chafee was the only Republican senator to vote against prosecuting the war. “The top Democrats were at their weakest when trying to show how tough they were,” writes Chafee. “They were afraid that Republicans would label them soft in the post-September 11 world, and when they acted in political self-interest, they helped the president send thousands of Americans and uncounted innocent Iraqis to their doom.
“Instead of talking tough or meekly raising one’s hand to support the tough talk, it is far more muscular, I think, to find out what is really happening in the world and have a debate about what we really need to accomplish,” writes Chafee. “That is the hard work of governing, but it was swept aside once the fear, the war rhetoric and the political conniving took over.”