Bennett and Leibsohn are under the impression that the GOP presidential field is moving away from Mr. Bush on Iraq, and they demand that this stop right now–it’s time for some solidarity with the President, it’s time for a united front! This ignores the reality of what virtually every candidate (except Ron Paul) has been saying about Iraq. Glenn Greenwald explains why the GOP presidential field as a whole has no major disagreements with Mr. Bush over Iraq: it is political suicide for someone seeking the GOP nomination to go against the war. Hence, none of the four leading candidates and only one of the “second-tier” candidates has said anything that expresses opposition to the war. Oh, yes, Tommy Thompson has his three-point plan, and Brownback has his tri-partition plan, and almost all of them have made remarks about poor planning in the past, but for the most part none of them (except, of course, Ron Paul) has actually done anything to put himself in clear opposition to the administration, much less the war itself.
It says something about the state of the GOP that many Republican pundits find it plausible to claim that the GOP is insufficiently united in support for the Iraq war, as if the party were suffering from wave after wave of dissenting splinter groups and unduly raucous foreign policy debate. Perversely, this feeds the Republican ”ideological diversity” myth while also enabling pro-war pundits to accuse even the most minor disagreements over tactical plans of undermining the party and the cause. It stifles dissent while giving the impression that the GOP is overflowing, dangerously so, with a variety of opinions on important policy questions.