Lugar on Iraq

You can count me as a longtime skeptic that Republicans will ever abandon Bush on Iraq in substantial numbers come what may, but there's no denying that Dick Lugar took a major step with this statement on the floor.

Still, if the job of a US Senator was fundamentally to make statements, then reasonably sound statements made by Dick Lugar -- along with a lot of centrist Dems like Joe Biden -- before the war would have put us in much better position than we actually found ourselves in. The difficulty is that at the end of the day what a Senator does is cast votes. Will Lugar be there on efforts to restrain Bush's discretion over Iraq policy, or will he still be a functional vote for the Decider? For now, though, we do have a pretty solid speech.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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