This back and forth about which resolution to sign on to is getting
painful. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) is a wise, respectable and
incredibly decent man who has crossed his party many more times
than anyone could count, though he always wants to do it nicely. His
resolution opposing a troop increase is designed to deliver a softer
blow to President Bush than Sen. Chuck Hagel's (R-Neb.)
resolution, passed yesterday by the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, because Warner's has chosen the word "augment" instead of
"escalate."

Hagel challenged his colleagues to make the difficult choice and say
with their vote what they are saying to the cameras. "If you wanted a
safe job, go sell shoes," he fumed. The now days-old debate over these
two words is clearly meant to buy time. But both resolutions are
substantively the same and will both yield international embarassment.
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) called Hagel's resolution "the legislative
equivalent of a sound bite," while he refers to Bush's troop increase
as dubious. Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) opposed the resolution but
said after a three-hour security briefing with senior intelligence
offiicials, three meetings at the White House and a number of hearings
that he is even more skeptical about the "so-called surge" than he was
before.
Hagel is right: There are three choices and they are all tough
— support the troop increase, oppose the troop increase, or go
further and attempt to cut funding. Sorry guys, there is nowhere else
to go. Unless you want to sell shoes.