CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The public opinion shift that shows support for the War in Iraq fading is creating serious splits in the Republican Party. Now conservatives who back President George W. Bush's plan to add 21,500 troops are circulating an Internet petition that vows retaliation against GOP senators who question the White House. So far, more than 100 Ohioans have signed the document, and they are from all corners of the state. The number has been growing by the hour.
Meanwhile, Ohio's GOP Sen. George Voinovich appears to be keeping people in the dark. His Web site is silent about the plan to add troops. Others are brimming with statements.
The conservative revolt is aimed at GOP senators who break with Bush to support a non-binding resolution opposing the commitment of additional troops. Organizers contend the resolution would offer aid and comfort to Iraqi insurgents.
"Further, if any Republican senator who votes for such a resolution is a candidate for re-election in 2008, I will not contribute to the National Republican Senatorial Committee unless the Chairman of that Committee, Senator Ensign, commits in writing that none of the funds of the NRSC will go to support the re-election of any senator supporting the non-binding resolution," the petition says. Sen. John Ensign is from Nevada and is straightforward about his position: He supports the president's escalation/surge.
Voinovich isn't on the ballot in 2008. However, he hasn't communicated directly with his constituents about the president's plan to add more troops. In fact, there isn't any fresh news on his Senate portal about anything important since last year.
Voinovich owes it to all Ohioans -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- to say clearly, directly and publicly where he stands. Right now, it looks like he is dodging the biggest issue of the day.