THE BLOG
05/16/2007 10:08 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Another Big Day in the Fight to Change Course

Today is another big day on the step by step, vote by vote fight to set a new course in Iraq. We've come a long, long way from the days where Russ Feingold and I could only get 13 votes to set a deadline to redeploy American troops from Iraq and make Iraqis stand up for their own country.

But we still have a long way to go. And this is one of those "we've just begun to fight" moments.

I'm a cosponsor of the Feingold-Reid amendment that will be offered today that will use the power of the purse to force the President to take a new path in Iraq - if this Administration won't change the mission in Iraq, Congress will change the mission on our own. We still face large obstacles in our path, but we are starting to break down the roadblocks that stand in the way.

Two weeks ago, I created a special campaign with our friends at ActBlue, the Roadblock Republicans campaign, to try to convince Republican colleagues to join us in pushing for a change of course.

Some people don't think that's the way things should be done in the Senate, but this isn't personal, it's about changing a deadly course that has cost us lives and made us less safe. Every day we delay is another day down the wrong path.

Hundreds of you responded to that campaign, donating to the funds set up by ActBlue, and writing messages to the Senators telling them what you've done. I just wanted to share a few of those messages (more can be found on my site):

My daughter is on permanent disability from her service. I thought your defeat might help other service families so I contributed to the campaign to get you defeated.

My son is an Army Ranger Medic, recently returned from Iraq and will once again go back in July to fight this awful unnecessary war. Keeping our sons and daughters in Iraq is wrong and I ask you to reconsider your position. Bring them home now!

I was a Republican. Now I'm registered Independent.

I have given up on this Administration showing any signs of integrity or any willingness to do the will of the American people. The incidents of unfair play, sheer corruption, and the willingness to do anything for political gain or advantage have just been too much.

But I still hold out hope that the Republican members of the legislative branch will begin to recognize this administration for what it is and will begin to respond to the will of us American people. Call me an optimist...

Please take this message for it's intent. The Republican Party has lost its way. Please come back.

Dear Senator:

Senator John Kerry is leading the charge against you and your fellow "Roadblock Republicans" - I couldn't be more proud to join him in pushing ahead with an agenda that makes America strong and proud again. President Bush is leading this country to ruin - and those, like you, who enable him must be voted out of office.

Please reconsider your blind support for Bush and his failed Iraq war policies.

Thank you.

And your messages (these and others) are making a difference. You can start to see the strains this is putting on the GOP. ThinkProgress did a great job a few days ago rounding up some quotes. Here's just one:

The heated meeting between the GOP moderates and Bush continued to reverberate through Capitol Hill yesterday, after several Republican conservatives told reporters that they shared the moderates' fears that the war is wrecking the party. "There is no liberal-conservative divide on Iraq," said one House GOP conservative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of angering the White House further. [Washington Post, 5/11/07]

I don't care about the future of the Republican Party; I care about the safety of our troops and the strength of our security - but if political pressure will bring these Republicans to a place of common sense and conscience in standing up to their President, then that's what it takes.

So today we vote again. I'm proudly standing up and declaring my support for the Feingold-Reid amendment. And I urge all of you to contact your Senators and let them know how you feel on this most important issue.

This fight is not going to be over until we get a new course in Iraq. I promise you that.

{cross-posted at the JohnKerry.com blog}