Monday, December 08, 2003

Lucas Speaks Out

Reader tg writes in:

My Congressman, Rep. Ken Lucas of Northern Kentucky, has some interesting thoughts on Bush now that he's decided not to seek a third term. Lucas is a Democrat, but so consistently votes with Republicans that the White House asked him last year to switch parties, which he surprisingly did not. The candidate Lucas has thrown his support behind is Nick Clooney, a former local news anchor and the brother of Rosemary and father of George. Clooney also wrote a column in the Kentucky Post until his candidacy was announced and is very involved in the community, but the Republicans are already spinning his campaign as some sort of Hollywood liberal celebrity indulgence. He is even being unfavorably compared to Schwarzenegger. Either Northern Kentucky Republicans have a skewed sense of what a celebrity is, or they're being hypocrites.

Article excerpt:

No longer restrained by political calculations of a re-election campaign, U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas is speaking out against the administration of President Bush.

In his first interview since announcing last week he would not seek a fourth term in Congress, Lucas was critical of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq and of the prescription drug benefit the president championed and will sign into law next week.

Lucas, 71, the lone Democrat in Kentucky's federal delegation, has often supported Bush and rarely spoke against the president's plans or policies.

But with Democrat Nick Clooney running for his 4th District seat, Lucas apparently has grown comfortable taking on some of the decisions being made by the White House.

Lucas, a military veteran, originally supported the invasion of Iraq.

"I thought that the administration needed bipartisan support, and I was for our commander-in-chief," Lucas said. "Because I felt at that time it was the right thing do. If I knew then what I know now, I would have never voted for the war.

"There was no imminent danger about weapons of mass destruction," he said. "And the tune of the administration changed from that to ridding a country of a ruthless dictator."

The Bush administration also was not straightforward about the intelligence it had, releasing tenuous information that fit its goal of attacking Iraq, Lucas said.

"I feel deceived," he said.

"I don't think we have a good plan for an exit strategy," Lucas said. "I think it was handled poorly as far as not bringing in other countries."