We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I do not need to tell you about these threats because you in AIPAC already understand them. That is why you work so hard and so well not just to preserve a strong U.S.-Israeli relationship but to uphold the cause of freedom.
Unfortunately, many in our country today do not seem to share that critical understanding of the threats we face.
Increasingly, the debate over our foreign policy is becoming so polarized, so partisan, so bound up in the battles we are having here in Washington, that it seems blind to the real battle outside of America, the challenge of our time from the Islamist extremists who want to destroy us all, who attacked America on September 11, 2001, and intend to do so again.
In this regard, if I may have a point of personal privilege, as we say in the Senate, I'd like to talk with you about my own experience over the past year.
First, let me again say thank you. Your support helped me win an election, and even more importantly, to continue the fight for the principles and policies we believe in.
I don't think it's any secret that much of my fight for reelection was about the war in Iraq.
Given all the mistakes made in Iraq, all of the setbacks and disappointments, I understand how well-intentioned people have come to disagree about the war.
I also understand the frustration and exhaustion that so many people feel about Iraq, the desire just to throw up our hands and say, "Enough."