Today's Courant profiles former Shays supporters who've defected over Iraq.
In his speech to the group in Boucher's living room, Shays advocated setting a series of deadlines for the Iraqi people to reach independence, and, once those milestones are reached, a "one-for-one step down" as each new Iraqi solider is trained.
He said the United States should withdraw and power be transferred when the country's internal security is restored.
At that point, Andrew Shopick raised his hand to speak. The stockbroker from Wilton, an unaffiliated voter, plans to support Shays but is deeply disturbed by the war. Shopick represents the outer rim of Shays' support. Beyond him are the defectors.
"Iraq is becoming such a nightmare," Shopick told Shays in Boucher's living room. "We've basically taken a country and destroyed it. You talk about not leaving until we provide security, but as soon as we walk away, chaos will begin."
Shays' response shows how politically volatile the war has become for him.
He said, "We destroyed their security and we have a moral obligation to replace it."
Shays may well have defined the moral clarity that the anti-war movement lacks, it is unamerican to destroy and not rebuild. It is also more defining that the Republican controlled three branches of government have yet to rebuild anything. Not the economy, not post Katrina, Rita and Wilma devastated areas, not Afghanistan, not transparent elections, not a balanced budget, and on and on.
So while Shays may be right, harkening back to Democratic controlled rebuilding efforts in previous post war eras, he's also hoping that voters ignore that his party has proven itself incapable of governing let alone rebuilding anything.
Courant Shays Feels Heat Of Message To Washington By JOSH KOVNER, September 23, 2006