Now comes the time in the military base-closing process when members of Congress seek to deflect accusations that they failed to protect all of their states' facilities by gamely suggesting it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings. Just a few examples:
- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas: "This recommendation list is...by no means final."
- Sen. Hilary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.: "I look forward to showing [Base closing commission] Chairman [Anthony] Principi that the Department of Defense has made the wrong recommendation."
- Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H.: â€œThe BRAC process is far from complete."
- Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas: "Now the battle is joined."
- Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio: â€œNow is not the time for foot-stomping or pouting. We need to concentrate our efforts on making a convincing case to the President..."
- William Jefferson, D-La.: "We must see this is an opportunity to enter into negotiations with the Base Realignment and Closure Commission..."
- Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine: "We will systemically and relentlessly chisel away and dismantle the Navyâ€™s and the Department of Defenseâ€™s analysis--or lack thereof--with regard to their faulty recommendations."
- Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V.: "We are prepared for this fight."
- Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D.: "Our fight to save Ellsworth [Air Force Base] isn't over."
Give Johnson credit, though. He added: "We must be realistic about the likelihood of removing the base from the closure list by the BRAC Commission." With all due respect, most of the rest of these folks are kidding themselves.
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