The WaPo editorial
assessing John Edwards includes this curious observation:
He disappointed us by voting against the $87 billion for military and reconstruction funding, but he has been speaking since before the onset of hostilities about the importance of planning for the postwar period. "The real test for America will come after Saddam is gone," Mr. Edwards said last February. "Will we make the commitment to help build a peaceful, democratic, post-Saddam Iraq?"
Why "but"? It should be obvious that when you lead with a negative ("He disappointed us...") and then throw in "but" it's something that offsets that negative. In this case he didn't vote for the $87 billion for military and reconstruction funding but
he did talk a good game back in February. To that I would add, but
he did not make the commitment to help build a peaceful, democratic post-Saddam Iraq.