In light of the intractable veto and the known hatchet artists for the GOP, the Dems could be playing the smart poker hand by letting the tide of the war play out. A formal timeline was dropped, but a comprehensive report is slated for September, Bush must give a status report by July 15th on Iraq's progress towards meeting benchmarks, and there are indications judgments will be made well before September rolls around -- in particular by more than a few Republicans.It's been just about a month since then and Iraq has not improved, Bush's poll numbers continue to reach new lows, and more Republicans have thrown in the towel on the war, increasing pressure on lame duck GW:
Assuming no miraculous turnaround in Iraq, GW's popularity will remain in the toilet and the pressure to withdraw will only increase.
Is it, dare say, immoral for the Dems to back away from digging in and demanding a timeline? On principle, yes, but practically, not really. In this case, the practical could be the wiser, and more effective, choice.
Republican support for the Iraq war is slipping by the day. After four years of combat and more than 3,560 U.S. deaths, two Republican senators previously reluctant to challenge President Bush on the war announced they could no longer support the deployment of 157,000 troops and asked the president to begin bringing them home.It certainly looks like the Democratic leadership were not so dumb a month ago.... With time, Republicans will continue to help with achieving much of the heavy lifting, as they abandon this withering president to save themselves. After all, they are politicians.
Lugar and Voinovich are not the first GOP members to call for U.S. troops to leave Iraq. Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Gordon Smith of Oregon made similar remarks earlier this year. But their public break is significant because it raises the possibility that Senate Democrats could muster the 60 votes needed to pass legislation that would call for Bush to bring troops home.
Their remarks also are an early warning shot to a lame duck president that GOP support for the war is thinning. The administration is not expected until September to say whether a recent troop buildup in Iraq is working.
"Everyone should take note, especially the administration," said Snowe, R-Maine, noting Lugar's senior position within the GOP. "It certainly indicates the tide is turning."