Tuesday, April 10, 2007

And a Broderian Pony

David Broder is in his high form of railing against reality, logic and the political will as that could produce a few raised voices and mild disagreements that may affect his pretty little bubble. He acknowledges the reality that the Democrats won the 2006 elections on the promise that they would reign in Bush's conduct in Iraq, he acknowledges the reality that recent accumulations of political capital trump old accumulation of political capital, and he acknowledges that Iraq is a clusterfuck. And then he recommends that the Democrats fold in the second round of the supplemental funding fight.


Once that bill reaches the White House, it will be vetoed because of the limitations Democrats attach to Bush's use of the funds. The Democrats lack the votes to overcome a veto, so an impasse is inevitable.

What happens next is the question, because both sides are stubborn and both are convinced of their own rightness. What ought to happen is clear. There ought to be direct talks between them -- with senior administration officials on one side of the table and leaders of the House and Senate on the other.....

From the start, Democrats ought to concede one big point: Absent any readiness on their part to cut off funds to the troops in Iraq, those forces will be there as long as George Bush wants them to remain. Once that point is conceded, Bush should be called upon to pay some attention to the Democrats' demands -- and the public opinion that supports them[emphasis is mine]

What reality does Mr. Broder live in, and what unique value add does he possess?

George W. Bush listening to public opinion? That is an absurd statement, even when listening to public opinion in cases such as non-interference in the Shiavo matter, and sacking Rumsfeld may have had positive and immediate political benefits.

George W. Bush has repeatedly said that leaving is losing and that he will judged by once he is dead by God and historians alike as a good president. The previous attempt to hand him an easy way out of Iraq was rebuffed. Baker-Hamilton was brushed aside and the converse of its recommendations were followed: increase in American combat troops, more combat operations, and discouraging any further conversations with Iraq's neighbors.

The American people are tired of the war in Iraq as it has no strategic value to the United States and instead is a strategic drain. The American people want to see this wasted war end and the Democrats were entrusted to do this by their return to the majority in 2006. Making a grand pronouncement, whipping their caucus hard to get a tight vote, and then folding the essential cards the moment George W. Bush becomes petulant is a failure.

There will be no such thing as a bipartisan agreement on letting George W. Bush waste lives in Iraq. You are either for it, or working towards ending this waste. No pundit plan for bipartisan collegiality of blue-ribbon panels and outside experts will advance the end date of the American combat involvement in Iraq. We have already tried that, and Bush tossed Baker-Hamilton overboard. Hardball political confrontation and brinkmanship is the best potential avenue of managing the disaster that is Iraq for American foreign policy.

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