Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bush 'Stays the Course': More Talk, No Plan

President George W. Bush held another press conference on Wednesday and left little doubt he's in need of adult supervision. Not only has he been less than truthful about the cookies he's taken from the cookie jar, he's at risk of burning the house down.

The voters have voted and Bush still thinks he has some sort of mandate. After the election, Bush talked briefly about bipartisanship but has spent most of the time being petulant and combative and well, somewhat delusional. James Baker's report has everiscerated Bush's rosy picture of Iraq and Bush still thinks if he can have one more deal of the cards he can get it right this time. While refusing to even consider major diplomatic efforts which are usually required in situations like this, Bush wants to increase the troops in Iraq by playing musical chairs one more time with our over-stretched military.

While most rubber stampers of the famous 109th do-nothing Republican Congress squirm uncomfortably about what to do in Iraq, an increasing number of Republicans are looking the facts square in the eye along with the Democrats and saying it's time to wind down our affairs in Iraq before too much more damage is done. We need to take care of our military more than we need to nurse the Iraqis to do want they need to do themselves; there's no use pretending that Bush knows how to cure a civil war he caused in the first place with more military intervention. At this point, we need diplomacy, redeployment and a political solution.

Senator Harry Reid is growing impatient with Bush's games as we read in The Raw Story:
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued a statement after the president's last press confence of the year, which blasted Bush for not understanding the need for "urgent change" in Iraq.

"It is heartening to see that President Bush has reversed his position, rejected the failed Rumsfeld doctrine, and heeded Democratic calls to increase the size of the military," Reid stated. "Unfortunately, it is troubling to see that he still does not understand the need for urgent change in Iraq."

"The President seems lost within his own rhetoric," Reid's statement continued. ...

Lost within his own rhetoric. That describes the Decider-in-Chief quite well. It's time for Bush to get a grip on reality.

Steve Soto of The Left Coaster has more to say:
I had previously argued that the Democratic leadership should work to create a bipartisan congressional foreign policy agenda as a counterpoint to the White House. As Bush publicly blows off the generals on whether he will escalate Iraq by another 20,000-40,000 troops, does this issue have the potential to be the Democrats’ blunt instrument against the Bush Administration at the start of the new Congress? I think it does.

We hear that the generals and the Joint Chiefs are against the escalation. We are seeing signs that Republicans up for reelection in 2008 are at best hesitant and at worst opposed to the escalation. Just today, Minnesota GOP Senator Norm Coleman has come out against the escalation, and supposedly Maine’s Susan Collins is questioning it as well. How many GOP senators and House members who are up for reelection in 2008 will support an escalation? ...

Read the rest of Steve Soto's post and his suggestions on how Congress should handle Bush; it makes sense to me, particularly if, in the next two weeks, Bush doesn't do a great deal more to acknowledge the need for significant changes. He's dithered enough. Think back to Hurricane Katrina and think of how out of touch Bush was and how slow to react. Multiply that by ten. That's where we are. We have a president who thinks he can blow off the voters, the Democrats, the generals and reality.

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