Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Gathering Clouds

Two stories in the news today may finally force Bush to start coming clean about Iraq. Up first, Hillary Clinton:
DAVENPORT, Iowa (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Iowa on Sunday President George W. Bush should find a way out of Iraq before he leaves office and called it "the height of irresponsibility" to leave the problem to the next administration.

"The president has said this is going to be left to his successor," the New York senator said during a jammed rally in a fairground exhibit hall in Davenport as she concluded a two-day campaign swing in the state that kicks off the 2008 presidential campaign.

"I think it's the height of irresponsibility and I really resent it," she said. "This was his decision to go to war, he went with an ill-conceived plan, an incompetently executed strategy and we should expect him to extricate our country from this before he leaves office."
From the 2003 State of the Union Address:
We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations. We will confront them with focus and clarity and courage.
Comes story number two:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers backing President George W. Bush's troop buildup in Iraq sought support by calling for Congress to set "benchmark" goals for the Iraqi government, but a top Democrat predicted on Sunday that few will stand with him.

"You will not find 20 percent of the Senate standing up and saying the president is headed in the right direction," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat, told ABC's "This Week."
This last is a pretty desperate act on the part of GOP lawmakers and may end up exploding in Bush's face. Remember, he's refused to set a timetable or even specific benchmarks for our withdrawal from Iraq. He's making the Republicans in Congress carry the water for him, but seeing as Hillary has begun her nuanced backpedal from her full-throated support for the war (those Clintons excel at this: you'll notice she still leaves her support for the war on the table, but is now dissecting the war from the warmonger), this will likely build momentum until, at long last, Republicans in Congress who support Bush will start to make noise about his lack of definitive plans, asking us instead to trust him because this time, he really means it!