GOP Sens No-Go on Surge?


Robert Novak writes that:

President Bush and McCain, the front-runner for the next Presidential nomination, in pressing for a surge of 30,000 more troops, will have trouble finding support from more than 12 out of 49 Republican senators. "It's Alice in Wonderland," Sen. Chuck Hagel, second-ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, told me in describing the proposed surge. "I'm absolutely opposed to sending any more troops to Iraq. It is folly."

More here.

And The International Herald-Tribune reports on a Friday meeting with Bush and senators on the surge. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) says:

"A majority of Republican senators are saying that if it's a surge, there had better be a very clear and understandable definition of what all this means and what happens if it doesn't produce," Craig said, adding, "I think the president comes away from this meeting recognizing that how he handles the next week, and what he says, is going to be significantly important in the kind of support that Congress will produce."

More here.

Bush will be laying out his "legacy" project over the next couple of weeks–that is, what he will try to accomplish in his final two years in office. Clearly, the Iraq war overshadows everything else in his presidency and most of the other big-ticket items he talked about earlier in his tenure (Social Security privatization especially) have fallen by the wayside.

It'll be interesting to see how much Bush will be willing to deal to Congress (both Dems and Reps) in order to push through whatever war agenda he thinks he needs to push through to clean up the mess over there.