Iraq

GOP Sens No-Go on Surge?

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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.

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  1. It’s interesting how the Democratic electoral victory has effected the Republicans in Congress.

    They’ve gone from ideological warriors to green-eyeshade, good-government types. Results? Cost-benefit calculations? Accountability? Oversight? Separation of powers? Where were these ideas for the past six years?

    Personally, I think there have been a lot of GOPers who have been concerned about these things, but felt forced to bury them because of Bush’s status as a wartime leader (and the September 11 President), and because of the strict party discipline of the ideological-warrior Congressional leadership that was such a partner.

    The November massacre was liberating not just to the Dems, but to the pragmatic (or moderate, or RINO) half of the GOP.

  2. More like a passing of the torch. Only minority members are allowed vote to stop the Government from doing something. Look for the Dems to vote against their rhetoric.

  3. My theory up until this point has been that a “surge” or some other “last big push” is a psychological prerequisite to the eventual withdrawl. Maybe especially for the Dems in a vain effort to avoid the inevitable Dolchstosslegende accusations coming in 5, 4, 3, 2 ….

    If even the Republican support for the surge is that thin, I may have to re-evaluate.

    But then again, it’s Novak, so I’ll believe it when I see it.

  4. Bush is folly

  5. I still think the “more troops” deal is a McCain rope-a-dope. It is going to help insulate McCain, attempting to negate the war issue during the campaign.

    SCENE 1 – a crisp cool early fall morning in Iowa, 2007:

    “But McCain, I can’t vote for you, the Iraq war you backed was a complete failure.”

    “Don’t blame me, I wanted more troops to finish the job and win, they accepted defeat by not providing them. Besides, we have other issues to talk about, like Social Security……”

  6. “…there had better be a very clear and understandable definition of what all this means and what happens if it doesn’t produce….”

    Better late than never, I suppose.

    ———–

    “It’s interesting how the Democratic electoral victory has effected the Republicans in Congress.

    “They’ve gone from ideological warriors to green-eyeshade, good-government types. Results? Cost-benefit calculations? Accountability? Oversight? Separation of powers? Where were these ideas for the past six years?”

    Yes, of course; and the Democrats have all been tied, like Nell Fenwick, to the railroad tracks for the past six years. Looking on, aghast and helpless, as the Republican Superchief bore down on them.

  7. The November massacre

    Hardly. A true “massacre” would have yielded veto-proof majorities in both houses.
    Reality calling joe. Anyone home?

  8. The only positive “legacy” Bush will ever have, he already used up getting into Skull and Bones.

  9. joe, the nerve. The November massacre?

    How can you call a “thumpin” a “massacre?”
    We all know it was a “whollup,” not a “slaughter.”
    It was a “debacle,” not a “butchering.”
    It was a “drubbing,” not a “mow down.”
    And most of all, it was a “thrashing,” not a “slashing.”

    Geez, get it straight.

  10. will have trouble finding support from more than 12 out of 49 Republican senators

    If only you could finish a sentence about raising taxes this way.

  11. I had no idea reality had such a thesaurus.

    It was 56-43, ._. That’s pretty convincing.

  12. “I had no idea reality had such a thesaurus.”

    🙂

    It did, but the giant meteor wiped out all Thesauri millions of years ago! This is yet another conspiracy by Big Language to thwart Intelligent Design!

  13. …I’ve noticed that all the stories about how few Republican senators will support the surge keep excluding one important point: President Bush doesn’t require their permission. It’s nice to have their support, but he doesn’t have to have it.
    If the Senate wants to stop it, the only thing they can do is cut off the funding – and my feeling is that Pelosi, Reid and Co. won’t do that under any circumstances. To do so would be to open them up to charges that they lost the war before we could take that last swing, and given what would happen as soon as the last troops leave – an Iraqi civil war of genocidal proportions followed by an Iranian-controlled takeover – the Democratic leadership just won’t be tarred with that.

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