American patience for the war is running out…was the…message that moderate Republicans delivered last week to the president in a candid, closed-door meeting at the White House. "People are always saying President Bush is in a bubble," noted Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia. "Well, this was our chance, and we took it." They presented Bush with poll figures showing plummeting party support in their districts and told him that his credibility on the war front is all but gone.
In short, the president can't count on GOP support for the "surge" much longer. There is a sense "certainly by the Democrats and growing among the Republicans that there has to be some progress, significant progress to sustain [the surge] beyond September," said Sen. Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican.
And the Los Angeles Times reports on trouble for one of Bush's benchmarks for ending the Iraqi civil war, a new oil bill:
It has not even reached parliament, but the oil law that U.S. officials call vital to ending Iraq's civil war is in serious trouble among Iraqi lawmakers, many of whom see it as a sloppy document rushed forward to satisfy Washington's clock.
Opposition ranges from vehement to measured, but two things are clear: The May deadline that the White House had been banking on is in doubt. And even if the law is passed, it fails to resolve key issues, including how to divide Iraq's oil revenue among its Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni regions, and how much foreign investment to allow…..
The problems of the oil bill bode poorly for the other so-called benchmarks that the Bush administration has been pressuring Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's government to meet…..Republican leaders in Washington have warned administration officials that if the Iraqi government fails to meet those benchmarks by the end of the summer, remaining congressional support for Bush's Iraq policies could crumble.
While on Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol saves the day for the administration by pointing out that any Republican who dares think of turning back on the war is "being extremely stupid. I mean, the idea that they will get credit for deserting the war at this point—they voted for the war. … It's a ridiculous political calculation as well as a dishonorable one by those Republicans who are thinking of jumping ship."