Dover Bitch

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Try to remember a day in September...

DB wrote on Friday that the Republicans know this war is over, that they want General Petraeus to allow them to exit gracefully, that they will use his report in September to do so and that in the meantime, they will follow Nixon's lead in labelling the Democrats as the "party of defeat" or "surrender," even though they themselves are certain that "victory" could not be achieved.

Since Friday, DB has been too busy to post anything here, not even a poem or two to appease the insatiable Dover Bitch readership.

But let's take a quick look at what has happened in the past five days:

On Tuesday, the Washington Post, in a piece called "September Could Be Key Deadline in War," featured these quotes:

"Many of my Republican colleagues have been promised they will get a straight story on the surge by September," said Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.). "I won't be the only Republican, or one of two Republicans, demanding a change in our disposition of troops in Iraq at that point. That is very clear to me."


The fixation with September is all the more striking because funding bills that cleared the House and Senate this spring were looking well into 2008 to mandate significant changes. The Senate-passed bill set March 2008 as a goal for withdrawing U.S. combat troops, while the House envisioned combat troops being withdrawn by the end of August 2008. In the ensuing weeks, however, news from Iraq has shown little improvement, while public opinion has continued to harden against the war.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who has taken a hard line in Bush's favor, said Sunday, "By the time we get to September, October, members are going to want to know how well this is working, and if it isn't, what's Plan B."

This is the same Boehner who said this a week ago:

“House Republicans will oppose any bill that includes provisions that undermine our troops and their mission, whether it's benchmarks for failure, arbitrary readiness standards or a timetable for American surrender."

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), who captivated DB with his party-of-surrender poetry on the floor of Congress last week, followed that performance by quoting a KKK Grand Wizard. Bravo!

And today, we have the coup de grace, via Tim Russert:

In a sign of the growing fissure between the White House and its congressional allies over the war, NBC News reports tonight that 11 Republican members of Congress pleaded yesterday with President Bush and his senior aides to change course in Iraq.

The group of Republicans was led by Reps. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Charlie Dent (R-PA), and the meeting included Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, and Tony Snow. One member of Congress called the discussion the “most unvarnished conversation they’ve ever had with the president,” and NBC’s Tim Russert said it “may have been a defining pivotal moment” in the Iraq debate.

Russert described the conversation:

[O]ne said “My district is prepared for defeat. We need candor, we need honesty, Mr. President.” The president responded, “I don’t want to pass this off to another president. I don’t want to pass this off, particularly, to a Democratic president,” underscoring he understood how serious the situation was.

Brian, the Republican congressman then went on to say, “The word about the war and its progress cannot come from the White House or even you, Mr. President. There is no longer any credibility. It has to come from Gen. Petraeus.” The meeting lasted an hour and 15 minutes and was, in the words of one, “remarkable for the bluntness and no-holds-barred honesty in the message delivered by all these Republican congressmen.”

So there you have it.

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