Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Senate Proposals for Iraq II

It seems I was right yesterday when I said that no matter what proposal the Senate passed the democrats would claim victory. Even though their measure was defeated the Senate passed a watered down republican version of that proposal. It did not take long for the democrats to start touting this as a republican revolt against the President.

Of course I do not believe this is the case. Even though the timing was incredibly lousy with the President being out of the country, as I stated yesterday I believe that the republicans in the Senate had to do something to counter the democrats. I also agree with Bill Kristol when he says that no matter what the senate republicans do they will not be able to completely seperate themselves from Bush and the war, but I still believe they had to show some concern over the progress of the war and water down the rhetoric of the democrat proposal.

A lot of conservatives, especially those in the blogoshpere, are extremely mad at congressional republicans for various reasons. I am mad at them too, for various reasons. The one reason in the forefront right now is their inadequate defense of the war in Iraq. However, I am tempering that anger with the fact that it has taken the Bush Administration so long to answer democrat attacks.

Some of the more conservative republicans have done a pretty good job today of deflecting the democrat claim of republican rebellion. Their claim is that the provision passed is simply asking the President for updates and hoping that 2006 can be a transition year in Iraq. On the first part of that provision I could not agree more. If you have read my posts you know that I am a strong proponent of weekly news conferences on the state of the war. If the President had been doing this or at least something similar to this, that part of the provision would not have been needed. In fact the provision itself would never have been needed because I believe that if the American people were getting the whole story coming out of Iraq public support would be overwhelming.

I am mad about the provision calling for 2006 to be a transition year. Democrats may not care or may even be hoping for our defeat in Iraq but republicans should know better than to even hint that our resolve in waning by naming the upcoming year one of transition. You do not have to be a linguistics expert to know that statement is not all that different then the democrat cut and run statement.

Back to the defense, albeit reluctant defense, of congressional republicans. Even though they will never be able to seperate themselves from Bush and the war as stated before I believe they had to do something. They had to do it just in case Bush drops the ball and suddenly becomes content to take democrat attacks and discontinues his new offensive. I am optimistic that this is not going to happen this time but you can understand why some republican lawmakers are a little gun shy. If this does indeed happen at least some of them may be able to hold their seats by showing they were concerned about the conduct of the war.

The President and congressional republicans can easily make all of this better. The republicans did what they had to do politically at this juncture. All that has to happen now is for Bush to continue and broaden his offensive. Give those updates coming out of Iraq especially since there are more positives then the media and democrats will admit. Once these positive accomplishments are getting out the republicans can feel more confident about vigorously supporting the president and beating back the democrat rhetoric.

I am sure most of you reading this are saying that the congressional republicans should have been vigorously supporting the President already. What would you do in their situation? We talk about weak leadership in the House and Senate but you have to admit that the leadership coming from the White House over the last few months has been lacking to non-existent. Thankfully the President is starting to change all of that. Bush seems to be returning to that strong leader we elected. He can continue that trend by coming back to America fired up, ready to whip congressional republicans into line and ready to whip up on democrat defeatists.

Update: President Bush made some great statements from Japan regarding this issue. Capatains Quarters has the strory here...
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