Let's be honest. Most people are not happy with Pres. Bush today. Yet, we elect our leaders to make the tough decisions and this president is not afraid of making them.
As I wrote before, I agree with Newt Gingrich's assessment of this war. See Expect Long War Against 'Irreconcilable Wing of Islam,' Gingrich Says:
"With an eye toward history, Gingrich invoked the "long night in Baltimore" during the War of 1812, applying it to the contemporary struggle against terrorism. Americans have not yet come to terms with the "level of ferocity" that is being directed against them, he argued."
That's right. Too many of us are still counting votes in Florida or consumed with Pres. Bush's position on abortion. Too many of us don't want to see the threat because we are angry that VP Gore could not win Tennessee!
Nevertheless, we elect Congressmen and Senators to be responsible and see the big picture.
Did anyone see the Sec. Rice hearings on Friday? Was that a fact finding hearing or just another opportunity to get their name in the evening news?
What did we learn from their questions? We did learn that Sec. Rice is a childless woman. (By the way, where are the feminists? Unfortunately, the feminists do not defend black Republican women!)
We also learned that Pres. Bush is the only one in Washington who has put a plan on the table. The critics have a lot of opinions but do they have any solutions?
Think about it! Can you imagine a Republican Congress pursuing a non-binding resolution saying that Pres. Roosevelt fumbled the war in 1942, or that mistakes on D-Day cost thousands of lives or demanding an explanation for the intelligence failure (a.k.a. The Battle of the Bulge) or calling for an investigation as to why we lost 7,000 Marines in Iwo Jima because our commanders underestimated Japanese defenses.
Thankfully, the Republicans did not do that. They were willing to go along for the sake of the nation. Can't we expect the Democrats to do the same?
In private, most Democrats understand that a failed Iraq state would be a disaster for the US and Israel. In public, they can't do anything that makes Pres. Bush look good.
Frankly, this is insane. Our politics is insane.
Unfortunately, I agree with Boneless Wonders: Meet the spineless members of Congress by William Kristol:
"Say you're an average congressman. How do you react to President Bush's Iraq speech?
You suspect, deep down, that he's probably doing more or less what he needs to do. We can't just click our heels and get out of Iraq--the consequences would be disastrous. And the current strategy isn't working.
You have said so yourself. Last fall you called for replacing Rumsfeld. You've complained that there weren't enough troops. What's more, you've heard good things about General David Petraeus from colleagues with military expertise.
So now Bush has fired Rumsfeld, put Petraeus in command, and sent in more troops. Maybe this new approach deserves a chance to work?
But, hey . . . look at those polls! And those op-ed pages!
You didn't come to Washington to support an unpopular president conducting an unpopular war. And the Bush administration is doing a crummy job of explaining this change in strategy.
The path ahead in any case is going to be tough, and the new strategy might fail. Besides which, being for "escalation" sure doesn't sound good. Wasn't that a problem in Vietnam?
So you work on your talking points: You understand the president has a tough set of choices. You've got doubts about the path he's chosen. You've got lots of questions. But perhaps we should give it a chance . . .
But wait--that doesn't sound like leadership. That doesn't look decisive.
And, if you're a Democrat--you didn't put in all that effort getting elected just so you could get a lot of grief from your own activists.
If you're a Republican from a Democratic-leaning state--you didn't put in all those hours getting elected just so you could alienate the swing voters you need.
So why not take the next step? Condemn the president's approach! There. That's a position.
But you're not just a talking head. You're a legislator.
You need to vote. But on what? How about voting to disapprove of the president's "escalation"?
Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have come up with a nonbinding resolution opposing a troop increase. That's the ticket.
After all, you're not cutting off funds. You're not embracing any alternative policy. (God knows what it would be.)
As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday, "I'm not the president. It is the president's obligation to set the policy."
What's your obligation? Certainly not to take responsibility for proposing a real alternative to the president's policy. No way."
That's exactly right!
P.S. For something more positive, the financial community is apparently happy with Pres. Bush's speech. These are the folks who put their money where their mouth. See Investors Say: Give the Iraq Plan a Chance By Lawrence Kudlow:
"But President Bush's overhauled Iraq strategy, including a tougher line on Iran, is being viewed by investors as a plus for security in the Middle East.
Two large aircraft carrier groups and 16,000 sailors have been positioned in the Persian Gulf.
There also are indications that the United States will provide Patriot anti-missile defense systems to allies in the region.
So, putting all this together, geopolitical risk premiums are actually declining -- hence lower oil prices.
While pundits and politicians are saying the new Bush plan won't work, market investors are voting with their money for a much more positive verdict.
And after surveying the details of the new Iraq strategy, I'm casting my lot with the investors."
See Bush Stands Alone--- Defying Congress, the press, and the Washington establishment by Fred Barnes:
"With Bush's decision to intensify the war in Iraq, a striking feature of his presidency emerges once again. He is willing to reject the conventional wisdom and endure sharp attacks for a policy he believes in. His foes regard him as stubborn to a fault and in denial about the poor prospects in Iraq. Something like that was said of Lincoln during the Civil War. Okay, Bush isn't Lincoln. But he is a president with courage and remarkable stamina, a president who, after six years, Washington still doesn't quite get."
For a little history, check out Lessons of 1864 By Barry Casselman:
"I do not know if Mr. Bush's policy of adding troops is the right one. It does make sense, yet it may, as his critics say, fail. But I do know that he is the only one currently with the responsibility to preserve, protect and defend the nation as commander-in-chief. The election is over.
All of us, including most of Mr. Bush's harshest critics, need now to look at the national long-term interests, and not be caught up in the moment.
Today's apparent defeats can turn quickly into astonishing and unexpected victories."