Bush Readies To Escalate As GOP May Abandon Him
I said several weeks ago that Bush and McCain’s call for an escalation would not only isolate them and Joe Lieberman away from the rest of Congress, but that GOP incumbents in 2008 would be forced to separate themselves from Bush and McCain out of their own political survival. Now with the grotesque Shiite hanging party over the weekend and a rising Sunni reaction brewing, look for the support for any escalation to collapse in the coming week. This comes as the Times reports in Tuesday’s edition that Bush will soon be dumping General George Casey and going with an escalation to pursue “victory” rather than any troop withdrawal, after the White House was caught repeatedly off-guard with the rise in sectarian violence in 2006 and Bush refused to increase troop levels to deal with it until it was too late.
Robert Novak reported in Monday’s Post that Bush can count on only 13 votes for an escalation in the Senate, with Joe Lieberman being the only Democrat among that group. Novak says Republicans around the country are telling him that they were incredulous that Bush thumbed his nose at the ISG report, and that Bush and McCain will face growing opposition from within the GOP for any escalation. This will only get worse for the White House as the aftermath of the religious lynching of Saddam takes root in the Middle East.
In fact, with Democrats getting smart about seizing and holding the agenda during the first months of their reign and preventing the GOP from derailing their “100 Hours” agenda, look for the Democrats to assert themselves as the party that reflects the wishes of the public from the November election, while the GOP gets saddled with Bush and McCain’s anchor around their necks.
Joe Lieberman risks becoming irrelevant very fast.