Bush Just Sunk The GOP
I was lucky enough to miss Bush’s speech tonight, but I have seen clips now, and was fortunate to see the live “Charlie Rose” broadcast tonight, which had a great panel. In short, we now know the following.
Bush is not only refusing to talk with Iran and Syria, he is out gunning for them.
Bush ignored damn near everything about the Baker-Hamilton report, and threw away any bipartisan way out of Iraq that the ISG report offered him. He has chosen a partisan Cheneyesque “do it my way or else” solution instead.
Tom Ricks of the Washington Post told Charlie Rose tonight that he received many emails from military men inside the service after the speech who were uniform in their belief that Bush’s plan will not work, because the Iraqis cannot assume responsibility for their own security. Ricks reflected part of this in his piece for Thursday’s paper. David Ignatius of the Post also said that the assumptions about the al-Maliki government contained in the Bush plan are fantasyland. Even more, Tom Friedman told Tavis Smiley last night that it is time to leave.
Both Ken Duberstein and Richard Holbrooke said that Bush has thrown away the necessary bipartisan political support to continue this campaign. Howard Fineman says that Bush can't sell it.
And Bush is adding troops in Baghdad, something that the Iraqis themselves don’t want, while banking on the Iraqi government being multisectarian, when in fact the Hussein lynching proved the opposite.
There is much more to say on this, but Bush just sunk the GOP in the 2008 presidential election tonight. He is gambling on the public giving him the benefit of the doubt one last time as if last November’s election wasn’t about him. He doesn’t think his plan will cause him damage, but with the four leading GOP 2008 candidates all supporting the escalation, he will take down McCain, Giuliani, Romney, and Gingrich with him.
These dumbsh*ts just handed the White House to the Democrats in 2008.