Can Nancy Wrangle the Cat Herd?
Clearly, everyone is still on honeymoon, but it looks like the Britneycrats and Federlinicans are already angling for custody of the Iraqi "Children of Freedom". By Friday, we'll know if the marriage is retrievable. George will have delayed his inevitable call for more staying of the course - albeit under a different name - for as long as he can. Wednesday, he'll sheepishly speechify that perhaps things haven't gone quite so swimmingly, but that he's still ready to fight for victory - even if no one seems to be on board anymore. It's just fresh meat for the base and more interminable bloviating for the rest of us.
Nancy the Cat Wrangler
George's stalling tactics weren't caused by any "listening to opinions" or "consultation sessions". How much consulting does he need after four years to ask for two or three more years of doing the same thing? Even slow George has finally seen the handwriting on the wall and it looks like exactly his illegible scrawl. Like a little boy facing a timeout in the corner, he's angling for an excuse, any excuse, to blame the whole fiasco on Barney or some other imaginary friend.
As the disagreements about cutting Iraq funding already show, he's betting the cat herd called the Democratic Party won't be willing to fight a no-win battle. Cut funding and he'll argue - not completely without foundation - that the troops are the ones who will suffer. Don't cut funding and he'll swagger on his merry way, oblivious to complaints that he's a moron who still can't figure out what to do. He knows full well that the Constitution gives the power of making war policy to him, not the Congress. Over the next few months, George will develop a sudden and powerful attraction to the Constitution he's chosen to ignore so often before.
The war will go on at least for the remainder of his term. During that time, the dems will carp about the lack of a coherent policy as they stay well back from the funding cliff. George will do as he always does and claim the treasonous dems just don't want to win. He'll ice the cake by charging the dems are obstructionists because they've not counterproposed a strategy, conveniently forgetting they're under no constitutional obligation to do so and knowing he won't listen anyway.
George Leaves Dems Holding the Bag
Incurious George will make sure the Dems continue holding the bag until he can turn the White House keys, and his problems, over to the next occupant. Then it's off to cut brush in Crawford and visit the Presidomissionable lie-bary from time to time. While he's holding the troops hostage with his surging tsunami, he'll simply ignore the myriad other problems - Iran, Korea, Somalia, domestic issues, et al - figuring they'll simmer for another year or two before they blow up and become his predecessor's problems.
It's early, but the dems haven't shown much backbone so far. In telegraphing their reluctance to cut funding, they're trying to hand the bag of steaming offal back to its rightful owner. George, to no surprise, says a pleasant no thank you and continues watching reruns of Mork & Mindy. The dems seem afraid that by challenging Shrub they are successfully walking the tightrope between doing what is politically expedient and what is best for the country. Perhaps I'm wrong. I hope so. I hope they're just doing a little judicious toe-dipping to see how hot the water really is. I hope they'll finally understand that what is best politically is also best for the country. I hope they look at the majority of the electorate who are desperate to unload a stupid and incompetent war and convince themselves that doing something may be the answer to keeping them in power.
Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You...
If ever there was a time for a Kennedyesque leader, now is it. The dems need to grow some backbone and do the dirty work that needs to be done. Things in Iraq aren't going to get better, but they sure as hell can get worse. Better we untangle ourselves before it's too late and regroup to contain the damage so it doesn't spread. It's not victory. It's not pretty. It's not an optimum solution. But, that's what happens when a slapdash painter goes wild and paints you into a corner. We simply have to suck it up, walk across the wet paint, and accept that we'll have to do some repair work when it dries. I'll even kick in the paint and brushes.
What do you say? Shall we paint it blue?
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, January 09, 2007