Friday, September 29, 2006

Bush Speaks To Gutknecht, Shays, Hagel, Jones, Fitzpatrick and the Democrats

Simply stated, George Bush has had a bad week.

* Three Republican Senators rebuffed his legislation for interrogation and prosecution of terror detainees.
* President Clinton energetically defended his efforts to efforts to kill bin Laden and vowed that he would have more troops targeting bin Laden today.
* The April National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for jihadists, who are growing in number and geographic reach.
* Bob Woodward is set to release “State of Denial,” the third in his series of books documenting the inner workings of the Bush administration. Some of the tidbits include :
-- On July 10, 2001, George Tenet and his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, met with Ms. Rice at the White House to impress upon her the seriousness of the intelligence the agency was collecting about an impending attack. But both men came away from the meeting feeling that Condi Rice had not taken the warnings seriously. Further, that in the weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, Tenet believed that Donald Rumsfeld was impeding the effort to develop a coherent strategy to capture or kill bin Laden.
-- President Bush’s top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms, but shared a tendency to dismiss as too pessimistic assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq.

So, it shouldn’t be surprising that Bush lashed out yesterday (Thursday - September 28), saying "Five years after 9-11, Democrats offer nothing but criticism, and obstruction and endless second guessing."

Although the stated target was the Democrats, I believe it was instead a warning to his fellow Republicans not to abandon ship.

Some Republicans in solidly conservative districts, and some not facing re-election this year, have publically changed their views on the war.

In North Carolina, Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., a staunch conservative whose district includes the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune, originally supported the war. In 2005, he said there had been little reason to go to war and called on Bush to apologize for misinforming Congress.

When Gutknecht returned from his first visit to Iraq, he declared that Americans don't have "strategic control" of the streets of Baghdad and advocated a "limited troop withdrawal — to send the Iraqis a message."

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), a Vietnam War veteran who is not up for re-election, said last year that the U.S. was "getting more and more bogged down" in Iraq and stood by his comments that the White House was disconnected from reality and losing the war.

In a mailing to constituents in mid-August, Pennsylvania Republican Michael Fitzpatrick urged an alternate course. "American needs a better, smarter plan in Iraq," said the mailing. "Congressman Fitzpatrick says NO to President Bush's 'stay the course' strategy.”

Connecticut Republican Rep. Chris Shays on August 28th said that the US needs time frame for troop withdrawal.

But will public comments translate into how these Republicans vote and perform their job?

So with weeks until the November election, voters are faced with a choice of supporting Rove-Robots who may appease voters concerns with comments that they have qualms about Bush’s strategy in Iraq but do nothing about it; or honest candidates that will support and protect our troops while enforcing their Congressional oversight responsibility.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

I've been impressed to see people from both parties stand up and challenge the President on Iraq. It's good to see that some members of Congress take their oversight responsibility seriously.