Even as Bush keeps losing fans among Republicans in the Senate, don’t bet that’s going to change his mind on Iraq.
This man gives stubbornness a bad name.
He’s said in the past that he’s going to stay on course even if the only people supporting him are Laura and Barney.
And I’m not even sure they’re still on board.
But Cheney is, and the two of them have the utmost disdain for the Senate.
What do they care if Senator Lugar, or Voinovich, or Domenici, or Warner clears his throat and utters some faint criticism of the war?
Until these Senators are prepared to vote against continued funding for the war—and none of them are now—Bush and Cheney can go on their bloody way.
Many pundits are in fantasyland about the fabled “wise men” of the party going up to the White House and prevailing on Bush and Cheney. Get over it. Bush and Cheney can’t be budged.
They are unsusceptible to rational argument.
They are unmoved by political calculations, since they’re not running for office in 2008.
And anyway, Bush thinks he’s getting the word from on high to keep plunging ahead with this war.
“His faith is very strong,” said Michael Novak, a conservative theologian who recently met with Bush. He believes he’s “answering to God.”
Bush won’t answer to man until he’s absolutely forced to. That may be a while.
The last time the Senate voted, it was 80-14 to continue funding for Iraq.
Half measures, which some Democrats and Domenici favor, won’t do.
They think that if they fund U.S. troops only for going after Al Qaeda and training the Iraqis and protecting U.S. personnel, they would hasten the end of the war. But they’re fooling themselves. Such legislation would not provide any significant check on Bush’s warmaking.
He and Cheney would simply keep our troops there, anyway, by saying they’re doing what Congress wants: They’re going after Al Qaeda, and training the Iraqis, and protecting U.S. personnel (which means what? The embassy? The oil companies? The contractors?).
It’s going to take a lot more than a few weak cries from Republicans, and some mealy compromise from Democrats, to drag Bush and Cheney—and all our troops—out of Iraq.