WASHINGTON, April 30 — Democratic leaders in Congress are planning a special ceremony on Tuesday afternoon to send President Bush a bill that sets timetables for troop withdrawal from Iraq.Is it political theater? Of course it is but the entire war has been political theater from day one.
The timing is no accident. It comes on the fourth anniversary of the day Mr. Bush stood on an aircraft carrier under the banner “Mission Accomplished” and declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended.
The Democrats’ ceremony, featuring the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is part of the elaborate political theater at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue surrounding the Iraq spending bill, which is destined to produce only the second veto of Mr. Bush’s presidency.
But with Mr. Bush planning to spend Tuesday in Florida talking with military commanders, the White House was being coy on Monday about what kind of theatrics of his own — if any — he might stage. Democrats, however, said they expected the veto to come Wednesday.
Meanwhile there is no sign of political reconciliation in Iraq.
Sunni Bloc Threatens to Pull Ministers From Cabinet
The largest bloc of Sunni Arabs in the Iraqi Parliament threatened to withdraw its ministers from the Shiite-dominated cabinet today in frustration over the Iraq government’s failure to deal with Sunni concerns.Not that it really matters since the Iraqi parliament rarely meets and is planning to take two months off.
President Bush stepped in to forestall the move, calling one of Iraq’s two vice presidents, Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni Arab, and inviting him to Washington, Mr. Hashimi’s office said in a written statement.
The bloc, known as the Iraqi Consensus Front and made up of three Sunni Arab parties, “has lost hope in rectifying the situation despite all of its sincere and serious efforts to do so,” the statement said.
If the Sunni group followed through on its threat, it would further weaken a government already damaged by the pullout two weeks ago of six cabinet ministers aligned with the renegade Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr and further erode American efforts to promote reconciliation between Sunnis and Shiites.
As I said yesterday I don't think the kool-aide drinking base is going to let a majority of the Rethuglicans turn on Bush and his war.
George Will and William F. Buckley Jr think that George W. Bush and his war may turn out to be as bad for the Republicans as the administration of Herbert Hover. Will does think many Republicans will defect in the next few months however.
At the end of this clip from ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos and George Will have this interesting exchange:So, could we have enough defections by the Fall to override a veto? Perhaps!Stephanopoulos: If this now declared deadline of Gen. Petraeus of September, if the political goals haven't been met by then, do you see large scale Republican defections at that point?
Will: Absolutely. They do not want to have, as they had in 2006, another election on Iraq. George, it took 30, 40 years for the Republican Party to get out from under Herbert Hoover. People would say, "Are you going to vote for Nixon in '60?" "No, I don't like Hoover." The Depression haunted the Republican Party. This could be a foreign policy equivalent of the Depression, forfeiting the Republican advantage they've had since the '68 convention of the Democratic Party and the nomination of [George] McGovern. The advantage Republicans have had on national security matters may be forfeited.
I see one thing as certain, George W. Bush will not only go down as the worst president in history but may leave office as the most despised. Jeb had better change his name or look for work outside of politics.