Waiting For The Godot Republicans

In the Democratic Presidential Debate. Sen. Hillary Clinton said:

"we need Republican support" to achieve the Democratic goal of leaving Iraq.

Sen. Barack Obama said:

We have to gather up 16 [Republican] votes to override [President Bush's] veto.

We'll be waiting for Godot then. The Republicans will never ever cross Bush on Iraq. Here is some evidence:

The experiences of the few Republicans to vote against the war help explain the remarkable unity that the party has maintained in Washington behind an unpopular president. Just four Republicans -- two in the House, two in the Senate -- voted last week for a $124 billion war funding bill that would require troop withdrawals to begin by Oct. 1, legislation that Bush has vowed to veto. That cohesion reflects the views of the GOP's core voters, who see the war in Iraq in fundamentally different terms than Democrats and political independents do, said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

This reality is reflected in this article:

Democrats are "going to have to pull out the surrender dates _ clearly those are the most unacceptable items _ as well as the strings on our troops," [Republican Rep. Adam] Putnam said in an interview. "Democrats and Republicans alike would like to see accountability, particularly on the Iraq government, and that can come in the form of benchmarks."

We'll be waiting for the Godot Republicans forever. As we have heard for years now, "moderate" Republicans will claim the "next 6 months are crucial." And President Bush has already provided the next milepost:

To buy time for his buildup of more than 28,000 troops to show results, Bush asked his commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, to deliver a progress report to the nation in early September. That helped stave off Republican defections as Congress debated whether to impose a timetable for troop withdrawals. But it also established September as a deadline for clearer military and political progress in Iraq, a tactical concession for a White House that long has refused to accept any benchmarks or timetables for evaluating the war, now 4 years old.

Riiiight. Come September, that's when the Godot Republicans will step up. Nonsense. Listen to the weasel words:

"If the president's new strategy does not demonstrate significant results by August, then Congress should consider all options — including a redefinition of our mission and a gradual but significant withdrawal of our troops next year," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who last week voted against the withdrawal bill.

So come September, if there are not "significant results" (whatever that means), the "moderate Republican" Susan Collins will urge consideration of all options. Boy oh boy, is she ready to step up. Puhleeeeaze.

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    The Long War (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 10:50:49 AM EST
    And the Long Wait. You hit the nail on the head BTD.

    Which is why I say IMAGINATION... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 11:35:38 AM EST
    ...is entirely lacking in party politics.  Have you heard any Dem even hazzard an opinion about how to repair, even just rhetorically, the damage done by the Bush misadministration?  What self-critical attitude we are going to take?   Do none these people ever just sit under the stars and ponder their smallness, and have the self-evident truths of mere human existence come clear to them?  Do they have no ability to simply speak their own minds, as desperate mortals like the rest of us, and not the minds they think others want to hear?

    Sadly, and clearly, the answer is still a resounding no.

    I'll say it again: Howard Beale, where are you?

    Gravel (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 12:42:58 PM EST
    is auditioning for the part it seems.

    This Sounds Like Providing Cover To Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 12:43:37 PM EST
    This whole thing would allow the so called Republican moderates completely off the hook on Iraq. How nice of the Dems to eliminate the major stumbling block to Republicans getting elected.

    Including benchmarks could allow both sides to claim some measure of victory. Democrats could say they had fulfilled their promise not to give Bush a "blank check" to continue a war that has lost popular support and cost more than 3,200 American lives.

    Yes indeedy (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 01:08:21 PM EST
    In my opinion, the key is not to appeal (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Geekesque on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 01:05:22 PM EST
    to the better angels of the Publicans' nature, but rather to put the political squeeze play on them.

    If they continue to side with the worst and least popular president in US history in enabling the worst disaster in US foreign policy of the past quarter century, they'll doom their party to electoral Armageddon.  

    Knowing that, eventually they will be the ones to cave.  

    Right now, there should be no negotiations with either Bush or Congressional Republicans.

    Their base (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 01:08:00 PM EST
    has the pull on them, not you or any Dem.

    You are proposing a fool's errand.

    We have always disagreed on this.

    I think the facxts are clearly bearing me out.


    Exactly. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 01:19:16 PM EST
    Their base will do whatever the (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Geekesque on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 01:28:36 PM EST
    authority figures say is necessary on Iraq.  

    If the Republican authority figures say it's time to leave Iraq and focus on things like gay marriage, they'll nod their heads and agree.

    McCain has lost GOP support since he went out of his way to tie himself to Bush's war effort.

    The Republican phalanx isn't a solid as you think.

    But, these are factual impressions and we'll just have to see.

    I do agree that defunding will, more likely than not, still wind up being necessary to end the war.  But, the political will in Congress and the country to pull the plug when the defunding date rolls around must be built.  


    Why didn't you say so before? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 01:47:49 PM EST
    I do agree that defunding will, more likely than not, still wind up being necessary to end the war.

    Bush is that figure (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 02:43:17 PM EST
    as you finsh eviscerating your own argument.

    Well done.


    So, call bluff and fund war till September (none / 0) (#11)
    by fairleft on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 02:40:02 PM EST
    but you don't hear such suggestions either from Clinton or Obama, or anyone. There's time, but I'm not optimistic we will hear much more about a very short-term supplemental.

    Au contraire, a little bit. (none / 0) (#13)
    by walt on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 06:33:15 PM EST
    In my opinion, Bu$h does not lead his base, nor do Cheney, Rove, or . . . ?  These folks follow their base, which may be led by a loose cabal of the fundagelical reverenders: Robertson, Dobson, Falwell, etc.  I absolutely do not know how that group of (literal) dead-enders (Armageddon & all that) arrives at a consensus, but it seems very clear that THEY inform Bu$hKorp as to which way the political winds of the base are blowing.

    There is, apparently, some methodology that allows these folks to arrive at a groupthink & get it delivered to Bu$h xliii, but I don't read their screeds so it's a mystery to me.

    A psychiatrist of my acquaintance is of the opinion that the rightwingnutz, rethuglicans & theocons participate in a form of "mob psychology" derived from a shared worldview based on a mis-analysis of "Revelation" in the Holy Bible.  Even without the assistance of FauxNews & Shooter Cheney, these folks would still believe that Saddam Hussein & Osama bin Ladin were pals, that the weapons of mass destruction are still hidden in Syria, that al Qaeda is responsible for the violence in Iraq, that God created the Kosmos in 6 days about 6,013 years ago & that Adam & Eve rode dinosaurs to church on Sunday somewhere around Baghdad.

    And, for me, that's the scary element of this: the US Senators who claim to be GOoPerz actually believe in their political positions as matters of faith----not policy.  They want to smite swarthy folks in the Middle East & Central Asia because that is a GOOD thing.  They will never end the occupation of Iraq or discipline any part of Bu$hInc.

    Precisely: (none / 0) (#14)
    by jondee on Mon Apr 30, 2007 at 07:16:06 PM EST
    seperate out the Messianic flock grazing and hanging on their tax-exempt, faith-based funded, shepherds every apocalyptic utterence, and you're lucky if there's 10% left.