Sunday, January 14, 2007

When the midterm election results were final I wondered how Bush would deal with a Democratic Congress. This was a President who spent six years with basically a rubber stamp Congress. Now he would face opposition. I figured either he would learn to tolerate diplomacy and compromise or he would go all bullheaded and fight Congress tooth and nail. So far the latter has proven true.

Today it was reported that Bush doesn’t seem to have much concern for the opposition of Congress to his plan to add over 20,000 additional soldiers to the forces in Iraq. He said and I quote, "I fully understand they could try to stop me from doing it. But I've made my decision. And we're going forward". Bush has reduced himself to a spoiled child sitting in the corner and throwing a fit and getting his way. He seems to care not for the advice of experts or the concerns of Congress or even the will of the American people. He is bound and determined to win this war. Victory seems to be his only goal. Even though he recently said victory will not look like it did in previous wars. Even though back in May of 2003 when he put on his precious little flight suit and landed in a jet plane on the deck of an aircraft carrier he sure did his damnedest to make it look like an old time victory celebration. Even though we have little idea what victory really is an Iraq because our goals have shifted more than the desert sands. First it was WMD, and then it was democracy in Iraq, now it seems to be stability in Iraq. Victory is impossible to achieve when your standards of victory keep changing.

Even Cheney has entered the fray on this one railing again war fought by committee. Given how this war has been fought so far, by a small cadre of neo-conservatives who were given carte blanche to do as they pleased with our foreign policy and military, I would suspect a diversity of opinion might be beneficial to the war in Iraq. Maybe listening to multiple experts and formulating your ideas on those experts opinion might move us ever closer to peace in Iraq. But this administration was given that opportunity and they ignored the input of experts and forged ahead with an unpopular, and by all accounts unsound, plan to increase troop levels in Iraq.

Now there is opposition in Congress that might slow their aggression. Rep. Jack Murtha has said that he would like to cut the funds and shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay Cuba. He also wants to hold hearings to prevent troop escalation in Iraq. If Murtha is successful it will most likely not come without a long arduous struggle. Bush seems to believe himself a war president with unlimited powers to do as he sees fit to protect the nation. He will not relent easily. Murtha has to do this. So far the Bush administration has gone on unchecked by Congress. He has used signing statements to alter the law. He has spent money at a rate that could damage our economy for generations. He needs to be opposed. The point of having a system of checks and balances is that no branch of government operates unchecked. Bush has operated without the oversights outlined in our Constitution for far too long. Should he fail to be able to work with a Congress not of his own party then he is a failure as a President. Both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton has Congresses that were controlled by the opposition party for at least part of their times as President. Now both are icons of the respective parties. Bush has to be able to do the same. Given his most recent behavior I’m not sure that he can.


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