Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Presi-duck get's Webbed.

I think the drubbing the GOP suffered in the November elections is really starting to settle in. Seeing Nancy Pelosi sitting next to Cheney -- where Denny Hastert comfortably snoozed during past SOTUs -- really drove it home for me. (It was kind of like seeing white Gandalf sitting next to Sauran.) I wish I was in DC right now so I could finally get back at those bratty little Republican staffers who infested all the bars in Eastern Market back in '04 with their self satisfied smirks. (And I'd really like to find that schmuck from Raytheon I spent an hour going around and around with in Georgetown that one long night.) The true believers, all 28% of them, just can't admit their big hero is an abject failure whose leading them back into the political wilderness for another 40 years. I say, God speed George Bush, bring 'em on!

W.'s latest SOTU should be all the evidence anyone needs to prove that he's the lamest of lame ducks. Seriously, who does he think he is? What a joke. What I love the most is the fact that he thinks the Dems need to do what he says to show the public they're not partisan. As one GOP strategist quoted in the WaPo says (referring to his poll ratings), "When you're sitting at 35 [he's being a bit generous]and you're telling them what to do after they've won an election, they've got to chuckle." Someone ought to point out to him also that if he starts wielding his veto pen every time a law hits his desk that he doesn't like, he'll be the one accused of being the obstructionist.

I also love that there's as much talk about Jim Webb's rebuttal as there is about W.'s lame attempt to cling to relevancy. No one wants to hear about "finding our resolve to turn events toward victory," as the car bombs keep exploding and 29 more U.S. soldiers are dead. Jim Webb really cut through the crap and laid it on the table. He said what everyone wanted to hear and he managed to do it in about 9 minutes: "The President took us into a war recklessly. . . We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable -- and predicted -- disarray that has followed."

Bam! The truth for once! What more needs to be said? And either W. gets a clue and works with the Democratic majority to find a way out of this mess, or Congress will "be showing him the way." Because, once he's surged the last few troops we've got left to Iraq, he's going to be out of options. He may be the Decider in chief but he's not the boss of Jack Murtha. When W. sends his minions down to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue with their hands out they're going to hit a brick wall. Suddenly, W & Co. are going to have to explain where all the money is going and why the Army doesn't have any men left. Remember, Jack Murtha plans to play the readiness card.

And W. just shot the wad: AP reports that the head of the National Guard, Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, says "I am not as comfortable as some others seem to be in accepting the low readiness levels here at home. It creates a problem. It will cost us time and time will translate into lives." The WaPo reports that senior Army officers told reporters yesterday that: "All the Army's combat brigades -- except for the handful on alert or ready to go overseas in a month -- are currently rated as unready to deploy." Lt. Gen. Stephen Speaks, Army deputy chief of staff, says if there's another "combat scenario" requiring a large number of conventional forces, "that's where America is taking a risk."

But not to worry, didn't Maureen Dowd write in the NYT on the 13th that W.'s classmates at Yale said he was the "riskiest Risk player of them all." This 'ideological war' he's fighting is just a big board game to him. And W. is the kind of guy who just hates to lose. Gail Sheey wrote in Vanity Fair that "Even if he loses, his friend's say, he doesn't lose. He'll change the rules, or make his opponent play until he can beat them." This time around, however, I don't think Congress wants to play and he's not making the rules anymore. Tough old vets like Murtha and Webb aren't likely to knuckle under to a bully with a pedigree like a bunch of skinny New England blue-bloods might have.

This is some serious business and our people are dying. Lots of our people are dying. It's time for some adult supervision and a few trips out to the woodshed. This president sent our soldiers into harm's way under-equipped and with insufficient numbers to get the job done. Four years later he's planning to compound that error in judgment by sending more troops -- but again, not enough to get the job done -- on an ill defined mission with no exit strategy. On top of that he's leaving us vulnerable to attack by any country or stateless entity willing to gamble that we're not capable of taking on one more crisis.

If he does not yield to the will of Congress and the vast majority of the American people by immediately changing course, he and his vice-president should be removed from office for dereliction of duty. This isn't about politics anymore, this isn't about stains on blue dresses; this about this country's ability to defend itself. All congressmen and women took an oath to preserve and defend the constitution, not the leader of their political party. If they allow this president to play Risk with our national defense, they will be betraying their sacred duty to this great nation and endangering the lives of all its citizens.


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