Bush had hoped to persuade congressional leaders to withhold judgment until Wednesday night’s speech, meeting with more than 125 lawmakers in the run-up to the speech, including House leaders yesterday. But the Democrats couldn’t wait that long to hang the escalation plan in effigy.
Websites across the country quote President George Bush faux pas and speech blunders. In the six years that President Bush has been President of the United States, September 11th happened, America has gone into a war under the false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction, the National Debt is sky high, Hurricane Katrina survivors were left to starve and die in New Orleans, over 3,000 U.S. troops have been killed, and just recently the U.S. embassy in Greece has been attacked.
But this time it’s different—the Democrats, now in the majority, are beating down on Bush and his mistakes, namely the Iraq War blunders, like a hail storm. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, invoked Martin Luther King Jr. as she urged her members against inaction. Even House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, once a quiet Democrat who supported the war, stunned Republicans and Democrats alike when he voiced that the war is no longer militarily winnable.
Democratic reaction to Bush’s prime-time speech last night was overwhelmingly negative, setting the stage for a series of legislative moves that will play out over the next few months. Among the angry mob rises Representative John Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense. He wants the troops out yesterday and he is not alone.
Although Democratic leaders offered a united front after Bush’s Wednesday night speech, they have long struggled to forge consensus on the details of an alternative policy. Democrats have widely different views of the timing, manner, and terms of any future withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. A minority question on whether there should be a timetable for bringing all troops home. Now in the majority, they will be challenged to do what a president, all his horses, and all his men couldn’t do. The democrats will be taunted for lacking a defined policy for ending and winning the Iraq War without leaving that state in even greater disarray.
Some Democratic leaders have said they will not use the power of the purse to cut off funding, some favor the move. The fact is that the Democratic leaders have not reached any consensus regarding the President or many of his actions since they reclaimed power last November. What they do seem to agree on is that Bush can do no right.