Bush Brought This On Himself
Today the President received what is widely (though not universally) perceived as a rebuke from the Republicans in the Senate in the form of an amendment to the military funding bill requiring reports on the status of events in Iraq. Frankly, Mr. Bush brought this on himself by his failure to express repeatedly and with emphasis the reasons for our presence and the results of our progress.
By saying that I do not in any way mean to say that I do not understand those reasons or that I am ignorant of those results. But the reality is that most of the country has not heard an answer to the drumbeat of criticism from the Democrats in the Congress and the media. And the President has let this happen, relaxing supinely in the face of these attacks rather than responding with vigor. (To be fair, he has given two speeches in the last three days, but that hardly matches the months of constant criticism.)
Further, he has failed to prosecute the war with the full force and fervor that wartime demands. This half-hearted approach to terrorist thugs and killers has resulted in the death and wounding of many of our brave soldiers. (Lt. Col. Kurilla, made famous by Michael Yon in Gates of Fire was shot by a man who had been captured and released--and he is far from alone.) For those reasons, I say that he has brought this action on himself.
In the minority who are not outraged is the very conservative and level-headed Captain Ed, who described the vote as "smart tactics." Representing the majority, Hugh Hewitt is blasting away at the leaders of the party in the Senate. (It's more than a little ironic for the leader of those who put party above principle when it came to Harriet Miers to be going the other direction now, but that's the topic for another post.)
If indeed today's action represents a rebuke of the President, it is one he deserves. I voted for him twice, and I want to support him. But his refusal to go to war with the fervor of Sherman has disappointed me. His refusal to take border security seriously is terrifying. And his refusal to stand up for the truth in the face of near-constant lying slanders is hurting him badly. Hopefully he will take the necessary action to correct these problems, and the vote will be a wake up call. If it is not--if he continues blithely along--he'll have to worry about a Democratic majority rather than a Republican one after 2006.