I don’t know. Really, I don’t. Sometimes it all seems so very clear to me, and at others… not so much. I am an observer. I pay attention. Although I tend to ask a whole lot of questions, I prefer to make my discoveries through observation. Listening, watching, comparing and analyzing. It’s often better to be on the outside looking in because it’s impossible to gain a wide perspective from the inside. And that, I think, might be part of the problem. But again, I don’t know.
We have a president that seems oblivious to the reality he has created. Could he really believe that his war is justified? Still? Is it an exceedingly large ego that has kept him blinded? Could it be some sort of divine misguidance? Is it possible that he is so embroiled… so immediately connected that he can’t possibly see the whole picture? There are, of course, the loyalists - the Bushies - that will blindly follow their fearless leader no matter what. Even if Bush himself abandoned the cause, these followers would not. But for those who still can think for themselves, there is no such love.
We now have a congress that is showing signs of a backbone, however soft it might be. Say what you will about the accuracy of polls, it is impossible to ignore the trends and consistency of the president’s approval (or disapproval) numbers, especially where foreign policy is concerned. His back has been up against a wall for some time now. A Democratic congress has attached a number of amendments to the emergency military funding bill. Some are opportunistic pork barrel projects and, of course there are the “redeployment” targets. Bush says he will veto the bill - and blames congress. Congress blames Bush. And the beat goes on.
Ultimately it really doesn’t much matter. This is much ado about political posturing and not much else. If the troops don’t start coming home in March of 2008, they will in January of 2009. This war will end with this administration. Bush should just go ahead and sign the bill; he’ll have the opportunity for his “surge” to work - or not - either way. But it’s not as much about the war as it is the grab for executive power. Bush is nothing if not a man of principle and there will be no reneging if this Bush says, “Read my lips.” He said he would veto the bill and in all likelihood he will. What then is congress to do?
Well, maybe congress should just give him the funding bill he wants, and say this:
“We will not stand between the troops and the funds you say they need to succeed, Mr. President. You now have the funding and your time left in office for your “surge” to work. Success or failure will be yours and yours alone. This is your war, Mr. President.”
The president’s approval ratings will never recover. He will go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever - especially where foreign policy is concerned. Although the reputation of our country was not good before, it is in the gutter now. It will take decades to recover from the ill will created in just the last four years. Congress and the press bear much of the responsibility, but ultimately the buck stops in the Oval Office. We cannot win this war. Apparently we cannot even end it. What we need is a regime change.