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Broder: Bush Regains his Footing

David Broder has a piece in the Washington Post today in which he writes that President Bush has some political strenght remaining. Yes, Bush is in a weakened position, but it would be unwise to dismiss him:

It may seem perverse to suggest that, at the very moment the House of Representatives is repudiating his policy in Iraq, President Bush is poised for a political comeback. But don't be astonished if that is the case.

Like President Bill Clinton after the Democrats lost control of Congress in 1994, Bush has gone through a period of wrenching adjustment to his reduced status. But just as Clinton did in the winter of 1995, Bush now shows signs of renewed energy and is regaining the initiative on several fronts.

More important, he is demonstrating political smarts that even his critics have to acknowledge.

Don Surber discusses the other ways that Bush can come out ahead:

Broder didn't get into it, but I will: The election freed Bush in several ways. Like Clinton, things Bush could not get through a Congress run by his party are suddenly possible.

Just as Republican senators and congressors are now free to speak their minds about him, Bush is free of them.

Bush also can take down the façade of perfection in Iraq. Dumping Rumsfeld allowed him to bring in Petraeus and win the war.

Bush also dumped Bolton, whom I liked, but who is showing a rather disturbing pigheadedness for a diplomat. Bolton went ape over the Korean nuke deal. Excuse me, but neither Japan nor South Korea are willing to go to war over this. Without them: No war.

Losing Congress happens. Volumes have been written about the benefits of gridlock. I shall not add to the mass.

But being shed of a Republican Congress also does away with all the Terri Schiavo-style legislation and may move attention in the Republican Big Tent from the Creationist Clowns and back to the main event: Fixing the courts, balancing the budget and winning the war.

Joe Gandelman thinks Bush is on the verge of a rebound as well:

And into this vacuum of uncertainty moves someone to fill it with certainty....George Bush. Part of his rebound is due to the dilemma facing Democrats -- and how they're responding to it.


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Comments (18)

I read Border's piece, but ... (Below threshold)

I read Border's piece, but couldn't go Y further. It appears to all be wishful thinking -- and nothing more than fantasy-based arguments -- like this one of Broder's, his very first:

First, he argued that the House was at odds with the Senate, which had within the past month unanimously confirmed Gen. David H. Petraeus as the new commander in Iraq -- the man Bush said was the author of the surge strategy and the man who could make it work. Bush has made Petraeus his blocking back in this debate -- replacing Vice President Cheney, whose credibility is much lower.

The vote confirming Patraeus has nothing to do with the surge, it was the confirmation of a new commander -- not an endorsement of any policy or strategy. Had the surge been an implicit part of the vote -- if the question had been yea or nea on Patraeus AND the surge, it would not have been passed.

When that kind of intellectual dishonesty is the very first argument that supposedly supports this thesis, what's the point of reading the rest of it?

The vote confirming Patraeu... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

The vote confirming Patraeus has nothing to do with the surge, it was the confirmation of a new commander
He is the surge general. It is well known. Liberals cannot simply be honest about it. Again, the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the dems is clearly on display here, no matter how you spin it Lee.

Now that the ball is in the... (Below threshold)

Now that the ball is in the Dem's court, and they have Congress, no credible leadership is apparent.

They rushed to get an increase in minimum wage as their mantra, and now . . ., what?

They're doomed precisely because they have very little but petty political tactics they pursue to keep power. Nothing more.

Mitchell, The dems ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

The dems do have a plan to cut off the funding for the Iraq war. They are determined to fight by any means possible to defeat George Bush and Reps even it means aiding the terrorists and their sponsors. Look at what 's going on in the house. That 's their energy now (as before): American defeat.

If the surge has great succ... (Below threshold)

If the surge has great success (if the media will report it), the Dems are rightfully toast. Just wait until you see the contortions trying to spin their current embolden-the-enemy rhetoric into some sort of longtime surge support lie.

Democrats suck. Absolutely intellectually and morally bankrupt.

I like Surber's take:... (Below threshold)

I like Surber's take:

Dumping Rumsfeld allowed him to bring in Petraeus and win the war.

Wow, we won the war? That was quick. I guess Bush is doing better.

Bush is losing support all ... (Below threshold)

Bush is losing support all over based on what he is doing to Border Patrol agents and his lack of will to secure our borders.

The more you find out about how these two agents were setup, the more I'm willing to support impeachment of Bush. He's failed in his job in my opinion and what has happened to these Border Patrol agents is down right criminal while a drug smuggling illegal alien is given immunity and a green card.

It's pathetic.


The Iraqi war was won last ... (Below threshold)

The Iraqi war was won last summer but nobody in the MSM would admit it because of the election. The problem with Sadr is that he is an ally not an enemy. How we sign up people like Sadr as an ally is a snapshot of how bad GWB has run this war. Many mistakes too numerous to type in this comment. Now we will get the Iraqi army to finally occupy the country with our assistance. Then we will rebuild the interior ministry.

Why we have allies like Maliki is beyond me also. He is all about revenge first nation building some time later. What do you expect from someone who spent his life hiding in marshes from Saddam.

Anyway, back to GWB: the dems had only 3 items that they won on in 2006. 9/11 commission (done), embyonic stem cell research (bogged down), and the minimum wage (stopped in the Senate until tax cuts added). That is it. After that they degenerate into the kook left of defeat in a war we have already won plus other pet liberal projects. Not much of an agenda for long term success.

I like Surber's take:... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I like Surber's take:

Dumping Rumsfeld allowed him to bring in Petraeus and win the war.

Wow, we won the war? That was quick. I guess Bush is doing better.
Typical mantis cheap arg: hide behind sarcasm to make a cheap point. That 's what he is reduced to now.

Arrrggh.... (Below threshold)


LAI is so wrong -- Pirates ... (Below threshold)

LAI is so wrong -- Pirates cannot be reduced!

Yes, they can! And that's ... (Below threshold)

Yes, they can! And that's what's causing global warming!

Increase pirate rates now!!1!

The left wingers and RINO's... (Below threshold)

The left wingers and RINO's in congress are in a total panic. They fear the good news coming out of Iraq and now realize they have relied on the antique media for their view of what's really happening there, and 99% of it range from factually wrong to outright lies. Proven by several lies rooted out by the bloggers that paint Al-Reuters and the ASSociated (with terrorists) Press for what they are, do anything, including lie, to make a headline.

The members of congress would rather get thousands of American troops and millions of Iraqi's killed than to admit the simple truth. They have been suckered by the anti-american (communist/socialist) wing of the democrat party and the media. Repeat of their stupidity in Vietnam. Win it and give it away.

The war in Iraq can be won easily if the 'American' people back the military and support the soldiers that are giving their lives to protect our lives and freedoms. Continued support of the terrorists by the leadership of the democrat party will only result in the eventual destruction of this entire country. Look at the kiss ass French. Their country is virtually gone and will be Islamo-France in a couple of years.

The president can make a comeback in one week. Hold several news conferences and tell it like it is. The members of congress care nothing about the American people nor the country. They all fear for their high paying and ego building job. Nothing more.

First, he argued that th... (Below threshold)

First, he argued that the House was at odds with the Senate, which had within the past month unanimously confirmed Gen. David H. Petraeus as the new commander in Iraq -- the man Bush said was the author of the surge strategy and the man who could make it work.

This statement just shows how out-of-touch Bush is. If he thinks the vote for Petraeus was a vote for his surge plan then he is wildly delusional (wouldn't be the first time).

It's wrong to call Petraeus the "surge general" because no general should be identified with a single strategy. If the surge doesn't work are we supposed to dump Petraeus? How could you not believe that if you insist he is the "surge general"?

I think not. Petraeus has demonstrated that he's one of the most competent generals we have and he's also rewriting the military's book on counterinsurgency. As long as we are going to continue fighting this war we need men like Petraeus. And I say this as someone unalterably opposed to the surge plan and in favor of a phased withdrawal.

ScrapIron writes;<blo... (Below threshold)

ScrapIron writes;

The president can make a comeback in one week. Hold several news conferences and tell it like it is.

Hmmm... Out of the box thinking, but that might not be a bad idea! It could work, but we'll never know unless he tries.

I think the idea of a Bush comback in the next two years is wishfull thinking. He's lost the ability to rally the progressive and centrist portions of his party, Republicans aren't exactly clammoring to get photo ops with him any more, and many of his party that are up for reelection in 08 are distancing themselves from his policy. It becomes a self feeding effect after a while.

Secondly, I think it takes some time for the effects of policies to become apparent.

Sometimes it takes a long time... This year alone we will pay 100 Billion dollars in interest alone for debt Reagan racked up in the 80's with his "Voodoo Economics".

Sometimes the effects become apparent more quickly. We have just learned that privateizing functions formerly done by the military, in conjunction with poor oversight, bad contract management, and hiring incompetent political appointees has caused 10 Billion dollars to go missing in Iraq.

Bush has made a number of bad decisions over the last 6 years, and those pidgeons are coming home to roost eventualy. I think there are something like 200 seperate investegations started in congress and looking into everthing from Cheney's energy task force, Katrina, Iraq, etc, etc, etc...

I expect that many of those will be embarassing to the administration, and I expect that the next two years will be a constant pummeling of the results from his policy. I don't really see it as likley that he'll be a "golden boy" again by the end of his term...

Let me get this straight. B... (Below threshold)

Let me get this straight. Bush will rise because he is now rid of the Republican Congress, which:

  1. prevented him from getting legislation through that he wanted,
  2. had legitimate criticisms of him, but kept it to themselves,
  3. required him to maintain to the American people a façade of perfection in Iraq, when he and they knew it to be false,
  4. forced him to appoint Bolton, who he knew to not be right for the job,
  5. caused the Republican party to focus on Terri Schiavo and religion, rather than on the budget and the war.

OK, so tell me... why would anyone ever vote for another Republican again?

the left wing and rinos are... (Below threshold)

the left wing and rinos are in a panic because george bush is going to make a comeback as a result of all the good news that is going to come out of iraq. man, seriously, i've said this before, and i'll say it again- i LOVE you guys! are you sure this isn't a comedy site? this is parody, right?

george bush- great president or the greatest president?

Get it straight--Petraeus i... (Below threshold)

Get it straight--Petraeus is replacing Casey because Casey doesn't support the troop surge. So you simply replace him if he does not agree with the CIC. Petraeus literally wrote the new army manual on counter-insurgency and I hope that he can get the job done, but what if he can't? Petraeus is the best and brightest that the army has to offer so if he can't get it done who gets the next shot at it?






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