A nervous WH
Ha,ha, fucking ha
White House tries to avoid Iraq showdown
By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 24 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - A Senate resolution opposing President Bush's war plan on
Iraq put the White House and Republican leaders on the defensive Wednesday as they scurried to prevent a trickle of GOP support for the measure from swelling into a deluge.
Eager to avoid an embarrassing congressional rebuke of the president's new war strategy, the administration seemed to hint that the effort — led chiefly by Democrats — might somehow be of assistance to terrorists. They also herded GOP skeptics to the White House, where they tried to allay the concerns of Republican lawmakers including Sens. John Warner (news, bio, voting record) of Virginia, Sam Brownback (news, bio, voting record) of Kansas, Norm Coleman (news, bio, voting record) of Minnesota and Susan Collins (news, bio, voting record) of Maine.
"What message does Congress intend to give?" asked White House spokesman Tony Snow. "And who does it think the audience is? Is the audience merely the president? Is it the voting American public or, in an age of instant communication, is it also al-Qaida?"
Initially announced by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (news, bio, voting record), D-Mich., and possible 2008 presidential candidates Sens. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record), D-Del., and Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record), R-Neb., the non-binding resolution states that "escalating the United States military force presence in Iraq" is not in the national interest. Bush has proposed adding 21,500 U.S. troops to the roughly 132,000 already in the country.
Moderate Sen. Olympia Snowe (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine, also quickly signed on.
Hagel's and Snowe's support for the measure is a major victory for Democrats, who believe their support will open the door for other Republicans to jump on board and challenge Bush.
The resolution does not call for a withdrawal of troops or threaten funding of military operations, as many Democrats have suggested. Instead, it says the U.S. should transfer responsibility to the Iraqis "under an appropriately expedited timeline" that is not specified.
Republicans who attended the White House meetings said they emerged unconvinced more troops were the answer in Iraq, but were unsure whether signing on to the resolution was the answer
Why is the WH nervous?
Because those who vote for the resolution today will be voting on impeachment tomorrow. Abu Ghraib Gonzalez isn't backing down for no reason. The WH expects a confrontation with Congress, a real one, and it isn't liking the numbers.
And Maliki isn't acting like a puppet or grateful any longer.
The resolution fight is just the opening round for Bush and if he loses it, he's gonna lose more.
posted by Steve @ 1:45:00 AM