Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Election Cycle Is Starting

Bush's poll numbers look a lot like Nixon's. There are investigations or indictments facing most of the Republican leadership. Top Republican fundraisers and lobbyist are under indictment, and every day more slime seeps out about the criminality that pervades Bush's party.

So, for some Republicans, it is time to create a little distance between themselves and Bush.

For the past three years, President Bush has set the course on U.S. policy in Iraq, and Republicans in Congress -- and many Democrats, too -- have dutifully followed his lead. Yesterday the Senate, responding to growing public frustration with the administration's war policy, signaled that those days are coming to an end.

The rebuff to the White House was muffled in the modulated language of a bipartisan amendment, but the message could not have been more clear. With their constituents increasingly unhappy with the U.S. mission in Iraq, Democrats and now Republicans are demanding that the administration show that it has a strategy to turn the conflict over to the Iraqis and eventually bring U.S. troops home.

The democratic version, that placed more demands on the administration, was voted down. In the past that would have been the end. Now, with the Bush presidency in the crapper, some republicans are starting to think for themselves (or at least are scared to death about their election chances).

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