Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Speech Bush Should Give

At Mustard Street we focus on the local scene. But this one's been bouncing around my cranium since last November.

Bush should have given the following speech the day after the election. But it's still not too late.

My fellow Americans. The 2006 elections across the country confirmed what every method of measuring public sentiment had suggested for months: a significant majority of the American people do not support our effort in Iraq.

I can, and have, argued to the best of my ability as to why the cause is right and why we need to see it through. You have told me that you disagree.

You have elected new leadership in Congress, a leadership that won its majority by campaigning against my position on Iraq. I wish you had made a different decision, but that is the decision you made.

I consider it my duty not merely to respect the wish of the American people, but to comply with it.

Accordingly, from this moment forward, my administration will take no action, and make no decision with respect to the war in Iraq without the prior approval of House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid. Further, my administration will initiate no action or decision with respect to the Iraq war, other than to implement actions and decisions agreed on and proposed by Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.

In short,
in all further matters involving Iraq I yield completely to the new Congressional leadership.

You and I now await their guidance.

God bless you all, and God bless America.

This would have two major effects. First, it would take Bush out of the business of prosecuting a war in opposition to the popular will. We're just not going to succeed under those circumstances. Even if you believe in what Bush is doing and how he's doing it, as last night's Senate vote on troop withdrawal shows, the new Congress isn't going to let him do it. So it's not going to happen.

The other major effect is either good or bad, depending on how dedicated a Democratic or Republican partisan you are: it would get the Iraq monkey off the Republicans' back. In effect, Bush would be telling the Democrats: "You said you're way was better, and you won. Now go do it."

This of course would destroy the Democratic game plan for the next year and a half, which is to let the war drag out and damage the Republicans even more, softening them up further for the 2008 elections. The Iraq war is the most potent thing they have going for them politically now and in the forseeable future.

Bush would snatch it right away if he'd give that speech.

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