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Joel Monka

I'm intrigued by your comment "The Congress is now controlled by adults. It's up to the Democrats - joined by what seems to be a growing cadre of rational Republicans - to say no to the been-there-done-that-and-it-didn't-work escalation Bush proposed last night." What makes it interesting is that up until the moment Bush said it, it WAS the Democratic plan! In this article from Dec 5- just a month ago- Rep. Silvestre Reyes, Nancy Pelosi's own personal pick for chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he wants to see an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops. (see Newsweek http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16062351/site/newsweek/ )

He also said "Well again, I differ in that I don’t want Iraq to become the next Afghanistan. We could not allow Iraq to become a safe haven for Al Qaeda, for Hamas, for Hizbullah, or anybody else. We cannot allow Iran or Syria to have a free hand in there to further destabilize the Middle East.” Reyes added that he was “very clear” about his position to Pelosi when she chose him over two rivals—Rep. Jane Harman of California and Rep. Alcee Hastings—to head the critical intelligence post.

But now, a month later, Ms Pelosi and Senator Reid repudiated that position so that they could stay on the opposite side of Bush. Is this really "adult" leadership?

Julie Fanselow

Joel, that's an interesting observation, and I'd expect Reyes to continue to back Bush on the escalation if he holds these views.

As we know, the Democrats are a varied bunch. I don't know that Pelosi and Reid are repudiating Reyes so much as his view on the escalation. It now appears that some Republicans oppose escalation, too, but I am sure some Democrats will back it.

Is it possible that Pelosi could disagree with Reyes on this military matter while still valuing his expertise on intelligence? Indeed, a high-quality intelligence apparatus needs to be one of the principal (perhaps the most important) way we fight the "war on terror."

When I say the Congress is controlled by adults, I mean we now have a legislative branch dominated by people (in both parties) who are willing to do due dilligence and work on very thorny issues, rather than swallow whatever snake oil the executive branch is selling.

Jessica

Or is it possible, that people change their minds????? I know that is hard to believe if you are a Bush lover, seeing as how he likes to "stay the course", though it may lead to total disaster.

sharon fisher

I heard Bush's approval rating is down to 12%.

I also heard on the news that Barbara Boxer lambasted Condoleeza Rice because *she* didn't have any children or grandchildren who would have to deal with the war.

Bubblehead

Sharon,
There's enough information to use against the administration without making stuff up about President Bush's approval rating ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/12/AR2007011200524.html ). Re: Speaker Boxer's statement -- does this mean that the Speaker of the House is opposed to alternative family structures? Are only those with children allowed in government?

Julie Fanselow

12% seemed awfully low to me, even for Bush. Thanks for the real poop on that. The real question in my mind: Will his approval rate in Idaho finally fall below 50% in the next Survey USA poll? (I'm guessing one's due soon ...)

As for Boxer, I'd agree: That was a pretty callous comment.

Irwin Horowitz

Bubblehead,

First, a reminder that Barbara Boxer isn't the new speaker (Nancy Pelosi is). For those who don't know, she's the junior Senator from California.

As for her comment, I suspect it has more to do with the lack of senior Bush officials having a "personal" stake in Iraq, to the effect of having one of their family members serving there at this time (note this isn't a blanket statement...no doubt there are some admin members who do have a family member serving at this time).

sharon fisher

I didn't make the figure up. If I was wrong -- and I may well have been, which is why I said 'I heard' rather than sourcing it -- then I apologize, and thanks for the correct information.

I'm not going to comment on whether or not it was appropriate for Boxer to say that -- simply that it's interesting the rhetoric has gotten to that level. Plus I find it interesting that it was two women. I wonder whether how it would have seemed different if it was two guys, or one of each.

Bubblehead

My bad on confusing Speaker Pelosi and Senator Boxer; I actually do normally know which is which.

Diana Rowe Pauls

I realize that many people reacted strongly to Senator Boxer's comment, but it reflected my feelings exactly. Whether Rice has zero children or ten, no matter what her marital status is, siblings, whatever... my question to ALL of those who casually throw American bodies into the war... Do ANY of these bodies belong to YOUR loved ones?? It is a VALID statement and IMHO it was designed to stimulate thought and remind the rest of us about how easy it is for some to demand sacrifice from others, when it doesn't affect them personally.

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