Friday, June 29, 2007

GOP damns Bush

The numbers behind the failure of the Democratic initiative to force an Iraq withdrawal timetable were comparable to those that went into the GOP's severe reprimand of Bush and his Democrat-backed immigration bill.

Political winds are shifting rapidly. The White House, still reeling from GOP Sen. Lugar's call for a troop pullout, got little sympathy in the Senate. Tennessee's freshman GOP Sen. Corker denounced Bush as incompetent and cited a litany of disastrous events, including botched prewar intelligence and the handling of the Katrina catastrophe.

Conservative pundit Dick Morris is urging Bush to save the GOP from a 2008 cataclysm and begin drawing down troop levels. A face-saving move would be for Bush to agree with Sen. Clinton that U.S. troops have done their job but that the Iraqi government has not done its job.

The Iraq war is so contentious it is stirring up local governments, as evidenced by a recent U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution urging a quick troop pullout. The 51-47 vote was close. But, no telling what the vote might be if held next week, as the GOP begins to swing away from Bush on all fronts.

Bush's isolation is complete as Blair steps down and the much less hawkish Brown takes the PM's reins.

All this may be shaping up into the ironic scenario of the Republicans angling to impeach and remove Bush and Cheney quickly before the party suffers any more damage while the Democrats maneuver to keep him in office as the bad guy everybody loves to hate, thus enhancing their 2008 chances.

The one issue that could throw all plans overboard is evidence of 9/11 skullduggery. The political situation is sufficiently fluid that such an expose isn't completely beyond the pale, though it may seem so at the moment.

I checked the Downing Street web site and Blair's final question time isn't transcribed, nor linked to Theyworkforyou, which permitted the public to comment on parliamentary discussions.

Not sure whether Downing Street is using the PM changeover as a reason to reorganise that option -- and the occasional comments of yours truly -- out of existence, or whether it's just a temporary change. I guess we'll find out when Brown appears at Question Time next week.

Murdoch's friends
Look who's soft-pedaling Murdoch's Dow Jones maneuver. Ben Bradlee, the former Washington Post editor, and Al Neuharth, former chief of USA Today. Neither seems offended by Murdoch's move and are downplaying presumed dire consequences. This contrasts with Gene Roberts, the Philadelphia Inquirer's former star editor, who drew the line and said he would under no circumstances work for Murdoch. (The opinions are to be found in Editor and Publisher online.)

Geeze. It doesn't even bother Bradlee and Neuharth that Murdoch has calculatedly interlocked News Corp. with the official Chinese Communist Party propaganda apparatus...


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