Eleven Republican lawmakers visited the children's wing of the White House to deliver a message to the toddler in chief, smarten up. For more than an hour, the president met with a group from his own party. The meeting was also attended by Karl Rove, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and Secretary of Girlfriend Condoleezza Rice.
The moderate Republicans brought a message from their constituents and it was delivered with a frankness that was described as unvarnished. From the New York Times: "One told Mr. Bush that voters back home favored a withdrawal even if it meant the war was judged a loss. Representative Tom Davis told Mr. Bush that the president’s approval rating was at 5 percent in one section of his northern Virginia district."
Crooks & Liars has Keith Olberman's coverage from Countdown. With his credibility shot, his nation's treasure spent and the blood of thousands on his hands, it remains to be seen if the empty flightsuit gets the message. It will be very interesting to see if the new bill being crafted in the house and senate, with compromises on withdrawal and time tables, sees the promised veto. The Republican delegation stated they would stand by the president for the time being, but it is increasingly obvious that support is quickly eroding. It's sad to think that after every other consideration that it comes down to politics to sway this president. The threat of seeing the presidency, as well as both houses, going to the democrats in 2008 might be the tipping point.
Given his petulant nature, I would have loved to have been the proverbial fly on the wall to see the tantrum that followed the meeting. I imagine Mr. Bush consoled himself by spending some time with the rug he chose for the oval office, the one decision he's made in his tenure as president that he hasn't utterly fucked up.