First he wanted to be absolutely sure he could squeeze a little more mileage out of that whole Iraq-9/11 connection that never existed until he turned Iraq into the biggest terrorist recruiting effort in history:
"What makes Iraq different from previous struggles is that September the 11th showed that chaos in another part of the world and/or safe haven for killers, for radicals, affects the security of the United States."
Right, right. Which is why it was so important to send too few troops there with shitty, outdated equipment and rook 'em real good if they happened to wind up in Walter Reed.
But why don't they have the great equipment the GOP failed to provide them for the last four years? Yep.
As the White House puts it in today's "Morning Update," "it has now been 57 days and counting since the president submitted his emergency war supplemental funding request to Congress. While Democrats are trying to score political points, our military is preparing to make budget cuts forced by Congress' inability to pass a responsible troop funding bill that does not force retreat, handcuff our commanders, or include billions of dollars in wasteful pork spending."
A couple of points here.
First, if the administration were budgeting for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as if they were the ongoing things that they are, it would be including more than token amounts to fund them in its annual budget requests. Having chosen instead to get war funding through a seemingly unending string of "emergency" spending requests, the administration has all but invited down-to-the-wire scrambles on funding.
And maybe more to the point, this particularly funding package isn't really as down to the wire as the White House would like to suggest. The president has been painting dire pictures of deprivations for the troops if the supplemental spending bill isn't signed into law by April 15, and he's sure to do so again today. But as the Associated Press reported last week, the Pentagon has the "bookkeeping flexibility" to keep the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan going as is until at least mid-July by simply shifting around money it already has. "The steps under consideration include borrowing from training, maintenance, personnel and procurement funds set to be spent later in the budget year, which runs through September," the AP explains. "They have become routine in recent years."
But, like monumentally scuzzy Newt Gingrich (you know, the guy who cheated on at least two wives), he wasn't done with the liberal traitors yet. And a reporter actually called him on this particular bit of hypocrisy:
Bush: “And now they have left Washington for spring recess without finishing the work. Democrat leaders in Congress seem more interested in fighting political battles in Washington than providing our troops what they need to fight the battles in Iraq.”
CNN’s Elaine Quijano: “We should mention President Bush is heading to his ranch in Crawford, Texas tomorrow to begin his own Easter weekend break.”