The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, July 09, 2007

GOP set to "blame the troops"?

Robert Novak shares some gossip, Ramesh Ponnuru comments on it, and TNR passes it on. Now that GOP senators are getting very, very anxious about how Iraq will affect their electoral standing-- to the point that some are even saying they aren't 100% behind BushCo!-- they need to find a patsy.

In the process, [Senator Stephen Hadley] planted seeds of concern. Some senators were left with the impression that the White House still does not recognize the scope of the Iraq dilemma. Worse yet, they see the president running out the clock until April, when a depleted U.S. military will be blamed for the fiasco. ...

Based on what Hadley said, one senator concluded "they just do not recognize the depth of the difficulty they are in." That difficulty entails running out of troops in nine months. Hadley increased latent fears of the U.S. military being made the fall guy--a concern shared by many retired and some active senior officers, including a current infantry division commander.

I should have anticipated this long ago. It's another one of those GOP maxims: if they accuse you of it, they're doing it themselves. I'm sure we'll be hearing much more about how treasonous Democrats "cost us the war," in spite of giving the White House a blank check for four years, but blaming the military should be a handy backup plan:

And would the White House really try to blame the military for the failure of the surge, seeing as how any third grader could see through this dodge? (As Ponnuru says, "If the military's 'depleted,' isn't that the administration's fault?") Granted, that's never stopped them before...

This all raises a third possibility, I think. The GOP will go for the White House's jugular and run on a platform of: "Can you believe what those guys did? Boy, they sure tricked us, didn't they? When I voted with them 98% of the time, I had no idea!"