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According to a carefully-orchestrated campaign of planted news leaks by the Representatives who attended the meeting, a group of 11 "moderate" Republicans confronted President George W. Bush in a "come to Jesus" meeting Tuesday over his failed Iraq war.
They claim they told the President his credibility with the American people is "gone" when it comes to the Iraq war and that Republicans will bail on him if the war does not show "significant progress" by September 1.
While I believe a growing number of Republicans privately express their disgust with the scandal-scarred and ethically-challenged President, I don't for a second believe the 11 who visited the President Tuesday came anywhere close to telling him the truth about what a monumental failure he is for their party and the country.
"It was a tough meeting in terms of people being as frank as they possibly could about their districts and their feelings about where the American people are on the war," said Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois. "It was a no-holds-barred meeting."
I know Ray LaHood. We both worked as chiefs of staff for members of Congress in the early 1980s. If he told me to look for sunrises in the East I'd confirm it with a second source.
Others who know what really happened in the meeting with Bush say the Congresspeople couched their criticism with so many caveats that the gathering turned into little more than an exchange of pleasantries.
As reported in today's Washington Post:
Davis stressed that Republicans will remain united against the Democratic bill in the House today. But the search for an exit is almost inevitable. "The key for everybody is to try to find a way to declare victory and get out of there," he said.
Declare victory? What alternate universe claims these clueless pretenders to reality? Victory is an illusion. The United States cannot, and will not, win this war and any attempt to claim victory will make this country even more of a laughingstock on the world stage.
Tuesday's meeting was a "cover my ass with voters" meeting for the 11 members of Congresss. All face tough re-election campaigns next year because they have voted too many times to support Bush's war and his other causes. Rep. Tom Davis says Bush's job approval rating in some parts of his Northern Virginia district is only five percent. I'm surprised it's that high.
If these 11 political hypocrites really wanted to force the President's hand, they would have voted to support the House plan to set a firm timetable for withdrawal. They'd vote to override Bush's veto of the earlier bill.
But they didn't and they said after Tuesday's meeting that they will vote against the new House bill that puts time limits on funding and benchmarks on real progress in the war before additional funding will be approved.
"Come to Jesus" meeting my ass. Like the President they so blindly support, these so-called "moderates" helped crucify this country a long time ago.