In his morning press conference, President Bush said the Democrats had reached common ground with him on Iraq after the testimony of David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker.
'Dem's fightin' words, unless Bush knows that he has, again, snookered the Democrats into voting for troop funding without deadlines based upon "supporting the troops".
There are not 60 votes in the Senate to cut off debate on a funding measure with deadlines. Even if there were, there are not 67 votes to override Bush's veto. Thus, the Democratic Presidential candidates' demands to Congress to keep sending him back the same bill are not likely to be fruitful.
There are, however, 41 votes to block any vote on another carte blanche for the failed Bush policies in Iraq. Bush cannot veto a bill that has not passed.
This is the Democrats' trump card. They will have to hold firm as Bush claims the troops will be compromised by lack of funding, and they need to respond vehemently that the Commander-in-Chief has an obligation not to put troops in harms' way if the funding to support them is not there. Is Bush "playing chicken" with our sons and daughters? General Petraeus ought to be called back to testify on this same question. (I tried, but failed, to get someone on Armed Services or Foreign Relations to ask that question when he was here).
This is spine time. Too many lives, too many limbs, too much of our money, too much continued diversion in our struggle with jihadism and too much continued blot on our international stature is at stake to back down.