Even as House Democrats prepared to offer George W. Bush the face-saving gesture of a short-term supplemental appropriations bill for Iraq that doesn’t impose a deadline and simply requires a report back to Congress on the progress made by the Iraqi government towards a security takeover and a political settlement, the White House is already threatening a veto.And at the bottom of the Post article on the veto threat is a nugget that indicates where the administration may be going next:
Military officials now say it will be several more months before they can determine whether the “surge” in troops authorized by Bush is helping quell sectarian and other violence. In announcing new troop deployments, top commanders said the increased troop levels may need to last until next spring — a timetable that could clash with congressional sentiment in favor of a quicker troop withdrawal.
If that’s the new party line, then Bush will not only insist on a “clean” supplemental appropriations bill through the end of the fiscal year, but will reject any conditions well into next year, the last of his presidency. So not that it’s any surprise, this president is going to finish his tenure in office with the same attitude towards “bipartisanship” he began with: Let’s compromise: Do it my way.