Monday, July 09, 2007

Bulletin From the Bush Bunker

One of the few lines of communication into the besieged White House is Plame-thrower Robert Novak, who set off l’affaire Libby by naming Joe Wilson’s wife in print.

From the entrails of Novak’s recent columns, things do not go well for the Decider. Today he reports on the pre-holiday “scouting trip” of the President’s Security Adviser Stephen Hadley to check the mood of senior Senate Republicans.

“The tone set by Hadley,” Novak writes, “signaled that the White House did not understand that Lugar, in his fateful speech on the Senate floor the night of June 25, was sending a distress signal to Bush...that it is imperative he act now. Hadley was told that it is not too late to go back to the Iraq Study Group's 79 recommendations, neglected since their release in December.”

Novak’s account suggests that Bush’s deafness continues: “Based on what Hadley said, one senator concluded that ‘they just do not recognize the depth of the difficulty they are in.’”

In his convoluted style, Novak goes around the barn with Democratic Sen. Carl Levin reporting on generals who turned down the war “czar” job because "hawks within the administration, including Vice President Cheney, remain more powerful than the pragmatists looking for an exit strategy in Iraq."

This month, with an appropriations bill and a House anti-war resolution coming up, Congressional Republicans are going to have to join Democrats in speaking louder and more clearly to be heard. All indicators, including their message through Novak today, are that they will.

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