Sunday, January 07, 2007

Predicitons: Bush's troop request

The closing question on this week’s McLaughlin Group was whether Bush would ask for more or less then 20,000 for Iraq troops in the State of the Union. The panel made predictable estimates, with all being on the “more” side, except for Eleanor Clift, who said “a little less”. However, McLaughlin himself said “a lot less”, which got me to thinking:

He is probably right. Bush wants something he can use to either share blame for the Iraq situation with the Democrats or portray the Democrats as wimpy unrealistic hippies. As the fairly arbitrary number of 20,000 continues to be attacked by every media personality who wants to ride the tide of public opinion that became evident in November, Bush may attempt to jump ahead of the criticism and ask for significantly less, and possibly none. After this intense media buzz, a low number may be the administration’s best play to set themselves up as reasonable or willing to compromise. It is a move similar to the dance around the torture bill, where they made McCain’s moderately outrageous proposal seem acceptable compared to the administration’s extremely outrageous initial position.


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