If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read an Associated Press story about how Republicans are starting to push the idea of passing legislation that limits the American military's mission in Iraq, but doesn't set deadlines for the withdrawal of American troops. Here is a quote from the article:
But the GOP approach quickly is becoming the attractive alternative for Republican lawmakers who want to challenge Bush on the unpopular war without backtracking from their past assertions that it would be disastrous to set deadlines for troop withdrawals.
"This is a necessary adjustment in the national debate to reintroduce bipartisanship, to stop the `gotcha' politics that are going on that seem to be driven by fringes on both sides and change the terms of the discussion," said Rep. Phil English, R-Pa.
English is among the more than 40 Republicans in the House and Senate who are sponsoring legislation intended to shift the mission of U.S. troops. Several other GOP lawmakers, facing tight elections next year and a strong anti-war sentiment in their districts, say they are considering this approach.
Now, of course, if the Republicans were really interested in bi-partisanship they could have allowed an up or down vote in the Senate on the recent Democratic legislation setting timelines for American troop withdrawal from Iraq. Of course, since bi-partisanship is only used by Republicans when they are in deep political do-do, we know that is not the aim of this proposed legislation. The real aim of this legislation is to get Democrats to sign on to it so that when Bush vetoes it, and they don't provide the votes to override the veto, Iraq will no longer be the political albatross it was in 2006.
The problem that the GOP has is that unless the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate agree to allow this legislation to move forward, it can't come to the floor for a vote. Over the next few weeks, but especially after September, you will see Republicans start to push this idea harder and harder. You will also see their allies in the media, like Russert, just to name one, start to push this idea and blame the Democrats for being "stubborn" on Iraq. We have already seen this idea floated in the Washington Post editorial of last week. As long as the Republicans in Congress won't stand up to this President and as along as they won't vote to override his vetoes, then there is really nothing for Democrats to discuss with them.