Let's break down the logic here. First, the president is threatening a veto of the Democrat sponsored "emergency" funding bill for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is purely political.
Q The bottom line is, is that it's a take-it-or-leave-it deal from this administration; there's no room for negotiation?Well, will the president accept a time table for withdrawal that is not forcing failure or defeat? It's really about how you interpret what imposing a timeline means for Iraq and the American people. Indeed, it is plausible to see a timeline as something positive and signaling that we have actually won.
MS. PERINO: The President will not accept a timetable for withdrawal that forces retreat and forces failure. And he will not accept micromanagement from Capitol Hill on his generals. And it is unconscionable that they would have pork barrel spending added to it that is -- for tours of the Capitol and other such "emergencies" in an emergency spending bill when there is a budget process that's going forward in Congress on a parallel track. I think that those are principled stands that the President has had. If we can get beyond that, and talk about funding for the troops, we should. We are interested in how they think that we can improve in Iraq. If they have other ideas beyond what General David Petraeus is going, by all means, let's hear them.
Frankly, it would be better for us to have the W, Rove and Co to suffer through a withdrawal than leave it to the next of future presidents because it's going to be painful no matter when you execute that extraction. Better to leave the stain on the folks who started it rather than foist it on some one else. At least then we can have the W, Rove and Co. shipped to Baghdad to lead the reconstruction effort, as that would most certainly be a sign they believe in their cause, but of course, they are not going to sign up for that detail, now are they?
Of course, the trouble with that is the whole thing is not going well at all. In fact, it's going poorly and thus the president's interpretation is a sign that indeed, we are not doing much but pour gasoline on the Iraq conflagration. If you ask me, the Iraq situation was a failure for the get go. It has now become a matter of selecting from many bad choices.
To address another issue raised by Dana Perino, I don't think the Congress is interested in micromanaging generals more than holding W accountable and managing him because the republican controled congress has been rubberstamping the W, Rove and Co. agenda since 2001. Basically, the repubs bent over and let the W, Rove and Co have it's way with the American people until the Dems took over Congress nary four months ago. So, if this is what Congressional oversight looks like in the truly Constitutionally grounded checks and balances sort of way, then, I'm all for it.
But lets return to the Whitehouse press discourse with Dana Perino at the helm pinch hitting for Tony Snow.
Go ahead, Matt.So, what Dana is admitting here is that there is no real room for compromise whatsoever. Would you walk into a meeting where there is no wiggle room at all? Nope. Why would democrats show up to such a meeting? It's a waste of time.
Q You seem to be saying that the President wants to talk to the Democrats about this.
MS. PERINO: We have an open invitation for them to come talk to us.
Q But he's actually ruling out any kind of compromise, is that correct?
MS. PERINO: This is not a meeting in order to compromise. This is a meeting to discuss the way forward, because the Democrats have to admit that they don't have the votes to override the President's veto. And at the same time, they say that they want to fund the troops. So at some point, the Democrats are going to have to come to a consensus on how to move forward. And a meeting with the President is a chance for the leaders to get together -- leadership from both parties -- to sit down and figure out how they're going to do that.
And then we see Helen Thomas step up to the plate and swing her cast iron skillet at the very public face of the W, Rove and Co ringing Dana's bell.
Q You said that this was a change of policy for the President, the surge.Bingo! The W, Rove and Co is still very busy trying to connect the dots between Iraq and Nine Eleven spanking that tired monkey beyond reason.
MS. PERINO: Certainly.
Q And so escalation of the war is a change of policy?
MS. PERINO: Helen, we can go back over all the things that the President said in January, but there was a couple of key points.
Q No, no, I mean, is that what you call a change of policy, when we escalate the war?
MS. PERINO: A couple of key points. What the President said is that we needed to -- agreed with the Iraqis that we needed to try to transition power to them more quickly for their Iraqi security forces. But the key issue was that violence in Baghdad was so great that the President realized after talking to his military advisors that to leave would be very harmful to the region and to our country, but to stay and try to quell the violence in Baghdad --
Q But why? Do you mean Iraqis are going to come and attack us?
MS. PERINO: The terrorists that are seeking a safe haven in Iraq, if we were to leave, would find one, just like they had one in Afghanistan, and they could --
Q How do you know that?
MS. PERINO: -- hurt us and -- well, based on experience from September 11th. That's how we know it.
Q September 11th had nothing to do with Iraq.
Really, if the President really wanted to fund the operation, he would have negotiated this at the front end, not after the bill has passed both the house and senate. It seems like he is the one playing politics, here, to propagate his agenda.
Q When the President today said if Congress wants to make a political statement they should do so quickly -- and then you also used that phrase -- does referring to Congress's role in this as a political statement in any way diminish their part in this process?Now you know that Dana's lying for the president. Just yesterday, he mentioned the families of KIA GIs in a political speech used to justify his agenda and "way forward." The W, Rove and Co. hypocrisy knows no bounds.
MS. PERINO: No, I think that the point we're trying to make is that they do not have votes to override the President's veto. In order to get this bill passed, they had to add fixed time lines for withdrawal, they had to add micromanagement on the generals, and they had to have a lot of extra pork barrel spending in order to get the bare minimum in order to get the ball across the finish line.
That is the political statement that I think that the President felt that they had to make. If they have decided that they don't need to have all of those positions out there, if they've taken their votes and that they don't need to send that conference -- get together for a conference report and send a bill to the President that he has to veto, fine. But what we have to do is get a process going where they can get a clean bill to us.
Q Does the President risk using the troops when this morning he talked about if this does not go the way he wants, those troops and their families may have to wait longer for them to come home?
MS. PERINO: The President takes great pains not to politicize the troops. But what he was repeating was what the military -- Department of Defense has told him they are going to have to do, since they don't have this money.