The good news is, Bush's reign of terror is over. The Republican rubber stampCongress has been replaced by advice and consent, as it should be. The grown ups are back in charge.
The bad news is that the President of the United States is a beaten down, frustrated man without enough political capital to run a hot dog stand. His condition will worsen as his party deserts him, and the war in Iraq spins more and more out of control. And then there's this:
Virginia Sen.-elect Jim Webb said President Bush is a "failed president" who should use his last two years in office to repair America's image abroad by ending the Iraq war through intensive diplomacy.It's a compelling narrative, and one that only the dead-enders at Free Republic or NRO's The Corner will dispute.
In an interview Tuesday with the Daily Press, Virginia's newly elected Democratic senator made clear his antipathy toward Bush and his determination to help set a new course in Iraq.
Webb, an early and outspoken critic of the Iraq war, ousted Republican Sen. George Allen last month by a razor-thin margin that tipped control of the U.S. Senate to Democrats. A decorated Vietnam veteran and former Navy secretary, Webb has a 24-year-old son now serving in Iraq as a Marine.
"He's a failed president," Webb said, when asked what he thinks of Bush. "He has two years to try to show some true leadership when it comes to rehabilitating the image of the United States around the world.
"I warned three months before we went into Iraq that we were squandering an historic opportunity to keep almost the entire world with us in the war against international terrorism. And we have failed utterly to do that. It is now up to us - and that hopefully includes the president - to try and remediate the situation in a way that will enhance the stability in the Middle East and rehabilitate our relationship with countries around the world."
On a shallow, purely political level, Bush's fall is great news to Democrats. But when regarded from the distance of foreign embassies, or future generations, Bush's disgrace is a disaster, probably greater than that LBJ and Nixon left us 30 years ago when the US bugged out of Vietnam. I'm not suggesting the Dems give Bush one more chance, as the asinine proposal to escalate the number of US troops committed to Iraq. And this is no time for Dems to compromise the lives of our troops just to give the GOP political cover.
But Democrats do need to formulate a plan, if not one for an elusive victory, then one for withdrawal and to manage what is left behind. It's an awful hand the President has dealt the opposition party, but it's even worse for the American people if the Democrats don't come through.