Last September in the heat of the election campaign, George W Bush said this about the Democratic Party:
"The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run."
This statement represented the beginning of the end of our involvement in Iraq. No president in his right mind would have said such a thing about an opposition party during a time of war even if that party was then in the minority. This statement reflected the anxious sense of desperation that had overtaken the White House as it understood the "real math" of the elections would obliterate Republican control of Congress largely as a result of the public's growing anger with the continuing debacle in Iraq. By lashing out at the Democrats as the party of "cut and run", Bush succeeded in slandering the large majority of American people by association and effectively sealed the fate of his doomed party.
One now has to wonder whether Bush will now begin slandering members of his own party with the "cut and run" epithet. Here's what Republican Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico said yesterday:
"We cannot continue asking our troops to sacrifice indefinitely while the Iraqi government is not making measurable progress. I do not support an immediate withdrawal from Iraq or a reduction in funding for our troops. But I do support a new strategy that will move our troops out of combat operations and on the path to coming home."
Can you say "redeployment"? This is the exact same course of action that many Democrats have been advocating for several years now, and that was continually labeled as "cutting and running" by the administration and neoconservative hacks in the media (e.g. Bill Kristol) embittered by the disaster in Iraq and the sight of their grand vision for the Middle East going up in flames.
"Cut and run" Domenici has now embraced a new legislative proposal to reshape US policy around the bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommendations that were largely ignored by the President. The ISG called for withdrawing most US combat troops by March 31, 2008.
Domenici's defection comes on the heels of Republican Senator Richard Lugar's (repeat after me Wizbangers: "Luuuuuugar"; come on, I know you can do it!) denunciation of Bush's Iraq policy last week. As the weeks go by we will see more and more Republicans jumping like rats from Bush's sinking ship of state, and turning his campaign slogan of "cut and run" into official US policy.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!