Welcome Instapundit readers! Be sure to catch the Update below with reax to the e-mail I received from Boehner’s Deputy Communications Director.
NOTE: This post will stay at or near the top for the rest of the day because of the topic involved.
What in the world is John Boehner thinking (or is he even thinking)?
Hugh asked Boehner what effect he thought his resolution (proposing a “benchmark measuring device” — Ed.) would have on the enemy. By way of an answer of sorts, Boehner spoke for a while but didnâ€™t address the question.
If Boehner thought Hugh wouldnâ€™t notice that he didnâ€™t answer the question, he had another thing coming. You donâ€™t get those degrees from Michigan Law School at the bottom of a Cracker Jack Box. Hugh asked his question a second time â€“ what effect will the resolution have on the enemy? Again, Boehner spoke for a while without answering the question. Hugh asked a third time. Yet again, Boehner declined to directly answer the question.
SO WHAT ARE WE TO MAKE OF THIS? Two possible scenarios â€“ one is that Boehner knows damn well what this will do for the enemy and yet he still wants to pass the resolution for political reasons. The other scenario, and frankly I find this one both more likely and more chilling, is that Boehner has never even considered, not for one second, the effect his resolution will have on the enemy. Hughâ€™s question caught him off guard and without an answer because to him, it seemed like a non-sequitur.
Such is the nature of the political vacuum that our politicians dwell in.
In the political vacuum, it’s sad to report that the normally reliable John Boehner is choosing to be the GOP’s Head Hoover, wanting a “bipartisan panel” requiring reports every 30 days and other such blather — even though General Petraeus and Defense Secretary Gates have said that EVERY resolution being considered is helping the enemy and undermining the war effort.
Ya want “benchmarks,” John? Here are a few — Forget the bleeping resolutions, panels, and 30-day reports, and take your pick of the following:
Are we clear?
UPDATE: “We win, they lose.” –
UPDATE 2, 10:30 a.m: Don Seymour, Boehner’s Deputy Communications Director, sent me an e-mail (thanks to Don for doing so) that led, and then ended, with the following (in between was text of much of Petraeus’s Senate testimony) –
Hugh repeatedly said on the show, and you mention in the post, that “General Petraeus and Defense Secretary Gates have said that EVERY resolution being considered is helping the enemy and undermining the war effort.” Can you point me to their comments that specifically lump Boehner’s proposal in with the Biden and Warner resolutions that oppose the troop increase? We believe both have been clear that resolutions which oppose the additional troops that embody the President’s new strategy could embolden our enemies – neither has offered any similar comment aimed at the House Republican plan, which is an effort to help the President succeed.
….. The General has expressed his willingness to provide periodic updates to Congress – which is what we outlined in our proposal – and the President himself has said he is supportive of our effort. Unfortunately, Boehner did not communicate this on the show. Wish he would have. The House Republican proposal in no way suggests “disapproval of this new strategy” – it is nothing like the resolutions being offered by the Democrats and others who don’t believe our mission can succeed. Boehner believes the mission can and must succeed; he says – pretty much every time he speaks – that victory in Iraq is our only option. No one in Congress has been a bigger supporter of the President – on Iraq in general or his new strategy – than Mr. Boehner, and he has reiterated that time and time again.
Hugh’s point (and I agree) is not to have ANY resolution, but simply to support the president and preach that we WIN, period. Hugh rejected the idea near the end of his show yesterday that there is basis for distinguishing between “good” resolutions and “bad” resolutions, that Petraeus attempted to make any such distinction, or that Petraeus’s testimony about resolutions only related to those that might come out of the Senate.
I’m going to side with Hugh on this one, and do so by consciously deciding NOT to dig further, so I can explain why I believe Hugh is right — If I, among the 85% – 90% of electorate that is NOT going to dig into the details of each resolution, hear on the top-of-hour radio or quick-update TV news that the House GOP leadership wants to pass one that calls for benchmarks and 30-day updates (which is how it will be reported; calls for victory will be ignored by the press), what I would hear is that even the GOP side of Congress wants to micro-manage the war effort. Instinctively, we “the disengaged” are smart enough to know that simply by getting involved in such micromanagement, we inhibit full prosecution of the war effort. Our enemies know that too; this gives them comfort. Game, set, match.
Petraeus said he’ll report periodically anyway; let him do so in his own time, at his own discretion, and when any distraction from war prosecution is minimal to non-existent. There is no need for any House resolution.
UPDATE 3, 9:30 PM: Hewitt — “Benchmarks are the new ‘lockbox.’”
UPDATE 4, 11:30 PM: I agree with AMCGLTD (HT Instapundit) — The improvement in the news coming out of Iraq (or is it the reduction of lying reports coming out of Iraq from phoney-baloney unnamed or falsely-named sources [see italicized section at the end of this post]?) is very interesting. Could it be that the presence of the likes of Roggio, Ardolino, Yon, and Malkin are helping to keep the world’s press reports from Iraq honest, or less dishonest (for a while at least)?