Baker Commission Puts Bush At DefCon 2

Remember how the White House handled Harriet Myers and Donald Rumsfeld? In both cases, the President psychologically hunkered down, retreating into the authority of his position and the moral certitude that he has been lauded for so many times. This retreat marked the emergence of the "President as Decider" approach to governing. President Bush had made the decision, and he'd not consider changing his mind. This "steadfastness" is the President's normal, stubborn state. When the tide of the argument began to swing decisively against him, however, with even conservatives bashing Harriet Miers and a parade of generals calling for Rumsfeld resignation, Bush hit Defcon 2 - a heightened state of stubborn-readiness. Ready to respond. Primed. This is what brought about the "Decider Declaration," and the, at times, shrill defenses of these two figures that continued directly up until they withdrew/resigned.

The Baker Commission constitutes that shift in the Iraq War argument's dynamic. The all-hailed commission - the one chaired by the very "Republican Fixer" that assured Bush's election in 2000 - came out for gradual withdrawal, with no timetables, and a sober factual accounting of the dire situation currently. It's an almost surprising rebuke of Bush's Stay the Course strategy, and will continue to be so long as Bush refuses to accept dramatic course correction.

If something can convince Bush that he has no chance to win this way, and that therefore the lives spent are spent in vain, he might man up. He might believe in the effort so fiercely that actions behind his rhetoric about this being the defining battle of our time. But the Congress aint passing no draft. I just don't see it. As the neocons say, "we might need to mobilize a sector of our economy to support this effort. " That's the only way to "win," and it isn't happening.

Instead, poor President Bush will continue our involvement in the Iraq Civil War, because the Iraq War is his entire legacy. Weep for the American men and women that will die because he cannot admit what a painful mistake he has made.

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