Bush’s Speech & Petraeus

I caught Bush’s short speech about the war last night and although there wasn’t anything wrong with what he said and there were a few things right with it (We will be withdrawing troops, we’re doing what Petraeus wants), it wasn’t all that effective.

Bush is just so unpopular, has such a wooden delivery in general, and has been so ineffective at communicating the war for so long, that it is very difficult for him to make an impact on the American people’s thinking at this point.

For so long, conservatives begged Bush to get up on the soapbox and use the world’s biggest microphone that comes with being the President and he ignored us. Unfortunately, it’s a little late to start now.

On the other hand, Petraeus does have enormous credibility when it comes to the war, and his testimony has made a difference — it has probably bought the troops at least six more months to work.

What will happen at that point will probably depend on what happens on the ground. If we haven’t seen as much progress in the next six months as we have seen in the last six months, the GOP will probably crumble under the threat of election losses and go along with pulling the plug on Iraq.

We do need to see some troops come home. We do need to see the Iraqi government make some progress. We do need to see the Iraqi troops take on a bigger role in Iraq. If we’re sitting in the same place we are today, six months from now, let’s not kid ourselves, for good or ill, it’s all over.

So, let’s hope Petraeus and Company can make it happen for our sake and for the sake of the Iraqi people who’ve chosen freedom, fought shoulder to shoulder with our troops, and want to make a better life for themselves and their children in a free nation.

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