Ten Weeks

TEN WEEKS….Will Nancy Pelosi try to cut off funding for the Iraq war? Democrats say that’s not on the table, but Bill Kristol isn’t so sure:

The conventional wisdom in Washington right now is but of course they’ll never cut off funds. That would be politically suicidal, and that’s not going to happen.

I don’t believe that. Four months from now, if things continue to slide downhill, if the president hasn’t adjusted course, if hawks like Senator McCain haven’t been satisfied that there’s been an increase in troops or that we have a real strategy for victory, I think . . . we could be looking at a Democratic House and some Republicans who are willing to just pull the plug on Iraq.

That comment takes hawkishness to an almost otherworldly plane. I know Kristol thinks we need to redouble our efforts in Iraq, but take a close look at his hypothetical: If (a) things continue to slide downhill, (b) there’s no change of course, and (c) there’s no strategy for victory, then he’s worried that Congress might pull the plug? If all those things were true, wouldn’t even a megahawk like Kristol concede that withdrawal is the only decent option left?

I guess not. In any case, at least Kristol put a pretty firm date on his fears: “If by the State of the Union, things aren’t getting better on the ground or there’s not a really plausible change of tactics here at home, I am very worried that political support will crumble; not among Democrats, but among Republicans.” That’s only about ten weeks away, right? He must be picking up some pretty bad vibes from his fellow Republicans.

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