SENDING A MESSAGE….Over at ThinkProgress, Faiz Shakir makes an interesting point: The Bush administration may claim that last week’s votes against the surge were bad for the war effort, but during Condoleezza Rice’s recent trip to Baghdad she used those votes as a way of pressing Iraqi leaders to make the compromises necessary for political stability. Turns out it’s a pretty useful way of convincing them that American patience is not inexhaustible.

As Sen. Carl Levin put it, “It’s interesting that finally [the administration] understands the power of what we are doing in the Congress.” Indeed it is.