Sunday, May 27, 2007

Opinion (Craig Crawford): Stubborner than a mule

Whether you call it admirable resolve or blind stubbornness, George W. Bush’s refusal to compromise has once again kept management of the Iraq War firmly in his own hands.

Last week, the Democratic Congress blinked with both eyes and gave the president the money he wants to prosecute the conflict through the summer — without any meaningful strings. Lacking veto-proof majorities at both ends of the Capitol, as well as the political fortitude required to risk getting tagged as “failing to support the troops,” the new majority leadership stripped the exit timetables out of the midyear war spending measure and gave Bush the “clean bill” he’d demanded from the outset.

Indeed, Bush may have just executed one of the more remarkable feats of high-stakes brinkmanship in presidential history, a case of sheer will overcoming political forces. Even Abraham Lincoln had to show tangible success on the battlefield — namely, the burning of Atlanta in 1864 — to sidetrack mounting opposition to the Civil War and avoid what might have been an electoral disaster for himself and his party that year.

Read the rest at the NY Times