Bush has lost the Republicans. The war is over.
There aren't three people in the country more conservative than Republican Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama. This is what he said over the weekend:
"By September, when General (David) Petraeus is to make a report, I think most of the people in Congress believe, unless something extraordinary occurs, that we should be on a move to draw those surge numbers down."
If that wasn't clear enough, he added:
"I don't think we need to be an occupying power. This is a fine line we've walked, and this surge has got to be temporary. We do not need to be and cannot be perceived as just occupying Iraq for any extended period of time."
It is now clear, September is the Republican deadline. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader made the Senate Republican position even clearer:
"I think the handwriting is on the wall that we are going in a different direction in the fall, and I expect the president himself to lead it."
Obviously, he doesn't really expect that the president will lead the effort to go in a new direction, otherwise he wouldn't be making these public statements to pressure him to go that way.
The floodwaters are rising, and without the Republicans in Congress, this administration is left all alone in their effort to continue this misbegotten war. All Bush has left now is Cheney leading him around the Titanic, yelling, "Come on, Rose!"
The troops on the ground get it. The Iraqi army is not willing to fight with us to keep Iraq together. In fact, the very people we train often fight against us in the battles against insurgents and militias. Unfortunately, the situation in Iraq these days is that the people who believe in Iraq don't want to fight and the people who fight don't believe in Iraq.
The majority of the United States gets it. The Democrats get it. And now finally the Republicans have gotten the memo (though they are willing to go to September for a mission they no longer believe in, for political purposes). And even the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State get it, that's why people friendly to their interests have leaked a plan they support to cut our troops in Iraq by 50% in 2008.
When asked about that plan, Senator Sessions replied, "I certainly hope that's what will occur. We cannot sustain this level, in my opinion, in Iraq and Afghanistan much longer."
As Senator McConnell said, "[T]he handwriting is on the wall."