Bush Channels Charles Krauthammer

While there’s plenty that could be said about the president’s press conference this morning, I’ll mention this bit first:

When Gen. Petraeus’ nomination was considered three weeks ago, the United States Senate voted unanimously to confirm him. And I appreciated that vote by the senators. And now members of the House of Representatives are debating a resolution that would express disapproval of the plan that Gen. Petraeus is carrying out.

This is a weak attempt to paint the vote to confirm Petraeus and the vote for a resoluton opposing the surge as inconsistent. Last week, Matthew Yglesias noted the same lame attempt at a gotcha line in Charles Krauthammer’s column, and explained as follows.

To answer Krauthammer’s question, nobody opposed Petraeus’s appointment because there was no reason to oppose it. The “surge” is the president’s plan and whichever general was in command in Iraq would be ordered to carry it out; someone has to be in command of the troops in Iraq even if the troops’ mission is to withdraw; and just about everyone seems to think Petraeus is a good general. What’s more, the president is always granted very broad deference in these kind of decisions.

Bush actually repeated himself, as he has a tendency to do at these events, during the Q&A.

That’s why I keep reminding people, on the one hand, you vote for David Petraeus in a unanimous way; and on the other hand, you say that you’re not going to fund the strategy that he thought was necessary to do his job, a strategy he testified to in front of the Senate.

Is this really the best he can do?


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