Thursday, January 18, 2007

'A Black Hole For the Republican Party'

The sycophantic Robert Novak has the best Republican sources of any journalist in Washington. So when he says the Republican goose is cooked in 2008 if troops don’t start coming home from Iraq, people sit up and take notice.

Excerpts from his latest column:

“A sense of impending political doom clutches Republican hearts. It is exacerbated by the alarming intelligence brought back from Baghdad by Republican Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.) and passed around Capitol Hill. In a pre-Christmas visit to Iraq, Coleman and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida met with Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi government’s national security adviser. Coleman described their astounding encounter in a December 19 blog post: ‘Dr. Rubaie maintains that the major challenge facing Iraq is not a sectarian conflict but rather al Qaeda and disgruntled Baathists seeking to regain power. Both Sen. Nelson and I react with incredulity to that assessment. Rubaie cautions against more troops in Baghdad’.”

“ . . . This hastens the desire of Republicans, who once cheered the Bush Doctrine in the Middle East, to remove U.S. forces from a politically deteriorating situation as soon as possible. Iraq, one of Bush’s top political advisers now notes, is a black hole for the Republican Party. A nationally prominent Republican pollster reported confidentially on Capitol Hill after the President’s speech that if U.S. boots are still on the ground in Iraq and U.S. blood is still being spilled there at the end of the year, the GOP disaster in 2008 will eclipse 2006.”

Photography by Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images

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