The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ever Give Advice to an Opponent?

Have you ever given advice to somebody who was an enemy or an opponent? There are several ways to do this: sincerely, deceptively or sarcastically. You can give advice that will help them if they take it, or you can give advice that will really help you. Why do I bring this up? Apparently, President Bush is "quietly" providing advice to Hillary Clinton and other Democratic presidential contenders. The advice centers around their position on Iraq as a candidate and actually as President should one of them make it. An article in the Examiner begins with this opener:
President Bush is quietly providing back-channel advice to Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging her to modulate her rhetoric so she can effectively prosecute the war in Iraq if elected president.
One could glean from the article that Bush is simply serving himself by trying to influence decisions by the next President. The article states:

Bolten said Bush wants enough continuity in his Iraq policy that “even a Democratic president would be in a position to sustain a legitimate presence there.”

“Especially if it’s a Democrat,” the chief of staff told The Examiner in his West Wing office. “He wants to create the conditions where a Democrat not only will have the leeway, but the obligation to see it out.”

Bolten is the White House Chief of Staff and is the source of the claims of advice. Some could read this and claim that Bush is just trying to control things during the election cycle and beyond. Those with good motives can have the best reasons for wanting to influence an outcome. The article points out how different it is to be a candidate vs. actually being the President. The candidate is shooting for enough popularity to get elected. Hopefully a President is looking to do the right thing regardless of popularity. The most insightful section of the article states:

To that end, the president has been sending advice, mostly through aides, aimed at preventing an abrupt withdrawal from Iraq in the event of a Democratic victory in November 2008.

“It’s different being a candidate and being the president,” Bush said in an Oval Office interview. “No matter who the president is, no matter what party, when they sit here in the Oval Office and seriously consider the effect of a vacuum being created in the Middle East, particularly one trying to be created by al Qaeda, they will then begin to understand the need to continue to support the young democracy.”

To that end, Bush is institutionalizing controversial anti-terror programs so they can be used by the next president.

“Look, I’d like to make as many hard decisions as I can make, and do a lot of the heavy lifting prior to whoever my successor is,” Bush said. “And then that person is going to have to come and look at the same data I’ve been looking at, and come to their own conclusion.”

A Democrat candidate is either going to be sincere in their campaigning or they are going to say whatever they think will get them elected. Either motive, once elected they would need to live with their words on the campaign trail. A senior White House official states it well:
“One of two things will happen if a Democrat gets elected president,” he said. “They will either have to withdraw U.S. troops in order to remain true to the rhetoric — in which case, any consequences in the aftermath fall on their heads. Or they have to break their word, in which case they encourage fratricide on the left of their party. Now that’s a thorny issue to work through.”
The Democrats in Congress so far know the heavy price they will pay if they take the necessary action to pull us out of Iraq and the horrible consequences are laid at their feet. All of the games they have played this year have been targeted at getting enough spineless GOP Congressmen and Senators to join them in order to insulate them from the results. If a Democrat is elected President, there will be no political cover against the consequences. There will be no hiding place for one that runs on pulling out of Iraq and then stays.

Take it or leave it, this is strong advice for the Dems to really think about.

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