Republican Senator Chuck Hagel is on ABC’s “This Week” saying that there’s been a “low-grade civil war” going on in Iraq for the past six months. He also asked the rhetorical question, are we better off, is the Middle East more stable, because we invaded Iraq? And he answered himself — no.
Channel flipping to NBC, I caught Andrew Sulivan telling Chris Matthews that Bush resists making any changes to his policies because he can’t admit he is wrong.
Update: The “This Week” roundtable, I kid you not — George Will, Cokie Robert, Sam Donaldson. Danger! Danger! Change channel! Change channel!
Ooo, on Meet the Press — Jack Murtha. Could be good.
Update: While we’re waiting for Murtha to come on, get this — Fred Barnes tells us which issues GOP candidates will run on for the midterm elections:
Party strategists, led by chairman Ken Mehlman, want to rejigger the debate so it’s about a choice between candidates, putting Democratic candidates on the defensive as well. In short, they want it to be a choice election, not a referendum election. …
… House Republicans, for their part, intend to seek votes on measures such as the Bush-backed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, a bill allowing more public expression of religion, another requiring parental consent for women under 18 to get an abortion, legislation to bar all federal courts except the Supreme Court from ruling on the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance, a bill to outlaw human cloning, and another that would require doctors to consider fetal pain before performing an abortion.
I’m sorry, but I don’t see anything in there about ending the war in Iraq, bringing down the federal defecit, creating good jobs, extending health care coverage, providing better education, protecting the environment, or cleaning up the corruption in Washington. All I see is an agenda pulled straight out of James Dobson’s playbook.
This midterm election won’t be a referendum. I’ll be an intelligence test, for voters.
Murtha says, What they [the Bushies] are trying to do is paint Iraq as if there were progress so that we can get out. … We’re caught in a civil war. … There’s less than a thousand al Qaeda; the Iraqis will get rid of al Qaeda as soon as we get out of there.
The Bushies are trying to blame the military for their mistakes, Murtha says.
The troops themselves don’t know what our mission is.
Murtha says his vote for the war in 2002 was a mistake. Why can’t the rest of the Dems who voted for the war say this?
“You know who wants us in Iraq, Tim? Iran wants us in Iraq, China wants us in Iraq, al Qaeda wants us in Iraq.”
“The public doesn’t want rhetoric.”
Murtha predicts the Dems will re-take the House of Representatives in November.