Monday, December 11, 2006

Democrats frustrated by Bush's reaction to Iraq report

McClatchy Washington Bureau reports on a meeting of Senators with President Bush (h/t Think Progress): "'I just didn't feel there today, the president in his words or his demeanor, that he is going to do anything right away to change things drastically,' Senate Majority Leader-elect Harry Reid, D-Nev., said following the Oval Office meeting. 'He is tepid in what he talks about doing. Someone has to get the message to this man that there have to be significant changes.'

Instead, Bush began his talk by comparing himself to President Harry S Truman, who launched the Truman Doctrine to fight communism, got bogged down in the Korean War and left office unpopular.

Bush said that 'in years to come they realized he was right and then his doctrine became the standard for America,' recalled Senate Majority Whip-elect Richard Durbin, D-Ill. 'He's trying to position himself in history and to justify those who continue to stand by him, saying sometimes if you're right you're unpopular, and be prepared for criticism.'

Durbin said he challenged Bush's analogy, reminding him that Truman had the NATO alliance behind him and negotiated with his enemies at the United Nations. Durbin said that's what the Iraq Study Group is recommending that Bush do now - work more with allies and negotiate with adversaries on Iraq.

Bush, Durbin said, 'reacted very strongly. He got very animated in his response' and emphasized that he is 'the commander in chief.'"


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