The NY Times editorializes today that the ISG report provides President Bush with the political cover to change his administration’s policies in Iraq. It’s worth noting, however, that the report does not provide political cover for Democrats. Had the report recommended a clear timeline for withdrawal, rather withdrawal by 2008 if certain conditions are met, Democrats could have come out and simply argued that the Bush administration should adopt the recommendations of the ISG and set a timeline. But now they have to decide whether they want to go further than the report does, and create a binding timetable to bring home U.S. troops, as Russ Feingold has suggested, or merely press for “change in Iraq,” as Harry Reid has done.Â So far, Democrats have proven themselves unwilling to adopt the Feingold line, but if they “stay the course” with the “change in course” argument, it could cause restlessness among their base, which went to bat for them this year largely because they wanted to see an end to the Iraq War.
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