Bush Op-Ed Aimed at Democratic Congress Appears in ‘WSJ’

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By: E&P Staff

One day after introducing its slicker, thinned-down version, the Wall Street Journal returned with another headline grabber on Wednesday, with an op-ed carrying the byline of President George W. Bush.

Addressed to the new Democratic-led Congress, it called — not surprisingly — for a bi-partisan approach largely lacking in the previous GOP-led bodies. Oddly, he chose the venue of the major newspaper with the most conservative editorial page in the country to make this call to put partisanship aside.

He also did not offer any admission of White House errors that could be taken as evidence that compromise was really possible — and actually asked the Democrats to give up power by giving him new “line item veto” powers. And he pointedly suggested that now the Democrats may get the blame for not solving big problems.

It opens: “Together, we have a chance to serve the American people by solving the complex problems that many don’t expect us to tackle, let alone solve, in the partisan environment of today’s Washington. To do that, however, we can’t play politics as usual. Democrats will control the House and Senate, and therefore we share the responsibility for what we achieve.”

On Iraq — an area which the president does control almost completely — he promised little give, declaring, “I believe that when America is willing to use her influence abroad, the American people are safer and the world is more secure.” Once again, he mentioned 9/11 and quickly linked it to Iraq: “These terrorists are part of a broader extremist movement that is now doing everything it can to defeat us in Iraq.”

Hinting that his rumored call for many more troops in Iraq will soon become reality, he wrote: “In the days ahead, I will be addressing our nation about a new strategy to help the Iraqi people gain control of the security situation and hasten the day when the Iraqi government gains full control over its affairs. Ultimately, Iraqis must resolve the most pressing issues facing them. We can’t do it for them.

“But we can help Iraq defeat the extremists inside and outside of Iraq–and we can help provide the necessary breathing space for this young government to meet its responsibilities. If democracy fails and the extremists prevail in Iraq, America’s enemies will be stronger, more lethal, and emboldened by our defeat. Leaders in both parties understand the stakes in this struggle. We now have the opportunity to build a bipartisan consensus to fight and win the war.”

Finally, he predicted, “If the Congress chooses to pass bills that are simply political statements, they will have chosen stalemate.”

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To read the entire article on the Journal’s free OpinionJournal site, click here.

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