What an exciting day to begin my tenure at Blogcritics! From the Iraq Study Group to the confirmation of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, I find myself in a target-rich news environment.
Before analysis comes observation. Secretary of State Condi Rice is absent from the discourse regarding the ISG findings. Outgoing Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld is a below-the-fold mention in passing, as the fallout from the leaked memo dwindles. The only news from Vice President Cheney’s office is a birth announcement for his daughter Mary and her partner, Heather Poe. There have been no glib statements from neocons this week.
During the White House press availability this morning the burden of leadership could be seen and heard in the timbre of President Bush’s voice and in the deepening lines across his forehead. Gone was the man I campaigned for in 2000 and 2004. The idealistic chap who charmed and inspired has grown into the role of President, albeit with alternating moments of triumph and defeat.
The Iraq Study Group outlined a snapshot of the war in Iraq. The bipartisan group of five Republicans and five Democrats offered a grave analysis. The seventy-nine recommendations will be debated for weeks, months and years to come. In January, the 110th Congress and the Bush Administration will face their first test. I hope the resounding cry for bipartisanship is heeded before a single hearing begins.
During the Cold War, Republicans and Democrats were united through nine presidencies and more than eighteen sessions of Congress. The gravity of the threats Americans faced brought us together. Domestic policy differences weighed heavily during electoral contests. The preservation of our Constitution, the safety of our people and the importance of individuals freedoms were championed by both parties.