Long before President Bush utters a word of his much-anticipated Wednesday night speech in which he will reportedly announce the deployment of more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq and will acknowledge mistakes made during the war, the rhetorical troops of the blogosphere are already abuzz with opinions ranging from snarky to supportive.
Surprisingly, many bloggers, who usually pride themselves on being political and media watchdogs, vowed to ignore the speech altogether. “Mr. Bush is going to waste an hour of America’s time tonight trying to convince us that up is down, wrong is right, failure is success, and that he actually has a strategy (much less a new strategy) in Iraq,” writes Musing’s musings.
A minority of conservative bloggers hailed the speech in advance as monumentally important. Radio talk show host Neal Boortz admonishes no one in particular, “Do you think you can put aside your entertainment programming long enough this evening to watch what is sure to be a very important speech? Perhaps the most important of his presidency.”
But the Blog of the Moderate Left refutes such bombastic claims of a historical speech. “All the clichés are being tossed out now — Bush has to give ‘the speech of his life’ and ‘convince’ the American people of his vision. That’s about as likely to work as the surge. Bush can say whatever he wants, but the American people have given up on him. We know the Iraq war is lost.”
Equally pointed were bloggers’ reactions to a New York Times story detailing the Democrats’ plan for “symbolic votes” against the troop increase. The House and Senate votes, which could come as early as next week, “would do nothing in practical terms to block Mr. Bush’s intention to increase the United States military in Iraq,” but “would represent the most significant reconsideration of Congressional support for the war since it began.”
Cold Hearted Truth accuses Democrats of ignoring the Constitution: “Last time I checked, the armed forces were under the umbrella of executive branch of the government, not the legislative branch … The arrogance of this newly formed Congressional majority is already becoming very tiresome.”
Meantime, Daily Pundit scoffs at the effort: “A symbolic vote, eh? You mean a meaningless vote, one that lets you appear mightily opposed to President Bush, without actually doing anything to oppose him?”
But the Carpetbagger Report wasn’t so quick to criticize the Democratic tactic. “First, non-binding resolutions need not be just a lot of self-serving blather. Republicans used similar resolutions on Iraq to put Dems in awkward positions repeatedly in the last Congress, even though they were just ‘symbolic,’” writes the blogger. “Second, if the point of this new resolution is to put the GOP in a bind, and possibly lead to additional Congressional action, it may not be as hollow as it appears.”
With so much speculation crowding the blogosphere hours before the speech, by tomorrow morning opinion on the subject will almost seem a moot point.