Drivers Wanted

Iraqi politicians have been behaving in a very… politic… manner, by expanding the committee slated to draw up Iraq’s new permanent constitution to include an additional 15 Sunni members, and to propose that the constitution be passed “by consensus”. This is clearly designed to ameliorate the gross underrepresentation of Sunni members in the overall national assembly, as a result of the direct proportional representation system demanded by Grand Ayatollah Sistani and capitulated to by the Bush Administration; because Sunni areas are, in general, poorly secured compared to the rest of Iraq, very few Sunnis voted, and Sunni parties were, by population, wildly underrepresented. (BTW, the Grey Lady article also reports on the murder of two New York National Guard officers, one of whom hailed from my hometown, by a fellow soldier in a fragging incident… the shades of Vietnam are becoming undeniable to all but the 101st Fighting Keyboarders…)
The Iraqi assembly’s compromise, which, presumably had “help” from us (our new ambassador to Iraq is Afghan native Zalmay Khalilzad, who once tossed me out of his political science colloquium in college because it was oversubscribed…) looks to be a smart move. Anything that can arguably make the Sunnis participants in the big picture will, hopefully, increase the legitimacy of the fledgling Iraqi government in Sunni opinion, and hasten the day we leave (prior to Dick Cheney’s proposed cut and run date of 2009).
Of course, the Iraq war seems to have done wonders to the popularity of another government Let the Second Term malaise begin, as the President’s approval rating dips to around 41% (with Congress around 33%). Not to worry: come November of 2006, somehow the President’s party will manage to not only hold on to its majorities in both Houses of Congress, but likely expand them. Why?
Despite the growing unpopularity of the Iraq war (largely because we seem to be losing it, and there aren’t any good pictures of shit blowing up that CNN can give wall to wall coverage), the Republicans will fall back on the usual “Vote for the Democrats and a terrorist will kill your children”, coupled with whatever buttons it needs to push on gay-bashing and abortion, and… you get the picture.
At least we have some encouraging news out of Iraq…