Moving goalposts

It should come as a surprise to no one (except perhaps to the feckless Madam Speaker Pelosi and the incomprehensible and feckless Majority Leader Reid) that the Bush Administration’s long-vaunted “September moment of truth” when the Great and Mighty and All-Knowinig General David Petraeus (“he wrote the book on counter-insurgency”)TM would tell us “candidly” whether “progress” was being made in Iraq as a result of The SurgeTM… is just another part of the run-out-the-clock strategy of the Bush Administration’s real Iraq “exit strategy” (i.e. “January 20, 2009” and “Blame Hillary“), as the generals now insist that the September “hard deadline” should be moved to November.
Jason over at The Moderate Voice gives us this rejoinder, as it looks like members of Congress from both parties… aren’t playing (even the Republicans realize that even the American people may have had it to the point where, to quote Governor LePetomane, “Gentlemen, we’ve got to protect our phoney-baloney jobs!”) While Bush can run out the clock, his co-religionist Republicans in Congress must run for reelection for theirs.
We’ll see if any of this means anything. Congress ultimately has two aces up its sleeve if it wants to play them: it can start to cut off funding for the war and for virtually all of the President’s pet programs (or even repeal laws granting existing funding… the former has the advantage of forcing the executive to act–as a veto will not help the President if he needs something from Congress affirmatively) and the second is just plain old impeachment… Madam Speaker Pelosi has taken the President’s impeachment “off the table”… but who said anything about the Vice-President or the attorney general (and who said anything about conduct committed after her commitment)? With a President willing to shield himself from criticism (if not all reality), a Vice-President who can deny reality without the help of subordinates to protect himself with it, and a cast and crew of enablers at our taxpayer expense… what else can Congress do?
Once again, don’t count on the combination of institutional inertia, Republicans fearful of Karl Rove’s internal retaliation and Democrats more concerned with their own reelection to their own seats than with dealing a potentially killing blow to the opposition to do anything besides business as usual leading to absolutely nothing changing, war funding continuing unabated and American troops continuing to fight and die in service of what is becoming clear to all (except loyal Bush dead-enders) is a lost cause in Iraq, for the next 550 days. At least that’s how I’d bet.