It became clear sometime in early 2006--I can't recall pinpointing exactly when--that President Bush's call to "stay the course" in Iraq meant he and the GOP would dance with who they brought through the 2006 elections. It is the only way they can retain Congress.
But it has also been increasingly clear that the decision has already been made--has been made for some time--to change course after the elections. James Baker's group
is designed and intended to be the cover for declaring victory and getting out of Iraq. If for no other reason, the pressure from within the GOP to fix this mess before the 2008 election will be enormous.
So my question is, how many American troops will have died between the time the decision was made to get out of Iraq and the time we actually do get out of Iraq? How many American lives will it cost to give the GOP a chance to retain control of Congress?