There was some talk in the spring that the Iraqi Parliament, barely able to function anyway, would break for the summer. The reaction was overwhelmingly negative in the U.S., even among White House allies, and soon after the talk disappeared.
Yesterday, Tony Snow acknowledged
what the administration would prefer not to talk about: Iraqis lawmakers are scheduled to do what Bush likes to do: take August off.
The White House's defense is straightforward enough: it doesn't matter when Iraqi lawmakers are in session; what matters is what they're accomplishing. That might even be a persuasive spin -- if there was any political progress in Iraq at all.
With that in mind, I'm curious how congressional Republicans are going to deal with the news. In early May, war supporters were surprisingly livid
about the prospects of a parliamentary vacation.
* Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.): "If they go off on vacation for two months while our troops fight -- that would be the outrage of outrages."
* Sen. John Warner (R-Va.): "That is not acceptable. An action of that consequence would send a very bad signal to the world that they don't have the resolve that matches the resolve of the brave troops that are fighting in the battle today."
* Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.): "I certainly hope they're not going to take any sort of recess when the question is whether they're going to make any progress."
On May 8, 11 nervous House Republicans had an "unvarnished" conversation with the president about Iraq policy. One congressman said
, "How can our sons and daughters spill their blood while the Iraqi government goes on vacation?" The president responded, "The vice president is over there to tell them, 'Do not go on vacation.'"
And now they're apparently poised to go on vacation.