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Of Benchmarks and Benchwarmers

Back in January when President Bush announced his surge strategy, he also included a series of political benchmarks for the Iraqi government. The benchmarks were a great idea since it makes a great deal of sense to have some sort of parallel political process to get the warring groups to come to some sort of reconciliation, thus ensuring the military push for stability and security wasn't all for naught.

But when pressed by Congress to makes those benchmarks enforceable, the Bush administration balked. They said that to force the Iraqis to meet certain goals and lay down consequences for failing to meet those goals would put undue pressure on the already weakened Maliki government. Flexibility was the watch word for why benchmarks were a nonstarter.

Now they've reversed course yet again, saying they are open to benchmarks. But don't think of this as much of a concession on his part though since Bush has already promised he'll veto any bill which places restrictions on funding like the one passed by the House late yesterday.

As my pal Cernig notes, the Bushies have always been a Friedman Unit behind the curve. In this case they're just doing their damnedest to keep Bush from the accountability batters box where he will invariable strike out. We all know that if he can't get a pitch hitter to take the blame (i.e. Democrats), he'll be content with staying on the bench until his mom comes to pick him up.

More from Carpetbagger and Scarecrow.

(Filed at State of the Day)

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