Andrea Mitchell Reports Republican Senators May End Support For War


Andrea Mitchell reported on the Chris Matthew Show on Sunday that Republicans, doubtful that the surge will succeed, are giving the Bush administration until August to show progress. After that they may withdraw support for the war:

MITCHELL: I think the Republicans are going to crack. What I’ve been told from inside the moderate center of the Republican caucus is that the vote in favor of the president this week — it was against the president but the Republicans holding for the president — was misleading. That they really are not in favor of the surge. They don’t believe it’s going to work. But they basically said the president has until August, until Labor Day. After that, if it doesn’t work, they’re running.

Mitchell repeated this on Hardball last night (clip above):

MATTHEWS: What is Petraeus, General Petraeus saying over there about — what`s he been telling people about that?

MITCHELL: Well, it`s a good thing you bring that out. He`s been telling senators — he had, in fact, a closed-circuit briefing for the senators, Democrats as well as Republicans, and he is telling them that he will report some progress, that he hopes to be able to report some progress by August. And in turn, what many Republican senators are saying, Chris, is that if there isn`t real progress by the end of the summer, that`s when there are going to really break with the president, that they`re going along with this surge out of respect for the generals. But in his closed briefing — they went over to the Pentagon and had that briefing, Democrats as well as Republican senators, and he made it clear to them that he thinks he can report some progress.

Although Republicans supported the war out of party unity, I wonder if many of them would have started such a war if the decision was up to them. It is inevitable that sooner or later they will decide it is no longer worth destroying the credibility of their party to continue to support such a mistake. If this happens and Republican Senators call for an end to the war, will the right wing noise machine also accuse them of wanting to cut and run?

More at Horses Mouth. Think Progress also comments, also noting the question of whether the briefing from Petraeus was open to all Senators or just Republicans.

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