The opposition to the troop build-up the President announced in his speech is so widespread that ABC's George Stephanopoulos expected Congress to pass a resolution against it during the week of the State of the Union. An unnamed White House aide spun Stephanopoulos tenaciously. He said that such a vote would be no big deal: "If they have the votes, they have the votes." The aide saw a "silver lining" in the Congressional criticism. It creates a "good cop-bad cop dynamic" and puts "more pressure on the Iraqis actually to get their act together."
The White House aides NBC's David Gregory spoke to were not nearly as sanguine: they "concede that a vote in Congress against this strategy, even if it is just symbolic, would be a political blow." Gregory described the tone of Bush's speech as "subdued," "more candid than before" and "grim, as he predicted a bloody and violent year ahead."
CBS' Gloria Borger previewed the internal debate in both parties. Senate Republicans may mount a filibuster against the Democrats' resolution. However, "as many as a dozen Republican senators could jump ship. As for the Democrats, their noes are nearly unanimous." The debate for the Democrats concerns whether to go further and vote to cut off funds.
In a piece of sloppy reporting, Borger asserted that "some Democrats worry that if they cut off funding, they will get something they do not want--responsibility for what happens next." But she illustrated that claim by quoting Sen John McCain, a supporter of the President's policy. He said that Democrats, if they succeeded, "would assume responsibility for the consequences of failure." But Borger provided no evidence that defunders would shirk such responsibility.
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