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Republican POV only as Rich Lowry bashes Nancy Pelosi and Dems

Reported by Chrish - January 10, 2007 -

They're not even pretending to be fair or balanced today 1/9/07 on The Big Story, as Rich Lowry of National Review bent listeners' ears with insults and lies about Congressional Democrats. The banner "Broken Promises" ran under the entire segment, even though it's only the first full day of Democratic leadership.

The "Broken Promises" banner was a reference to yesterday's "My Word" segment, where Gibson wrote

"Monday I said that Nancy Pelosi's agenda should be called "Breaking Promises." I cited examples small and large.

Small was the five-day workweek that went out the window in what, the first week? I got these complaints: Republican John Boehner was the one who wanted it because he wanted to see his Ohio team in the bowl championship."

The so-called "complaint" was an explanation: Boehner requested it, Pelosi agreed. Collegial, accommodating; get used to it. He continued:

"The large one was the broken promise that Democrats would support the troops. Pelosi's supporters are correctly quoting her when they insist she said Democrats would support the troops already in Iraq, but not any new troops.

In my opinion, that is a distinction without difference. If she wants to de-fund the troops, make them come home, she should say so straight up. Instead we get a weaselly backing away from the promise to always support the troops."

He is twisting and spinning to conclude that a demand for accountability before Congress OKs more funding for an escalation equates to not supporting the troops is just laughable. He is accusing her of not saying what he wants to accuse her of saying. What??

So today his producers drill the message home further with the banner, even though it's their first day on the job. Rich Lowry was the sole guest and joined Gibson in putting words in the Speaker's mouth.

First a clip was shown of Senator Ted Kennedy saying that ("our bill will say that") no additional troops can be sent, and no additional dollars can be spent on such an escalation, unless and until Congress approves Bush's plan.

"Fair and balanced" Gibson led the intro like this:

At least Bush is being honest with himself about Iraq policy, that it's failed, and he's changing with new Generals and a new plan. (Comment: "more" is not change; more is just more. If I've gained weight and want to change my diet to win the battle of the bulge, "more" of the same won't help.) But the Democrats are still 'pretending' they want the war to be won.

Note that Gibson didn't say that Bush is still pretending that he wants to win, that he knows what he's doing, etc. Only the opposition "pretends," or "postures", per O'Reilly last night. Fair and balanced!

Lowry agrees that Democrats can't bring themselves to say out loud that 'this thing is lost,' and most of them believe it's a futile effort and there's no reason to send any more troops. They won't follow through, he says, because they're afraid to be labeled "defeatists" (gasp! Who would say such a thing?) and they don't want to appear to be opposing the troops by cutting off funding; therefore they have a position that's a big mess and doesn't make a lot of sense.

Comment: With all due respect, just because Lowry can't follow it doesn't necessarily make it a mess.

Gibson asks about Nancy Pelosi's intent to approve funding for the troops already in Iraq but to oppose funding to send more troops, but he frames it as a "threat" from Pelosi. Lowry says that, politically, that's a disaster. What the Democrats are saying to the troops in Iraq , according to him, is 'you're losing, and we aren't going to send you reinforcements, even though perhaps the smartest General in the Army, Dave Petraeus, says you need more tools and men on the ground."

(Notice how the General who agrees with the administration is deemed the smartest, while the others who disagree - Colin Powell, John Abizaid, Pete Chiarelli - have been removed. Bush has said repeatedly he listens to his military leaders on the ground, but when they oppose the neo-con voices in his ear, he dumps them and finds someone to agree.)

Asked by Gibson how/when she'll "back off" that position, Lowry predicts that there'll be "some sort of vote" and then audaciously predicts the outcome of that vote, whatever exactly "it" is: the Senate will give "it" 25-30 votes, and the House will give "it" a better percentage and maybe even pass "it", but Bush will veto "it" and the House will not be able to override the veto.

In all this Democrat-bashing neither Lowry nor Gibson mentioned the aforementioned Generals and dozens of other military leaders who think this surge will be futile, including FOX commentators Wesley Clark and Oliver North. Ultra-uber-conservative Robert Novak writes

"...Bush and McCain, the front-runner for the next presidential nomination, in pressing for a surge of 30,000 more troops, will have trouble finding support from more than 12 out of 49 Republican senators. "It's Alice in Wonderland," Sen. Chuck Hagel, second-ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, told me in describing the proposed surge. "I'm absolutely opposed to sending any more troops to Iraq. It is folly."

So who is pretending and posturing?