If Bush begins to draw down manpower levels by the end of the year, he could reduce the differences between his positionand that of the Democratic front-runners on a matter of numbers rather than on basic policy. In taking the Iraq issue out of contention in the 2008 election, Bush will have rescued his party from what is now almost certain defeat.I do like the idea that Bush can, in effect, rescue his party from his own bad decisions.
Will his move seem transparently political? Democrats will surely say that it is, but nobody will really believe that Bush or the Republicans will reverse course and send in more troops after the election. Everybody will believe that the draw-down of U.S. troops is permanent and quite real.
In fact, Bush’s stubborn obstinacy on Iraq in the past will make it unlikely that any concession on his part will be seen as opportunistic.
That said, I'm not sure about Morris's contention that the public won't see Bush's actions as political. I think perhaps Morris, a conservative himself and blinded with hatred for Hilary Clinton, might be assuming the American people see things the same way he does.