Wouldn't it be great if they actually talked?
Yahoo is running a news story (Bush, Democrats begin search for Iraq compromise) that suggests that Bush and the Democrats might actually talk about compromise on the war funding bill.
Back in January, I put forward the statement that the troop surge was a great idea since it provided a better framework for a debate on the future of Iraq than the post election blues that saw defeat and retreat as the only solution.
Unfortunately, the debate I hoped would happen in January never materialized. Both Democrats and Republicans simply entrenched. Rather than debating the troop surge, Bush just did it. Democrats responded by passing bills that were guaranteed to result in a veto.
Quite frankly, I think the problems of Iraq are a direct result of our inability to engage in real dialogue. In 2003, I felt that if we really looked at world threats, we would not have invaded Iraq. In 2003, Hussein was politically isolated. Sudan was a greater humanitarian crisis and Iran a greater strategic threat.
If we had engaged in the apropriate dialogue in 2003, I doubt we would have invaded Iraq.
This inability to engage in dialogue is not simply the result of Bush. It is result of the modern way of thinking. The neocons, after all, are people who use the techniques perfected by the left for causes of the right.
According to this new think, Pelosi, Reid and the left wing of the Democrats have a great deal to gain if they can keep dialogue from happening. The best path to the Democrats getting a full house (the Presidency and both Houses of Congress in 2008) is to keep Bush in a corner.
Keeping tensions high also will stifle the threat that the Blue Dog Democrats would pull the party toward the center.
On the Republican side, Bush and the neocons might be so entrenched in their notions of Machiavellian virtue that they might be incapable of dialogue. Their thick little skulls might be clinging to the illusion that the best way to win the 2008 election is for the Democrats to continue their swing to the left.
Political strategies aside, I think that our inability to engage in discourse is likely to lead to poor results.
As I stated in January, a proposal of troop surge was a great start for a debate. The fact that we did not debate the surge increased the likelihood of its failure. Since debate did not happen, we created a situation where the people pushed out of the debate were actively looking for ways to call the surge a failure. Quite frankly, I believe that our disunity feeds our opponents.
The way you reach unity is by talking. It would be wonderful if the parties actually started talking.