The President used his radio address this week to talk about his scheduled meeting on Wednesday with congressional leaders over the Iraq war funding bill dispute. The President started off by accusing the Congress of not meeting their responsibilities to fund his war. “When we meet on Wednesday, I look forward to hearing how Members of Congress plan to meet their responsibilities and provide our troops with the funding they need. Supporting our troops is a solemn responsibility of all elected officials in Washington, D.C. So 68 days ago, I sent Congress an emergency war spending bill that would provide the vital funds needed for our troops on the front lines,” Bush said. (By the way, Congress did carry out their responsibilities and pass a funding bill. There is a difference between not passing a bill and passing a bill that the president will veto).

He continued, “But instead of approving this funding, Democrats in Congress have spent the past 68 days pushing legislation that would undercut our troops. They passed bills that would impose restrictions on our military commanders and set an arbitrary date for withdrawal from Iraq, giving our enemies the victory they desperately want.” (Notice the revival of the old tried and true administration tactic, of labeling any disagreement with their policy, support of the enemy. In this administration’s mind you are still either with them or against them).

“I recognize that Republicans and Democrats in Washington have differences over the best course in Iraq, and we should vigorously debate those differences. But our troops should not be trapped in the middle. They have been waiting for this money long enough. Congress must now work quickly and pass a clean bill that funds our troops, without artificial time lines for withdrawal, without handcuffing our generals on the ground, and without extraneous domestic spending.” (This is a good point about the troops, but what exactly is a “clean bill?” If you accept that the bill that the White House wants is clean, then by definition congressional Democrats want a “dirty bill” that is bad for the country and aids the enemy. The president is trying to frame the debate on this issue by defining the terms used in the discussion).

“When Americans went to the polls last November, they did not vote for politicians to substitute their judgment for the judgment of our commanders on the ground. And they certainly did not vote to make peanut storage projects part of the funding for our troops,” the president said. (Perhaps the president needs a quick civics lesson; we live in a representative democracy. That means that often our elected officials have to use their own judgment when they vote. The president can’t seem to accept the fact that the Democratic position on Iraq is a reflection of the view of the majority of Americans).

“The American people voted for change in Iraq, and that is exactly what our new commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, is working to achieve. And they expect their elected leaders to support our men and women on the front lines, so they have every resource they need to complete their mission,” Bush said. (The American people voted for Democrats in 2006, because they wanted a brand new strategy, which would lead to the troops coming home. They did not vote for a new commander to carry out the same tactics with even more troops).

Since I first started writing about these weekly radio addresses a few weeks ago, this is the first one that was a major disappointment. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the administration, it is nice to get an unfiltered point of view. I usually include more of the president’s address and less of my remarks, but this week’s talk was just a rehash of last week. The president tried a different argument, but it was weaker than the one he used last week. Overall he has sounded like a broken record on the issue of Iraq for years now, and Saturday’s address was no different.

Full text of President Bush’s weekly radio address

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at
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