THANKS, MR PRESIDENT

Something remarkable has been going on these past few weeks. The president has begun to be a real war-leader. He is conceding mistakes, he is preparing people for bad news, he is leveling with the American people, he is taking questions from audiences who aren’t pre-selected or rehearsed. Some of us have been begging him to do this for, er, years. Now that he is, his ratings are nudging up. The truth is: most Americans want to win in Iraq. They will back a president who is honest with them and dedicated to victory. And those of us who have been deeply critical of the war’s conduct thus far are fully prepared to back the only commander-in-chief we’ve got, if he’s honest with us, corrects mistakes, and has a sane plan for progress. With Casey and Khalilzad and Rice, I think we have the best team we have yet deployed in the war. Let’s pass the McCain Amendment and put the abuse and torture issues behind us, and fight this war the way Americans have always fought: humanely but relentlessly, for a better, freer world.

NO DICE: McCain won’t give in on immunity for those who have broken the law. At this point, the Bush administration is trying to protect itself from prosecution. I have a feeling that Donald Rumsfeld won’t be leaving the United States very often in the future.

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