There are several stories in the news this morning that share a common theme. The New York Times headlines that the Democrats are “Newly Willing to Compromise on Iraq”:
[S]enior Democrats now say they are willing to rethink their push to establish a withdrawal deadline of next spring if doing so will attract the 60 Senate votes needed to prevail.
The Times attributes the Democrats’ flexibility–grudgingly–to a stiffening of Republican resolve:
Democrats had been counting on more Republicans to make a clean break from the president after the summer recess, but the White House has managed, at least temporarily, to hold on to much of its support.
In the Senate, proposed compromises include John Warner’s plan, which would attempt to mandate a date for beginning the withdrawal from Iraq, but without purporting to mandate any completion date. What most of the various proposals have in common is that they would have little if any impact on events in Iraq, but would allow the Democrats to say that their policy is different from the President’s.
Politico’s coverage is a bit blunter:
Said another aide involved in the process: