This morning, Steve Thomma of McClatchy wrote that “When pressing a tough sale, Bush is a lousy salesman.” “He’s never really sold the country or Congress something it didn’t already want. And when he’s tried to sell something the people or the politicians didn’t want, he’s fallen flat,” wrote Thomma.
Thomma’s thesis gained a high profile supporter earlier today: Newt Gingrich. Speaking at an American Spectator breakfast, the former Speaker of the House offered some words of advice for how President Bush can gain support for the Iraq war — “Simply be quiet, say nothing:”
Newt Gingrich is offering President Bush some interesting advice about winning support for the Iraq war: The president, he says, should stop talking about it. “Simply be quiet, say nothing” is what the former Republican leader is urging. Mr. Bush instead should leave the war talk to General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who have much more credibility with both Democrats and Republicans. [...]
“Petraeus and Crocker will get a better deal on Iraq than Bush, and it will be much harder for the Democrats to oppose Petraeus and Crocker,” Mr. Gingrich said.
This isn’t the first time Gingrich has suggested that silence is the best route for conservatives to push their agenda. In May, Gingrich advised his fellow right wingers to avoid talking about Iraq, Katrina, Walter Reed, the U.S. attorneys, and Bush:
Well, President Bush is not the future. He’s not a solution…The Republicans have to say, this is not what we want to debate. It’s not in Baghdad, it’s not in Katrina, it’s not at Walter Reed, it’s not with the U.S. attorneys.
While it may be refreshing to see Bush “simply be quiet,” not talking about Iraq is hardly a solution. The U.S. needs to set a course towards a responsible redeployment out of the middle of a bloody civil war.