Magazine article The American Prospect

Dick Cuts a Deal. (Devil in the Details)

Magazine article The American Prospect

Dick Cuts a Deal. (Devil in the Details)

Article excerpt

However much Richard Gephardt may have helped his presidential prospects by negotiating "compromise" language with the White House on its Iraqi war resolution, he sure didn't scoot to the head of the line as our favorite candidate for secretary of state (or any other position that requires a modicum of bargaining smarts). Under pressure from fellow Republicans, the administration had already agreed to scale back the scope of its resolution such that it authorized military action only against Iraq rather than the entire Middle East. Gephardt's signal contribution, it seems, was to commit the president to reporting to Congress within 48 hours of the commencement of hostilities, with reports back at 60-day intervals so long as the action continues.

Of the major objections that Democrats and some Republicans had raised about the resolution--its assertion that the United States can and will move unilaterally if it sees fit, its dismissal of the need to try inspection first, its lack of clarity as to why exactly an invasion is needed now--Gephardt addressed none. …

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