A source familiar with the meeting -- at which no compromise of any kind was reached, though Speaker Nancy Pelosi said publicly today that it had been "productive" -- shares a few interesting tidbits. First, the source says, Bush bristled and was taken aback when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid compared the current situation to Vietnam; he also appeared irked by those who said the war couldn't be won.It doesn't look like Reid and Pelosi are going to back down. Bush is a bully, and when meeting this kind of opposition, Bully's frequently do back down. However, Cheney is crazy and Rove will not accept any single decision that threatens Republican election possibilities in 2008, and I suspect that Rove would view a retreat by Bush as such a threat.
Second, according to the source, Reid told Bush that he understood that the White House would come after Congressional Dems after the veto of the bill with everything they had; Reid vowed to respond every bit as aggressively.
"Reid talked about a recent conversation he had with a retired general where they talked about the similarities between the current situation and Vietnam," the source relates. "He talked about how the President and Secretary of Defense [during Vietnam] knew that the war was lost but continued to press on at the cost of thousands of additional lives lost."
"The analogy to Vietnam appeared to touch a nerve with the President. He appeared a little sensitive to it," the source continued. "And he clearly didn't like to hear people in the room say that the war couldn't be won militarily."
More: "Reid made it clear to the President that he understood that the President and Vice President after the veto would come after him and Speaker Pelosi with everything they have. Reid said that he and Pelosi would respond just as aggressively. He said he was convinced that they were on the right side of the issue."
This is going to be interesting.