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RUSH: San Francisco Chronicle, Edward Epstein writing: ‘Senate Democrats, increasingly restive over the war in Iraq, plan to force a series of votes starting today aimed at either changing the course of President Bush’s policy or embarrassing Republican members over their continued support for a war the public has soured on.’ They’ve done this over and over and over again, but, ‘This time, Reid said, things will be different. ‘We want there to be change and it should not be a fig leaf,’ he said.’ These things are going to be different this time. ‘A draft of the interim report,’ whether the Iraqi government has reached its benchmarks, ‘circulated Monday among government agencies, concludes that the government in Iraq has met none of its targets for political, economic and other reform, an official who asked not to be identified told the Associated Press. Another report, this one from Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker on how Bush’s troop-increase strategy is working, is due by Sept. 15. But,’ as I told you yesterday, Dingy Harry ‘Reid and the Republican Senate defectors said they don’t want to wait until then to change Iraq policy.’ They don’t want to wait until General Petreaus reports in September, for all the obvious reasons. ‘The strategy of the Republican Senate leadership as Democrats seek votes on anti-war amendments is still not clear.’ Of course it’s not clear because they’re undecided what their strategy ought to be.

But let me give you a couple realities here, folks, and listen to me on this. Reality number one is that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are running Congress and they have been running Congress twice as long as the General Petraeus plan has been in place. Reality number two is that public support for Congress has collapsed. Have you seen the latest polls? I don’t care what the president’s numbers are. They are what they are. The congressional numbers are even worse.

Do we not think, ladies and gentlemen, that it may be time for new leadership in Congress? Perhaps maybe Senator Reid should be replaced and Speaker Pelosi should resign. Congress needs a new direction. Take every argument they’re using to get us out of Iraq — ignore Petraeus, deny his plan, the time to work and so forth — and turn it around against them. The current leadership of Congress has failed. They’ve failed to deliver on their promises. They failed to set the country on the right course! They’ve failed to gain the support of the American people. They’re a total political failure. As a matter of fact, during their leadership, Reid and Pelosi, the American people have rejected, overwhelmingly rejected their leadership. Anybody who has lost faith with General Petraeus has to be disgusted with Reid and Pelosi. If the Petraeus leadership can be judged in, what is it, two or three months now, the Reid and Pelosi leadership’s had two or three times as much time and has clearly accomplished zilch, zero, nada, nothing, except a whole bunch of political stunts: Armani suits, grandchildren on the knee, a big mallet, 100 hours on the road to nowhere, secondhand smoke legislation, secondhand mirrors, minimum wage, a bunch of chicanery supposedly getting rid of earmarks but not really doing it — and America gets it. Disapproval of the Reid-Pelosi Congress has collapsed, 37% to 24% after only six months. Well, if we’re not even going to give Petraeus the full length of time he was promised and assured, and we’re going to pronounce it a failure already and ‘a collapse of leadership’ and there’s no political will and support, the Iraqi people haven’t met their benchmarks, well, neither the hell have Reid or Pelosi. They haven’t met one benchmark. They haven’t done one thing. The support for the US Congress in this country has not just plummeted. It has totally collapsed. So using their line of reasoning and thinking, we need new leaders in Congress, and we need them now. The Democrats are the ones that need the new plan and they need the new plan now, folks.

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