U.S. troops are fighting heroically, the entire population across sects is dependent upon them for security — so we should really start pulling them out of there, don’t you think? I like that little smile that crosses his face momentarily when he talks about the Iraqi town that was reduced to rubble by a truck bomb. That’s the look of a man with Senate seats within his grasp.

You may not recognize it at first glance but there’s an olive branch being extended here. Reid knows he can’t push for immediate withdrawal the way the cretins on the New York Times’s editorial board would like lest a genocide result and those Senate seats he’s got his eye on evaporate. So he’s touting Baker-Hamilton as an interim compromise solution: withdrawal of most combat troops with a small force left to target Al Qaeda and plenty of advisors to train the increasingly dubious Iraqi army. Then, if and when the country starts to disintegrate, they can call for total withdrawal on grounds that they need to get our boys out of harm’s way. It’s a two-step solution, and one which Bush, now apparently “in panic mode,” will probably be happy to accept. Ace thinks it might be worth trying a little shamnesty-esque direct action but I don’t think that’s going to work this time. No matter how many calls they’d be getting, they can still read the polls. We simply don’t have the numbers.

Thanks once again to mighty, mighty wingman for cutting this. Exit question: Given the trisectarian pleading from Iraqi officials this morning urging Congress not to pull out, who exactly is Reid thinking of when he says the Iraqis want us gone? Sadr?