If President Bush’s people read the newspapers for him, since he insists he does not, they know he is taking it in the teeth this week. “A President All Alone,” blared the headline of Robert Novak’s column yesterday. We know a certain someone who is close to the president is a regular Novak reader, or at least a Novak leaker.

Also, the news that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell: CBO analysis for House bill a 'technical step' Senate feels pressure for summer healthcare vote Republicans give Trump's budget the cold shoulder MORE (R-Ky.) is backing off his filibuster policy on the Iraq debate is remarkable. “We need to get the bill on down to the president and the veto out of the way,” said McConnell, ordering bulldozers to the political barricades of procedural votes that have protected Bush since the surge began. His colleague, Sen. Thad CochranThad CochranCongressional politics hurts cotton farmers GOP senators dismiss Trump filibuster change Ryan touts spending deal for breaking 'Obama rules' for defense MORE (R-Miss.) seconded the notion, telling The Washington Post “We’re part of the problem if this doesn’t work … let him and the commanders in the field figure out a way to win.” It didn’t end there; a Republican House member was quoted saying the party has toed the line long enough. “Republicans are sick of defending an ungrateful president,” the member said.
Bush is having a GOP powwow at the White House Thursday to thank Republicans for opposing the Iraq spending bill and to encourage them to hang in. He better be inspiring.