You may have seen the story : Nancy Pelosi was informed of Bush's plan to escalate (euphemistically "surge") in Iraq only the afternoon of the speech.
"He brought us in to tell us what he was going to say in a matter of hours," she said. "It wasn't a consultation — it was a notification. And a late-minute one at that."Her description of the substance of this meeting isn't terribly encouraging, either (emphasis added):
In an interview, Pelosi also said she was puzzled by what she considered the president's minimalist explanation for his confidence in the new surge of 21,500 U.S. troops that he has presented as the crux of a new "way forward" for U.S. forces in Iraq.
"He's tried this two times — it's failed twice," the California Democrat said. "I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?' And he said, 'Because I told them it had to.' "
Asked if the president had elaborated, she added that he simply said, " 'I told them that they had to.' That was the end of it. That's the way it is."
Now it's easy to sit here at a comfortable distance, not having to go face-to-face with the petulant, defensive Decider-in-Chief on his home court.
But when I read Pelosi's account, I knew immediately what she should have said--I knew! I knew it with the transcendant certainty you get when, the next morning in the shower, you think of the crushing remark you should have said to the jerk at the party the night before. And the thought that she let the conversation end there, while the utterly perfect reply was floating in front of her like a coconut custard pie on a silk pillow, begging to be thrown, made me have to stifle a scream.
Unlike so many things in life--unlike so many things involving the failed war in Iraq--this challenge has a right answer. That's because it turns out that the exchange didn't end where the CBS story leaves it, although whether that's because of Pelosi's tact or an editor's caution I don't know.
Yes, bless her heart--Pelosi picked up that verbal custard pie and let fly with it.
So. Here's the challenge: You've just said to the president, "It's failed twice--why do you think it'll work this time?"
He's just replied, "Because I told them it had to."
What do you say to him now?
Match wits with Madame Speaker!
(The answer is here. Enjoy.)