According to ABC News, Karl Rove, speaking over the weekend at the Aspen Institute, thinks the Iraq war "will not be the dominant issue in next year's presidential campaign because of his assumption about 'where it is -- where it is likely to be' come springtime of 2008." Rove was fairly explicit about what he means -- fewer troops in Iraq and perhaps redeployed by next spring -- with his comment that "The idea is that the surge doesn't last indefinitely."
Since Rove is Bush's political guru, this raises the question as to whether a shift in troop deployment will be done for political purposes rather than because the "surge" has actually accomplished anything. With almost every report suggesting violence in Iraq has escalated and the Iraqi government has met pretty much none of the markers laid down by the administration (and with more Republicans defecting on the Iraq issue), this is hardly an irrelevant question.
The sheer cynicism of the War Party is nothing short of appalling. But I think Rove is wrong. In election 2008, despite the pusillanimity of most Republicans and Democrats, "It's Iraq, stupid."