For months conservative commentators, including me, have said that because of the reduction in violence in Iraq (about 35% according to Petraeus) that Democrats would start moving the target from violence to political benchmarks.
While our congress wants to complain about "lack of political progress in Iraq", how would they fair if they were given such benchmarks? We are less than three weeks from a new fiscal year, how many of the 13 appropriations bills have been passed? CongressPedia has a pretty good run down on what's been going on with our own budget. (0 appropriates bills have made it through conference committee yet).
While our own Senators and Congressmen (and women) complained of the Iraqi Parliment's August recess, they took 3 weeks off themselve, not passing any legislation.
While our legislators complain of the lack of progress in Iraq, they ignore the fact that from January 21st until the August recess Iraq's parliment had passed more "real" legislation than our own Congress (0ver 60 items to 57). Maybe if we spent less times on hearings about Iraq, and more on hearings about what's going on in our own country we'd have a budget done, and some of the reforms promised last year by the Democrats.
Instead, we have endless "gotcha hearings" and no real political progress in our own country. I'll be our congress is happy that no one gave them any benchmarks.