Saturday, June 17, 2006

Political Smackdown, Rich Style

From first paragraph to last Frank just zinged and skewered with equal abandon.
Karl Rove Beats the Democrats Again - New York Times: "Given our government's preference for spectacle over substance, 'Baghdad Surprise 2' was more meticulously planned than security for post-liberation Baghdad. The script was a montage of the administration's greatest hits.

As with the prototype of Thanksgiving 2003, there was a breathless blow-by-blow of how President Bush faked out his own cabinet, donned a baseball cap and slipped into his waiting plane. In cautious remembrance of 'Top Gun,' White House photos were disseminated of the fearless leader hovering in the cockpit. Once on the ground, Mr. Bush made much of looking into the eyes of Nuri al-Maliki, our third post-Saddam Iraqi leader, and finding him as worthy as he did Vladimir Putin after a similarly theatrical ocular X-ray. This bit of presidential shtick is now as polished as Johnny Carson's old burlesque psychic, Carnac the Magnificent.
With his trusty mentor/sidekick, Karl Rove.
But not every sequel is as satisfying as 'Spider-Man 2.' This time, the plot holes in the triumphal narrative were too obvious. Since Thanksgiving 2003, the number of American troops in Iraq has gone up and casualties have increased more than fivefold. With Italy and South Korea leading the bailout, the 'coalition of the willing' is wilting. (Rest assured that Moldova and El Salvador are hanging in.) Iraq security is such that Mr. Bush could stay only six hours, all in the Green Zone bunker. The presidential diagnosis of Mr. Maliki's trustworthiness was contradicted by the White House decision to keep the visit a secret from him until the last minute. How big a dis is that? Even the Americans the administration distrusts most — journalists — were told a day in advance."
Isn't it dangerous over there?
Americans pick Iraq as the most pressing national issue, 21 points ahead of immigration, the runner-up. They find the war so dispiriting that the networks spend less and less time covering it. Had the much-hyped Alberto roused itself from tropical storm to hurricane, Mr. Bush's Baghdad jaunt would have been bumped for the surefire Nielsen boost of tempest-tossed male anchors emoting in the great outdoors.

All of which makes it stupendously counterintuitive that the Republican campaign strategy for 2006 is to run on the war. But there was Karl Rove, freshly released from legal jeopardy, proposing exactly that in a speech just before the president's trip. In a drive-by Swift Boating, he portrayed John Kerry and John Murtha, two decorated Vietnam veterans calling for an expedited exit from Iraq, as cowards who exemplify their party's "old pattern of cutting and running."
Those who are most enraged about the administration's reckless misadventures are incredulous that it repeatedly gets away with the same stunts. Last week the president was still invoking 9/11 to justify the war in Iraq, which he again conflated with the war on Islamic jihadism — the war we are now losing, by the way, in Afghanistan and Somalia. But as long as the Democrats keep repeating their own mistakes, they will lose to the party whose mistakes are, if nothing else, packaged as one heckuva show. It's better to have the courage of bad convictions than no courage or convictions at all.
That's what I'm saying. Heaven forbid that a strong breeze should hit today's Democrat. They act more like willow trees in a strong wind than a mighty oak standing tall in a storm. Find a position and stick with it or quit and let someone with a spine fight the battle.

Yes, I know that the willow is more likely to survive in nature, but politics doesn't really qualify as nature. Even though politics do seem to be a life or death issue for some people. Specifically death if you don't agree with the more extreme right position.

No links, those wackos don't need any more help justifiying their calls for violence.

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