The Idiot Picks A Fight He Can't Win
Nearing the end of his fifth year in office, Bush has the lowest approval rating of his presidency and a majority of Americans say Bush is not honest and they disapprove of his handling of foreign policy and the war on terrorism.Isn't that a lovely sentence? It's the first time Bush's numbers on terrorism (always his strong point, bizzarrely) have fallen into a minority. It comes from an AP story on Bush's efforts to escalate the Iraq war debate. Here's what Bush is now saying about the newly anti-war Democrats:
They spoke the truth then and they're speaking politics now... Some Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force are now rewriting the past. They're playing politics with this issue and they are sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. That is irresponsible... These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will... As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them.Ignore for a moment the fact that Bush is still spouting lies. Forget that many now serving in the US forces in Iraq would much prefer that their political and military leaders were NOT "standing behind them" right now, but bringing them home instead. Never mind how people like me might feel about being called liars, when these bastards have been terrorizing our families and friends for years. The fact that Bush is even prepared to enter this debate head-on is a clear sign of his desperation.
Karl Rove (seems he is back in control, now that the Prozac is kicking in, but he's still in hot water) is trying to achieve two things here: on the one hand, he is giving disinterested spectators the impression that this is all partisan-politics-as-usual in Washington. On the other hand, he is carefully working one particular side of the sorely divided USA, and it's a dangerous one.
Bush and even Cheney are making major speeches lately to almost exclusively US military audiences. If Bush can convince the military to stay on his side, even as the public drifts away, you have the perfect recipe for a Police State. But if the military splits (as seems more likely) you have a possibility of Civil War.
I know, that's a long way off right now. But I am just trying to show how irresponsible and reckless Bush's behaviour - and his new lies about his old lies - really are.
Jeb Bush recently disclosed that when he talks to George, they mostly discuss family stuff and sports. A TPM reader suggests that Bush may be so carefully cocooned from reality these days that he actually believes what he is saying. Even if that were true, it would be unforgiveable. As Josh Marshall says:
I don't see much reason to assume that the president is any less capable of such bad-faith and bad acts than those around him...E.J. Dionne calls it Another Set of Scare Tactics:
The president's laziness, hubris and unwillingness to hold himself or anyone else accountable for anything will prove to have been at the heart of all of this.
You wonder: Did Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel in the Valerie Plame leak investigation, send the wrong signal to our troops and our enemy by daring to seek the indictment of Scooter Libby on a charge of perjury and obstruction of justice? Must Americans who support our troops desist from any criticism of the use of intelligence by the administration?Let's not forget that "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" is a federal offence in a time of war, so Bush is laying the groundwork for arresting anyone who dares call him a liar. But is there room in US prisons for 63% of the US population?
There is a great missing element in the argument over whether the administration manipulated the facts. Neither side wants to talk about the context in which Bush won a blank check from Congress to invade Iraq. He doesn't want us to remember that he injected the war debate into the 2002 midterm election campaign for partisan purposes, and he doesn't want to acknowledge that he used the post-Sept. 11 mood to do all he could to intimidate Democrats from raising questions more of them should have raised.
And I could talk for half a day about this paragraph:
Marc Racicot, then chairman of the Republican National Committee, said about the late Sen. Paul Wellstone's opposition to the war resolution: "He has set about to diminish the capacity of this nation to defend itself. That is a legitimate issue." Wellstone, who died in a plane crash a few days before the election, was not intimidated. But other Democrats were.Was Wellstone assassinated for daring to oppose the war? Hey! That's a Conspiracy Theory! Just like the one about Bush lying his way to war in Iraq...