Thursday, October 13, 2005

Even the photo ops are going badly...

Wow, the press is just chomping at the bits with Bush lately - where have they been? Has some event occurred, some spirits in the ether shifted, to cause the new-found treatment of Bush in the press as if he were Bill Clinton?

As part of the never-ending effort to show that the war in Iraq is going great, Bush had an "unscripted teleconference call" with 11 soldiers, 10 American, and 1 Iraq. Bang up job there, commander in chief, was the theme - and no, no, no, it was NOT choreographed, slithered and slathered McClellan at today's press conference.

Turns out that like any other piece of propaganda, it was indeed choreographed to achieve a desired effect - namely, that everything is honky-dory in Iraq and those troops (who were hand-picked and fed questions, in addition to being told what order they should go in) love and support their commander in chief.

Caligula made his horse a senator - but at least he was qualified, quipped someone in a piece the Economist had this week on Miers. It seems as if, with Bush, we've moved from tragedy to farce; it's almost hypnotic, sitting back and watching him commit blunder after blunder, grinding his teeth and fidgeting while his popularity drops, his allies get indicted, and his erstwhile propaganda minister sweats about his potential indictment.

But fun as it is to watch Bush flail, one thing should be at the top priority of every person who is a Democrat and left-of-center, with a blog, a column, or an elected office: link every single Republican in every single district with Bush, Rove, and Delay. Bring up every vote; trace every dollar taken and given; this is a tremendous opportunity, with elections not too far off. One hopes that the Democrats won't prove themselves adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Still, the opportunity is ripe:

"In addition, with 13 months until the 2006 congressional elections, 48 percent say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, compared with 39 percent who want the Republicans to control Capitol Hill. In fact, that nine-point difference is the largest margin between the parties in the 11 years the NBC/Journal poll has been tracking this question. "

The problem is that this is not the result of anything the Democrats have done - sitting back and watching the implosion is fine and dandy, but that nine point lead could be a lot bigger if certain leading Democrats (for instance, one with the initials HC) would get out in public and take more aggressive anti-Bush stands. For instance (not that this needs to be the kind of stance taken), only dear Russ Feingold, the coolest Senator I ever met (granted, the only other one I've met is Herb Kohl, who was wearing a purple and green outfit to match the Milwaukee Bucks) has come out strongly against what's going on in Iraq and proposed a plan to do something about it. If they're running scared - and they're beginning to - it's time to give chase.

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