Wednesday :: Mar 22, 2006

The True Victims From Bush's Remarks Yesterday

by Steve

The two groups most affected by what Bush said in his revelatory press conference yesterday were the GOP incumbents tied to his falling approval ratings this fall, and the Iraqis who are trying to demonstrate to their countrymen that the American occupiers have no permanent designs upon their country. Both came out losers yesterday, even though Bush, as Dana Milbank tells us this morning, seemed to have a good time yukking it up with the same press corps that kept quiet for months about a Jimmy/Jeff Gannon in their midst (my editorial comment, not Dana's).

For the GOP incumbents this fall, they have been hoping that a gradual withdrawal could be spun into the narrative without looking like the administration was cutting and running from Iraq. Remember all the talk these last months of “as they (the Iraqis) stand up, we’ll stand down”, and “our plans will be dictated by what the military commanders on the ground say?” Well, it now seems pretty clear that George W. Bush’s machismo and unwillingness to admit to error will dictate our permanent presence in that country, rather than if the Iraqis suddenly acquired the ability to manage large parts of the country themselves, or George Casey said we should “do a Murtha” and engage in a significant redeployment to neighboring countries this year or next, and pull others back home.

This is a problem for the GOP, who will have no choice but to stick with their president on this one. And this is an opportunity for Democrats to begin a framing of the GOP and this White House as a permanent war party. It is quite easy for Democrats to remind voters that it was this president and his party that is soft on homeland security through the Dubai deal and their under funding of critical infrastructure, border and port-of-entry security here at home, while these same fools are so willing to spend a trillion dollars on an Iraq war of no apparent end or benefit to our national security. Democrats can now ask how does abdicating his responsibility to listen to his generals and be allegedly the Commander in Chief square with his stated objective of a politically-driven war without end regardless of our national interests? Democrats can now say openly that in light of Bush’s past lies about listening to his generals and being ready to leave when the Iraqis are ready and able, and his admission now that we will be occupiers for years, that it is time for a new Congress to be engaged in managing our future overseas commitments.

As for the Iraqis themselves, they probably wished that Bush had stuck to his earlier assertions that we would leave when the Iraqis are ready for us to leave. That was a good and nebulous answer that didn’t confirm the worst fears of the Iraqis that this war was all about oil and force projection, and that a country struggling for liberty and democracy would be saddled with permanent bases operated by a plundering occupying force for years. This confirmation by Bush that he intends to be an occupier despite what the Iraqis tell him these next three years, coming as it did on a day when the Middle East saw repeated video clips of the latest massacre of innocent Iraqis by American forces played right into the hands of those we are supposedly trying to beat in the court of Iraqi public opinion.

Bush managed to hang both his party and the Iraqis out to dry yesterday with one unscripted press conference. For a guy who has been in the job now for five years, it is simply amazing how inept and politically unaware he is of the impact of his idiocies. This comes largely from operating in a bubble surrounded by a staff of Kool Aid drinking cheerleaders and the warm embrace of a cuckolded and access-seeking corporate media that is more interested in prostration than asking tough questions. But the consequences from Bush’s swan dive yesterday in Iraq and here at home this November will be apparent soon enough.

Image courtesy of the AP

Steve :: 8:02 AM :: Comments (69) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!