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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


George put on a show yesterday and from the snippets I've seen, it was one of his better performances. Without the trademark smirk and the endless repetition of the same points, he may have actually scored a few points for his side, particularly with some long overdue candor about what he sees as the duration of the US troop commitment.

Oh yeah, and he might have really succeeded if he had a fresh argument.

The repeated refrains about the media focusing too much on the bombings and not on the construction of schools is classic Bush misdirection. The bombings ARE the daily existence of Iraqis, who are growing increasingly pessimistic about their future, according to interviews done around this third anniversary.

Their pessimism does not derive from seeing bombs go off on American television. It comes from witnessing them live and in color. Ayad Allawi has a closer and better perspective on civil war from Baghdad than George does from his Washington bubble.

The straw man of the US being in Iraq to fight al Qaeda and Musawi manages to obliterate the reality that the terrorist and his organization did not have the type of free reign in Iraq until the US tossed out Saddam Hussein without a plan to replace him. Musawi flowed in to fill the vacuum created by the US half-planned action.

Another favorite Bush straw man trotted out was his unconscionable position of turning debate guaranteed by the Constitution into suggestions of treason against the opposition.
"I did notice that nobody from the Democratic Party has actually stood up and called for getting rid of the terrorist surveillance program ... they ought to stand up and say the tools we're using to protect the American people shouldn't be used."
The reason you noticed that is because no one suggests we get rid of terrorism surveillance -- foreign or domestic. Opponents are not soft on terrorism but strong on the Constitution you took an oath to protect and defend, George. All we want is for you to obey the law in doing this task.

In some ways it was refreshing to see him -- after repeated smacks in the head with the proverbial two-by-four -- acknowledge he is spending his vaunted political capital on this ill-formulated venture.

But that momentary candor -- along with equally candid declaration another president will likely decide when the troops come home -- was wiped out with the mule stubborn insistence on defending the indefensible defense secretary.

Prediction: there could be a momentary bump up in ratings from the low to mid 30s to around 40 percent. But the gosh darn media's insistence in covering news of a civil war will eventually send it back down.

That's the way it goes George.


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