Monday, March 15, 2004

The Stuff Stonewalls Are Made Of
Quote of the week--last week, actually--from Republican Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma: "If George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election, it's that simple." Cole went on to defend this nonsense on Fox News: "I just think George Bush has been a very bold, very successful and very aggressive wartime president, and I think if he were to lose the election our adversaries would take comfort in that. In fact, they would draw the conclusion that the country had lost its resolve." This is the kind of crap that gets you on Hannity and Colmes as some kind of statesman smart guy when you are in fact a drooling goober from a state we should give back to the Indians, and it plays well as red meat to the rednecks in the red states. (That idiots like Cole and Senator Jim Imhofe could come from the same state speaks volumes about the education system down there.) Whether swing voters elsewhere are dumb enough to buy it is the question we are currently debating in our election campaign.

With the bombings in Spain looking more and more like the work of Al Qaeda, the Wicked Osama is going to be on page one more often over the next few weeks as the "Coalition" works to capture him. I can't find the posts in the archives to link to, but somebody on Best of the Blogs observed a couple of weeks ago that the capture of Bin Laden would clinch the election for Bush. Just as he's simplistically claimed that the war on terror is winnable, capturing the Evil One would allow him to simplistically claim that he won it--and you can certainly imagine the campaign ads juxtaposing Bush's squinty-eyed sheriff face with Osama and Saddam getting their teeth examined like horses on an auction block.

I don't necessarily agree that the capture of Osama collapses the Kerry campaign as surely as a crashed 747 collapses a skyscraper--as long as Bin Laden is captured soon. It's possible that an early capture could end up as successful politically as Bush's "mission accomplished" moment of last May--if enough time elapses between that event and the election to convince Mr. and Mrs. America that appearances don't match reality. Nobody--except maybe a Kool-Aid drinking moron like Congressman Cole--thinks the mission accomplished photo op was much better than a fiasco--and it's worth noting that the capture of Saddam never seemed to have much in the way of political legs, either. So even if Osama is nabbed in the glow of a Pakistani springtime, six or seven months of intervening life in a still-dangerous world could rub the shine off of it pretty effectively, still leaving the door open for the Democrats to remind voters how this administration has screwed up everything else it has touched, even if it did manage to nab the very Incarnation of Insensate Evil.

Of course, if Bin Laden is nabbed sometime around the start of the World Series, it will probably be "game over" for the Democrats no matter how well we've made our case otherwise. And there's always the possibility that he's on ice already, and will be trotted out at the most politically opportune moment. Something I read a week ago (damned if I can remember where, so I can't link) suggested that Bush inadvertently revealed that Bin Laden has already been captured by his giggly, cat-who-ate-the-canary response to Tim Russert's question about the possibility of capture on Meet the Press.

Recommended viewing: We've all seen the video from 9/11--Bush is in a classroom reading to children when Chief of Staff Andrew Card comes in and whispers something in his ear--the news that a plane has hit the World Trade Center. It was actually news of the second plane--Bush knew about the first plane before he got to the school, but stayed there for half-an-hour before he was scrambled into action. Take Back the Media has produced a powerful video laying out the timeline on that morning--which shows the agonizing length of Bush's inaction, and its deadly consequences. More than anything else, this is why the administration is refusing to cooperate with the 9/11 commission. It's because the president's actions during the critical hour between 8:30 and 9:30 on that morning are inexplicable unless one of the following is true: (A) he had foreknowledge of the attacks and needed to let them unfold; or (B) he and his staff are utter incompetents. One of those gets him impeached; the other gets him defeated. It's the stuff stonewalls are made of.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?