Josh Marshall today makes what seems to me a fairly obvious observation. But not for our "press corps", who fell all over themselves last week promoting the Republican Party line that Bush was being tough and bold on the Iraq War while the Democrats were hopelessly divided and fearful over the whole thing.
Time's "liberal" columnist Joe Klein should win a prize for the most skin-crawling outburst of enthusiasm for his Dear Leader we've seen in a while. James Wolcott reminds us that the guys in what we generously call our press corps have already decided on their next great hope for a political "man-dude love" fest is John McCain.
Anyway, Josh Marshall writes:
It's not easy [for the Dems] to agree [on a common position on the Iraq War] since the mess the president has created is so entrenched that there really are no easy answers. But the president has put out there a tangible and concrete statement that he plans to keep our current deployment of troops in Iraq for three more years. That's wildly out of line with where the country is. And the president's words - which Republicans in Congress are tied to - say clearly that it's autopilot from now until 2009. No one wants that.
On substance, the simple truth is that the president has no policy on Iraq. His goal is to keep everything in place until 2009 so he can leave it to someone else. Why should Democrats cower and run from this debate? The debate itself is silly. No one agrees with the president. The point of the 'debate' is to get Democrats to run from the issue itself, thus signalling their lack of 'toughness' on Iraq through their lack of toughness in domestic political debate. The president has given his opponents an albatross to hang about his neck. So why not use it? On this count, Democrats really do have nothing to fear but fear itself. (my emphasis)
Maybe their is some mega-devious Karl Rove malignant brilliance behind Bush's latest push to re-sell the public on the Iraq War. It's hard for me to see.
Actually, what was probably Rove's most brilliant tactic in the 2004 elections didn't seem to fully dawn on the Democrats until after it was all over. It wasn't the Swift Boat Liars for Bush and their libelous attacks on John Kerry. It was the various ballot measures against gay marriage in a number of states to act as a "wedge" issue and bring out the Republican faithful to vote.