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Thursday, December 01, 2005

And Of Course, Newsweek Weighs In

I'd call Howard Fineman at Newsweek skeptical about the President's plan on Iraq, but it wouldn't go far enough. That would be like saying the Pope is "just another Catholic".
He starts with this:

"As usual, the rhetoric surrounding the war in Iraq is about two elections – one there and one here. President Bush and the Republicans need the first one to succeed to have a chance of surviving the second."

And it goes down hill from there. Newsweek has titled the article "Trim and Tiptoe", and Fineman calls the Bush Strategy "cut and run lite"; which makes it obvious he hasn't paid attention for the last couple of years, since the document released yesterday really says nothing different that what the President has been saying.

Now, no good Bush Bash would be complete without brining in "the evil one", so Fineman tosses this one out there:

The weak “cut and run.” This president, nudged by Karl Rove, will trim and tiptoe. That way, White House advisors hope Bush can pay homage to the Cheney neocon vision and save his presidency at the same time

Ah yes, Howard got all the key words for the left in one paragraph (makes it easier for google to find them), Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Neocon!

The problem with this article is Howard is made a mistake on the premise for it. He believes that the President is trying to save two things, the 2006 mid-terms, and his own Presidency. The truth is, he's trying to save Iraq, and by doing so it will accomplish the other two things, though for his Presidency, he's looking more at legacy and less at the next 3 years.

I've noted before that one of Bush's weaknesses, in a political sense, is his lack of a political "killer instinct", which is why he has Rove and Cheney around. It's one of the reasons he's waited so long to fire back at the Democrats on Iraq. They want it to be a political issue, he never has, and has tried to keep it from being one. Until he was basically backed into a corner on it, he was leaving as a national/world security issue.

In the long run, that will pay off for Bush. While the Democrats (and some republicans) have flipped and flopped all over the place on Iraq, Bush has stayed the course (which pisses off Harry Reid).

When the election comes, whether we have 150,000 or 75,000 troops in Iraq, a large number of Republicans who have been steady with Bush will be able to point that out. While the Democrats will have their flailing positions, and idiotic statements flung in their faces.

Most have forgotten (in a short time) the John Kerry lesson of "I voted for before I voted Against", and are going to get beaten over the head with their own flips, flops, and somersaults.

Eleanor Clift has her usual whing on the subject also in Newsweek
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