clap clap blog: we have moved

Thursday, July 24, 2003
I had a thought on the basis of this Salon article about "Bush's lies" which was way smarter than it had any right to be, given the headline ("Bush's lies vs. Clinton's lies"):

Bush is similarly stymied at attacking his opposition. His first option is to paint all Democrats as antiwar in Iraq and implicitly in support of a maniac whose brutality becomes clearer with each mass grave found. This strategy will have particular currency if the situation in Baghdad improves, the bloodletting stops, and troops stop telling reporters that they want to go home. Many Democrats agree that Bush can get traction here. "Most Americans aren't lawyers or arms inspectors, but they do know an enemy when they see one," says Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute, a centrist Democratic group.

The problem for Bush is that almost all of the top-tier presidential candidates were pro-war. The big difference between their position and the White House's was that the Democrats wanted to act multilaterally and with the support of the United Nations. That position looks eminently reasonable now, with Americans making up nearly all of the coalition forces patrolling Iraq and with the realization that Saddam almost certainly did not pose an imminent threat to this country.

So it seems that, of the plausible scenarios at this point, the worst-case one for the Republicans is if Dean gets nominated and the peace continues to go badly; the best-case one is if Dean gets nominated and the peace starts to go really well. Is that a gamble the Democratic faithful are going to make? I wonder.

Let's just all try and remember, though, that point during the war when it looked like it was going badly and then all of a sudden we took Baghdad. That can easily happen again--and, hopefully, it will.

But hey, maybe my analysis is flawed. The Salon article's not, though. Good stuff.