Monday, November 13, 2006

Save The Cheerleader, Save The World

Bob "Team B" Gates. Jimmy "Winston Wolf" Baker. Larry "Fat Larry" Eagleburger. While the smart set divines the entrails of Junior's failures, looks for the upside in Poppy's pragmatic fixers repairing Fredo's fuck-up, and breathlessly awaits the verdict of the Iraq Study Group, they have thus far ignored the tactical truth.

What has been rule number one for this administration? Everything is political; more accurately, everything can be utilized as a political opportunity. The Bushies will be looking early and often to fob off the ISG findings to the Democratic lap, because that's all they have left. If the ISG says everything's both hunky and/or dory, and freedom is indeed on the march, and we're just a Friedman or two away from the mission being accomplished, it becomes an I-told-you-so moment. If the ISG says it's an unholy mess, that civil war is coming whether we stay or go -- in other words, if they're perfectly honest in their assessment -- then it suddenly becomes Nancy Pelosi's responsibility to help Junior unshit the bed, or risk being labeled an obstructionist. Oh no!

The thing is, there's a very good chance that that won't work this time. It depends, as it usually does, on the extent to which the harrumphing centristier-than-thou wise men decide to enable The Decider. It may in fact be their unstated interest, because even contrived conflict drives more ratings, to portray those darned Democrats as a bunch of feckless assholes who just want to tug on Superman's cape for the hell of it.

But now the Democrats have more of a media soapbox, and can put forth a clear, concise, tight plan of action, stated with passion and conviction and vision. Perhaps then they can counter the inordinate level of control the unitary execumative has accorded to himself, and make it ever more clear who initiated this avoidable tragedy, and what the actual and opportunity costs are and will continue to be.

The game is just beginning. What's great is that everyone seems to have their game face on; nothing's taken for granted. It's time to push back.

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