Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: Iraq can be such a drag... .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Iraq can be such a drag...

...on Bush's domestic agenda.

For Bush, much hinges on outcome of Iraq war

Apparently, Bush's war in Iraq could bite him in the ass as he tries to push his domestic agenda during this term. As the war's costs in billions of dollars and thousands of lives climb, eventually people will look past the smoke and mirrors and see the man behind the curtain for what he is - a spiteful, arrogant wanna-be who uses the most powerful nation on earth to further his own shortsighted agenda.

"The enormous costs of the war create an economic drag on any major initiatives. And if the news from Iraq does not improve, there is a danger that the public loses confidence in him," said Bruce Buchanan, a University of Texas professor specializing in presidential politics.

The key phrase here is "if the news ... does not improve". True to form, the administration will spin the media to make sure the news improves, even though the situation doesn't.

Then, of course, there's the emotional strain and anguish that dubya must be going through for having to send soldiers to their deaths in order to achieve his goals.

The responsibility of sending troops to die in combat, marked by rituals such as signing letters to bereaved families and visiting soldiers who have been permanently disabled, has weighed on each man to hold the office.

"It is a painful thing, a difficult thing. Any president takes that personally," said Ray Price, a speechwriter and friend of former President Nixon.

Dallek said Bush has not yet exhibited the strain...

Of course not. He's a chucklehead who doesn't forsee the consequences of his actions. Besides, he believes it's worth the cost (although I don't see Barb & Jenna enlisting anytime soon). And he doesn't sign the condolence letters, he has his henchmen stamp a signature on them.

And a firm belief that "the fate of the world depends to a degree on how Iraq turns out" could help sustain Bush and limit the emotional strain of war, Price said.

That optimism will be reflected by the American people if the upcoming Iraqi elections are perceived as successful, and there is a growing sense that the U.S. presence there is not open ended, said Buchanan.

But if the elections in Iraq come and go with no clear signs of improvement, Bush will face a dangerous moment early in his second term.

"Public opinion is already hovering under 50 percent for the war. What we saw with both Johnson, and also (former President Harry) Truman during Korea, their domestic aspirations were condemned by discontent with an unpopular war," Buchanan said. "That doesn't augur well for Bush."

So what it boils down to is that the Bush administration needs to stick with the strategy that got them back into the White House for a second term. Repeat it often enough and it becomes the truth. "The war is going great, we're doing this to make us safer, and the Iraqi elections were a success (oh yeah, they haven't happened yet)".

Then it's on to bigger and better things, like raping the land, driving the economy into the ground, depriving everyone but White Christian Republicans of as many rights as possible, and basically sending our society back to the 18th century.


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