Sunday, February 08, 2004
Triangulation, W. Style
Josh Marshall's assessment of the probability of success of W's new commission is correct. But he's making an assumption-- unwarranted, in my mind-- that his regime will be able to make the limitations on the committee stick. They won't.
I know they've gotten away with it before-- the probe of the 'energy plan'. They can still throw a huge wrench in an investigative process (l'affaire Plame). And, yes, the electorate is awfully gullible-- they have a long history of believing even the most transparent wingnut nonsense during a campaign. (The Terminator's promise not to cut education being the latest in a line that includes "compassionate conservative", "read my lips", "trickle-down economics" and "Vietnamization".)
But allowing W. and his henchmen to tie the hands of a probe of why the prewar intelligence of Iraqi weapons was 'mistaken'? We're talking about an orchestrated campaign to pressure the country to go to war, based on non-existent evidence. This is a war that now has a U.S. body count of over 500 Americans. And since we're stuck in Iraq-- if we pull out, the best-case scenario is an extremist Islamic Republic-- there's little doubt that the final tally will be well past that.
I don't think they're going to get away with whitewashing that. Especially not when the evidence of lying and misdirection is growing every day. The AWOL story is going to grow legs. And submitting a budget that contains half-trillion dollar deficits and doesn't include a cent for Afghanistan and Iraq is... well, it's ballsy, to say the very least.
As I wrote a while ago, W's regime is founded on tactics and expediency, not principle or morality. They don't act based on what they feel in right-- they take positions based on what they feel they can get away with-- or what they need to do to contain the damage.
They can be blasted out of their foxholes by sufficient applications of pressure. And that'll come. I mean, Kerry hasn't even started hammering on this topic yet. No, I don't expect this stance to last for very long.