Gee, just yesterday I was reading on the front page of The New York Times that however dire things may seem in Iraq now, as soon as the election is over we're going to give those nasty insurgents in Fallujah a good, satisfying ass-kicking.
Today, though, I'm getting a different message from Robert Novak: however dire things may seem in Iraq now, as soon as the election is over we're going to get the hell out of Iraq.
Surely both of these things can't be true.
Let's see: Voters tell pollsters they don't feel they know what Kerry plans to do about Iraq. Voters don't know what Bush plans to do, either -- but they haven't called him on it yet, nor has the press. Still, what does Bush do if that changes -- wht does he do in the unlikely event that he's actually held accountable for once in his life? Well, he could float one of these two scenarios as a trial balloon -- but one makes him look bellicose to soccer moms, while the other makes him look weak to NASCAR dads. So why not float both? And, just to make both seem plausible, why not have "senior officials" whisper the macho one to the "liberal" East Coast paper of record, while the peacenik one goes to a GOP apparatchik? Then all voters hear what they want to hear, and it seems that Bush has a plan. (Whichever one it is.)
(Novak column also available here.)