Friday, August 24, 2007


A little nugget I almost overlooked in yesterday's New York Times story on Bush's VFW speech:

...Todd Struwe, 44, who served on the Korean Peninsula, said Mr. Bush's address was "the best one we've heard so far from all of the candidates."

Mr. Struwe speaks a truth here. Bush is a candidate, in a contest of his own devising. Election Day is Petraeus Day, though there have been, and will be, other Election Days.

It's essentially a campaign because, as Bush sees it, the only possible result is that one side wins absolutely and everyone else wins nothing. Compromise? Consultation? Working together to hammer out differences? Forget it. The only alternatives are victory and defeat. And I don't mean on the battlefield -- I mean in the contest to decide what happens on the battlefield.

The Iraq Study Group learned this when, to many people's surprise, it proposed a middle course and was marginalized. John Warner is breaking from Bush and he'll learn it too, to his surprise (and to the surprise of those who think his words will carry some weight). Also learning it now are all those Democrats who are coming back from Iraq and responding to questions about progress by saying "Yes, but..." -- gosh, what do you know, the administration and its flacks are editing out the "but" part.

This is governance as total war -- and yeah, that's just what we need in a post-9/11 world, isn't it?

No comments: