Thursday, November 01, 2007


Steve Benen can't imagine why President Bush said this today in a speech at the Heritage Foundation:

When it comes to funding our troops, some in Washington should spend more time responding to the warnings of terrorists like Osama bin Laden and the requests of our commanders on the ground, and less time responding to the demands of bloggers and Code Pink protesters.

I think I get it.

Remember how Bush sold the war in Iraq? Whenever possible, without quite linking the two directly, he implied that attacking Saddam Hussein was the perfect way to avenge 9/11.

This is the domestic version of that strategy. MoveOn sometimes gets into disagreements with elected Democrats, and Code Pink gets into a lot of such disputes -- but it's an election year, and Bush wants voters to think that there's no difference between the Democratic candidates and those icky people who say mean things about General Petraeus or try to smear Condi Rice with fake blood.

The Bushies know they can get mainstream journalists to wring their hands about MoveOn's lack of gentility -- and I'm sure they think it will be a piece of cake to get the pundits tut-tutting about Code Pink (while ignoring Code Pink's ongoing frustration with Democrats). And if the mainstream press won't obsess over these groups, right-wing apparatchiks certainly will.

An added bonus is that the Democratic presidential nominee is almost certainly going to be a woman who sees herself as an ambassador for her gender. Code Pink also sees itself the same way. That will make it easy for Bush and various Bushies to muddy the distinctions between the two.

All of this is meant to open potential GOP contributors' wallets and keep their spirits up. At the Heritage Foundation, it certainly seemed to do the latter, as you'll see if you watch the clip. Bush got a huge cheer for saying this -- even though he sounded as if he'd never read the sentence before and was reading it phonetically.

No comments: