Jim Henley works up a pretty heavy froth over the current state of affairs in Iraq. Go read it and see if you get as angry as he does.
Here’s an idle question to chew on, by the way. Team Bush has passed all of its tax cuts and knocked off Saddam Hussein, wherever he may be. What, exactly, do they plan to do between now and next November?
Look at it this way: After however many huge tax cuts, the economy is still in the crapper, and despite some encouraging growth numbers, payrolls continue to shrink, meaning that to many people, things feel more like recession than recovery. What will Bush do if this is still happening next year? Given that this latest tax cut was sold as a surefire way to get the economy humming and to create jobs, will anyone believe him if he proposes yet another tax cut as the cure for what’s still ailing us? Will people begin to see what’s happened already as snake oil?
As for Iraq, despite declaration of victory, US armed forces are still taking casualties, more and more pro-invasion advocates are complaining about the brazen lying over WMDs, and the price tag for rebuilding Iraq is now over $100 billion. If Iraq is still in chaos, if al Qaeda continues to strike, if the where-are-the-WMDs drumbeat gets louder, and if the soldiers are forced to stay on for longer and longer hitches, where does that leave Bush? Somehow, I don’t think invading Iran or Syria will do him any good, assuming they even bother to try that approach.
If I were the kind of hack writer who dragged out sports cliches at every opportunity, I’d observe that Bush appears to resemble a team that has peaked too early on its quest for a championship, and is now vulnerable to a foe it would have vanquished earlier. Fortunately, I’m not that kind of hack writer.
There are straws in the wind here, from polling numbers to murmurs about what Bush knew before September 11. What does Team Bush have left in its arsenal to counter them?