Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Waving the Flag
Writing at his spiffy new digs on the Washington Monthly website, Kevin "don't call me CalPundit no more" Drum wonders "why the Bush administration hasn't [just told the truth] in the case of Dick Clarke." He thereafter provides a plausible scenario about how the Clarke debacle might have played differently out had the Bushies stuck to the truth. (I should use the opportunity to opine that the Bushies have spent so much time in the spin cycle, "truth" is no longer a comprehensible concept. But I digress.)
I have a different question: who cares why? The fact is, the episode has again highlighted the achilles heel of this administration. They are incapable of ceding a point. Even when, as our newly dubbed Political Animal notes, the response is far, far worse than the initial charge. Like an enraged bull, when they see the red flag, the White House charges.
I say leave behind the psychoanalysis. I don't really care why the bull is enraged, but it seems a powerful fact that he is. Exploit it. If I were the Dems, I'd craft a "Piss off George" 90-day plan. The mechanism is clear: find credible, honest critics of Bush, and promote them. We already know NY firefighters hate Bush. Hire one of them to stand next to Kerry. The 9/11 families are alternately confused and angry. If they're the ones asking why we invaded Iraq instead of creating terror-fighting infrastructure, Bush will look ridiculous fighting back. There are so many people out there with a beef against this administration--parents of soldiers, the unemployed, the poor who have lost services, and on and on. Finding them isn't hard. What they need is a voice. Dems should be in the business of giving them opportunities to get their message out.
We know Bush can't abide criticism, so what happens next is fairly predictable.