Deep Underground with Raul Groom

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

"This is one person who is deciding that rather than allow democracy to flourish, he's going to exercise force. And we just can't let it stand. As I understand, the CPA today announced the warrant for his arrest."

- George W. Bush, April 4, 2004,3858,4896030-103681,00.html

The fact that George W. Bush's handlers are sending him out to say stupid, clearly double-edged shit like this is a bad, bad, bad sign for this administration. The Republican spin machine generally has been lurching a bit recently, and I believe the GOP will need to cut Bush loose, for all practical purposes, once the Senate races start to heat up. The unsinkable Bush administration has sprung some pretty serious leaks. Speaking of which...

This article is pretty run-of-the-mill stuff, but how exactly did this story come about? Maybe AP Reporter Curt Anderson woke up one day with a burr up his butt to do a nice bio on the Deputy Attorney General and it just happened to get picked up in basically every paper in the free world. Maybe.

Or maybe somebody at Justice decided that Comey's name needed a little positive exposure because soon he's going to have the entire right-wing slime machine bearing down on him and trying to paint him as a communist pantywaist.


In any case, six months ago, in most company you would have gotten a lot of perplexed looks if you said simply "George W. Bush has compromised national security for his narrow political gain." Now, you might still confuse people, but just because they wouldn't know whether you meant Plame, Iraq, September 11th, the National Energy Strategy, mercury legislation, underfunding homeland security, etc. etc. etc.

Bush is not yet "toast," as many optimists have asserted, but he's getting there. Since Bush never does anything that actually helps regular people, his approval ratings have two modes - Elevator Mode and Quicksand Mode. Any time Bush does something that gives people a woody (declaring war, capturing Bad Guys) Elevator Mode takes his ratings straight up. Then Quicksand Mode takes over and the ratings slide down, down, down, until the next elevator takes him back up again.

Rove's plan, I assume, was that Bush would need two more elevators, the peaceful handover of Iraq and the capture of Osama bin Laden. It looks at this point like there's going to be a Tet offensive in June just before the handover of power; in fact the darkly ironic thing about the whole debate over whether we should push back the deadline is that the CPA might not even last until June 30th; they may find themselves run out of town on a rail in the next two months. This leaves aside the important and very vexing question of exactly how all those CPA "civilians" are going to get themselves out of Iraq without a large number of them being slaughtered.

So Elevator #1 seems to be out of service. That means that the only bullet left in the gun, as it were, is the capture of bin Laden. But again, it's questionable whether Bush can really survive until October when the bin Laden capture would have maximum electoral effect. If Bush's ratings continue to slide into the 30's, the Rove machine will simply have to do something. That means busting out bin Laden early, which leaves no October surprise.

Unless, that is... No, no one is that evil. Right?


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