Is Bush Back In The Fight?
Developments like this and this make me think that the Administration has had enough knockdowns and is ready to get back into the fight--this time for a win--to defend itself and its policies from Democrats who, while supporting the war in the beginning, are now carping that Bush lied to them. Granted, that is only one front in this current battle, but make no mistake, it is the biggest and most important one to win.
The key to Bush's success in this effort by the Democrats to rewrite history, marked by misleading political posturing and falsely righteous rhetoric by those same Democrats, is that he be active, not responsive--on the offense always, making the Democrats defend with facts the allegations they make. This has to be a systemic plan, not just a few speeches over the next few weeks that die down over the holidays, leaving no marked change in the President's public backing. The entire Administration needs to bring all of its powers to bear upon the Dems for the truly disingenuous effort they are making to weaken America's appearance abroad.
Bush's first shot was important. He is beginning to name names. "Democrats". He is putting a name on what they are doing. Sending the wrong message to our soldiers, to our allies, and worst yet, to the enemy. And he is spending very little time defending what the intelligence really said, noting that he was looking at the same stuff that the Dems got to see. But the battle needs to get more direct, and there is no better way than what Tom Bevan suggests. If Harry Reid wants to attack Dick Cheney--a cowardly effort to target someone based upon a perceived low approval rating--let's use the World's Greatest Deliberative Body to debate the matter. Given the emphatic nature of his declarations of wrongdoing--deliberate manipulation of intelligence, sending U.S. troops to their deaths for oil and all--Harry Reid should certainly be able to shed light where the British, French, Italians, Russians, Jordanians and Egyptians, and the unanimous Senate Intelligence Committee could not. But I hope he has a better ace up his sleeve than the illustrious Ambassador Joseph Wilson, IV. The fact that he has not yet produced a single fact to prove even the least of his claims gives me pause, however.
But a showdown in the Senate would be an excellent move. Cheney would be able to take on Reid in a battle of the facts, forcing Reid to defend his accusations and delivering a very high profile win for the Administration. And with Cheney's handling of the issue, it will add a bit of luster to him as well, putting the whole Scooter Libby thing to the back pages. And that's not the only showdown we need in the Senate.
Samuel Alito fell off the radar screen because he seemed to be an appealing nominee to a significant majority of the Senate. And one dark-horse strategy of which I had heard was that the Dems might let Alito be confirmed quietly. There would be risks to it...there would be some furious Dem supporters--how could the party allow two very conservative judges onto the court in a span of 3 months? But while technically a Bush victory, it would carry no capital with it, allowing the Dems to continue to freely assault on Bush for Iraq, Katrina and other things. Bush would be doing good work, but it would go unnoticed, and just in time for 2006 where appearances of a weak Bush presidency may very well rule, threatening the Republican majority in the Congress.
But Charles Schumer--one clever individual and probably the most savvy member of the Senate Democrat Caucus--latched on to an old memo by Alito which questions the validity of Roe v. Wade. Of one thing you can be certain...if the Dems are at all concerned about the safety of Roe, they will almost certainly attempt a filibuster. And that is yet another boon for the Administration. Because while a quiet confirmation is a technical win for the President, beating an abortion-driven leftist attack on Alito would deliver yet another very conspicuous victory for the President, dealing the Dems a concommitant defeat. The public favors judges who will not supplant their judgment for that of the elected legislatures. And there is something kind of unseemly about a party that respects and defends abortion more than the American soldier or the American family. But if the Dems mount a visible opposition to him because he doesn't pledge to defend Roe with his own blood, but rather dares to suggest that the reasoning upon which it is based is flawed, it will not resonate well. And if they lose on a cloture vote or worse yet, lose the power to filibuster altogether, it will be a very public humiliation.
So it's time for the Administration to keep the Dems busy--not by attacking him, mind you, but rather defending their legitimacy and the really poisonous rhetoric which they have been uttering which demoralizes Americansat home and our soldiers overseas, and gives encouragement to our enemies.