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March 09, 2006

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Why Bush is in trouble on the ports issue:
Only 3 in 10 say security at seaports, borders has improved since 9/11

Americans continue to be more likely to say the Republican Party rather than the Democratic Party would do a better job protecting the country from international terrorism and military threats. However, the Republican advantage has been cut in half over the past six months, continuing a trend that Gallup has measured over the past few years.

But the arrogance of this President might someday even be too much for Pat Roberts, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Well, maybe that's going too far, but Specter and the handful of old bulls in the Senate will still have much to say on the topic.

You know, I think we get complascent in this thought at our peril. Bush has a few loyal people in critical spots (Roberts and Fristie above all--Boener is an unknown at this point) that can and will prevent Congress making Bush pay for his failures. Fristie may be unable to make sure Bush's programs go forward, at least not without miscounting a vote or two. But he has been increasingly successful at preventing the Senate from splitting with Bush.

BTW, follow the links to the Jimmy Carter library on the killer rabbit. They've been gracious as hell over the years on this story, unlike the pompous boy king when his pride is pricked.

Does the public trust Democrats to exercise real oversight rather than grandstand? This is the several-seat question. (Hat tip: John Cole)

Since India is in the news lately, this might be a good time to direct attention to an interesting individual who presents clear-headed analysis of events in that part of the world, B. Raman at the South Asia Analysis Group. I don't know enough about Indian politics to peg him politically, but he's a professional, exactly the sort of analyst the Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal has consistently ignored in their folly.

Anyhow, I would like to draw your attention to some of his key points in his most recent paper on the Varnasi explosions, since I think they point toward a liberal response to the whole national-security issue. The key idea is what he calls the "politicisation of terrorism."

The unfortunate tendency ... on the part of political parties to exploit acts of terrorism to highlight or promote their own political agenda with an eye on the elections adds to the already formidable difficulties of the Police and other counter-terrorism agencies and provides unintended encouragement to the terrorists. ...

This is, of course, exactly what Bush did in response to 9/11, to immediately politicize it. The "War on Terror" (WoT). Now, of course, this is not exactly a revelation. Anyone with half an education or a brain could see it was and is a political ploy. What has been missing, however, is a cogent response to it, one that will make sense in Peoria.

Raman's recommendation is not at all unlike the position advocated by Larry Wilkerson:

Our response to terrorism should be tactically professional -- leaving it to the police and counter-terrorism agencies to deal with it as best as they can -- and strategically political to prevent the flow of new volunteers for acts of terrorism.

In other words, Bush's comprehensive, all-out WoT itself aids and abets the terrorists by giving them a kind of legitimacy and celebrity that they do not deserve. It's a political ploy that only obstructs the professionals from doing their jobs (tracking these people down and prosecuting them for their crimes).

Bush and the Republicans are constantly whining about how criticism of the war helps the enemy in Iraq. In reality, it is their relentless promotion of the WoT in the political sphere that aids and abets the enemy.

I still fear, DemFrontCT, that your optimism about Specter and other "old bulls" of the Senate may not be well-founded. Every time we get our hopes up that they will indeed do the right thing, as they threaten, they wilt and cave in to King George. I imagine this is why Dubya forges ahead in his Ports intent. He has won every other battle in the end. The spoiled brat has no reason to think he won't get his way on this deal. And I still fear that he will. Even Peter King is seeking a way to compromise such that everybody can save face and keep on with business as usual. The only consideration that slows them down at all is their worries about November. With their gerry-mandered districts, most of them have little to worry about.

Even though I'm pessimistic, I still harbour a secret desperate hope that I could be wrong, that something could halt the slide of this once-great and once-noble nation into a total police state. It's fairly far along already.

Maybe I missed something, but I think typepad ate a "t" in "Sumbling," in the title.

Fixed, John Casper. Thanks1

Maybe I was wrong above.

If only Congress had acted as outraged about the spying, perhaps a more serious issue. Looks like the prez got a free pass on that one. But what's the diff. He signs what he doesn't like, then "interprets" as he wills.

Bush's version of the Killer Rabbit story would need to be a "Killer Armadillo." Or perhaps Crawford is far enough west for it to be a "Killer Prairie Dog."

Anyone want to start a rumor?

He's already had plenty of "killer rabbit" moments but unfortuanately as Emptywheel says above - we've been awfully easy on him in this country. Just a quick list of "killer Rabbits" in Bush's term:
• "My Pet Goat"
• The tree that wounded him before a photo op with injured soldiers
• Numerous "killer bikes"
• Strumming his guitar while Americans died in New Orleans
• Eating cake while Americans died in New Orleans
• Scripted talks with soldiers in Iraq
• the locked door - no exit strategy moment
• The flight suit "mission accomplished" moment should've killed any idea of faith in his leadership and made everyone aware that he is nothing more than a mascot for the neo-con leadership.

for a look at all his blunders look here: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7713/1789/1600/aLOOKatOURleader.0.jpg

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