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February 21, 2006

A pre-election crisis is in the works

-- by John Emerson

The Bush administration is imploding right now because of a series of scandals and policy failures -- Iraq, Katrina, drug benefit, Cheney, Abramoff, Plame, and more. There's really not much of anything Bush can do to change things, but a nice international emergency or terrorism attack would probably save him. We should all be very afraid.

Rove has already said that the Republicans will run on security. He's been known to float deceptive trial balloons, but I don't see what other choice the Republicans have by now. However, in order to juice up their domestic-security storyline, they need a dramatic event of some kind. The Commander in Chief has a lot of options for hotting up the situation, and provoking Iran is presumably at the top of his list.

All of the Democratic leaders should be thinking right now about how they will respond to whatever Bush ends up doing, and they should already be publicly stancing themselves in such a way as to make their later responses effective. Going along with Bush once he holds the initiative again cannot possibly be successful, but hand-waving opposition won't be either.

As far as I know, however, none of the leading Democrats is thinking this way, and none of them are prepared. They seem to be sitting and hoping that nothing big happens, and counting on the other issues to swing the fall elections.

Why is it that they are the wise experts, and I'm the marginal wacko? What I just said is all true and it all makes sense. Nonetheless, we can expect the well-paid Democratic Party professionals to be blindsided one more time in the next few months. There are a lot of trial balloons up already, and I expect something real in July or August.

(Adapted from a comment to this Crooked Timber thread.)

Posted by John Emerson at February 21, 2006 6:06 AM

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Comments

You are absolutely on point......they have nowhere else to turn but to stage some sort of "incident" to again distract the populous and to supposedly shore up their sagging poll numbers for the midterm elections.....

and again the DEMS will be caught flat footed and will have to accept the outcome on Rove's terms lest they be seen as aiding the enemy or weak on National Security.....

Posted by: lib4 at February 21, 2006 7:27 AM

This is their MO, and you would think, at least, that the more politically astute would recognize that. It's only been going on for five years. And it's not like they can't come up with an effective counter or preemptive strategy...all of the bungling and incompetance of this administration makes it easier. Right now, many people don't agree with the administration on just about every topic. If they lose, it's for lack of trying.

Posted by: Sporkey at February 21, 2006 10:15 AM

Well, what could be more "weak on national security" than the done deal to sell control of the eastern seaboard ports to the United Arab Emirate? If they manage to put this through in spite of the uproar it's causing, there could indeed be a major incident by the elections. It goes into effect in two weeks. Considering where I live, south of some of the major piers on the Hudson and north of the main port, I'm scared out of my mind!

Posted by: MJ at February 21, 2006 12:44 PM

I see no sign our Democratic "leaders" have the faintest glimmer about what to say, if, for example, Bush orders a bombing raid on Iranian targets. Nothing in the current stance of the executive suggests that they see any need to consult Congress.

Posted by: janinsanfran at February 21, 2006 3:11 PM

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