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September 18, 2006

Letter to Josh Marshall on the October Surprise

-- by John Emerson

(I'm responding to this story.)

Josh,

I have been dreading the October Surprise since March. I said then that the Democrats should be pre-positioning themselves to react effectively if this happened, and should loudly warn against it whenever the trial balloons went up. The Democrats did not do this; the party as a whole is still following DLC Rule One: "We can't be seen as doves".

This is what the bad guy meant when he said "We make reality, we don't respond to reality". Hot war in Iran is capable of erasing the Republican Congressional polling deficits overnight. I don't say it will certainly succeed, it's probably about a 50/50 shot, but it's the only move Bush has left. Whether it succeeds or not depends partly on whether the Democrats as a team respond effectively to whatever he does, and I doubt that they are able to do that.

If Bush maintains Congressional control, even by a fingernail, it will be seen as an enormous triumph. The media will suck up to him even more, and he'll start in on his big projects.

At some point the American experiment with democracy might come to an end. I think that Bush's intentions in this respect are clear. Only paranoids say this kind of thing, but paranoids are sometimes right.

John Emerson

Posted by John Emerson at September 18, 2006 4:23 AM

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Comments

I don't think only paranoids say this kind of thing. I think Bush's motives and intentions are pretty darned clear by now.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2006 6:01 AM

Who would have thought that the alarmingly awful news on global warming would actually cheer one up? By some accounts, in 10, 15 years, most of the United States will probably be uninhabitable, so Bush's little authoritarian sandbox will be presiding over just a few Mad Max type survivors, who, quite frankly, won't be all that interested in hearing his bulls&^% (and will be heavily armed in any event).

Again, though, nothing Earth shattering will be done immediately... just subtle steps, here and there, with someone always ready at hand to point out that "we're not as bad as Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia", which will doubtless invariably be true (in scale, if not intent)... and the slide into the wimpering end of the Founding Father's dreams will continue until more or less irreversible. With the full cooperation of the opposition party, btw, who daren't risk being labeled soft on this, or soft on that.

Posted by: the talking dog [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2006 8:17 PM

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