I have to wonder whether Bush senior’s breakdown in Tallahassee yesterday had that much to do with Jeb losing an election in 1994. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Jeb. Jeb seems like a nice guy. Floridians should remember Jeb as a genial governor who did an alright job in a state known for batshit insane politicians.
But let’s be honest, Jeb is a historical footnote. If I can analogize America to a car (it’s a blog, why not), it wasn’t Jeb who borrowed the family sedan, drove it off a cliff and now stands by the smoking wreckage alternately insisting that there’s nothing wrong with the damn car (think there is? maybe you love terrorists) and, anyhow, what’s your plan to get the car started?
You could have guessed that junior would screw the pooch. It’s in his character. Dad knew it would happen. Dad’s friends tried to warn the kid. But Junior, being Junior, took the pooch out for a broadway show and then cocktails and, well, one thing led to another.
Judging by recent events the smell of metaphorical rubber cooking in a gasoline fire has finally woken most Iraq hawks from their light-at-the-end-of-a-corner denial. Let’s recap the notable stories.
* Robert Gates, the president’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, had a hard time denying the obvious.
* John McCain has bravely taken the Friedmanesque position that America will lose if she doesn’t do exactly what he prescribes, even though he admits that doing so would probably break the Army. In other words McCain won’t let himself get caught on tape saying that America will lose this war but he doesn’t mind if you connect the dots.
* The Iraq Study Group has apparently recognized (cagily) that 1) current troop levels won’t win the war, and 2) we don’t have any more troops. The ISG won’t change Bush’s mind but they will legitimize withdrawal talk for pundits who sneered at insane crazy people like Howard Dean*.
Moving down the credibility ladder.
* Tony Snow: It depends on what your definition of
is civil war is.
* Glenn Reynolds convened a blogger symposium to flex some of that rightwing intellectual muscle. Their ideas? War, war, war, war and war. Really. You f***ing killed parody, Glenn.
* Every ladder has to bottom out somewhere. Let’s tip our hat to the LGF commentariat who, now as always, think that we should nuke Mecca.
(*) Of course they will go on sneering at Dean and Al Gore and Russ Feingold. There’s nothing more insufferable than someone who got it right the first time.