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Read ‘Em. Weep.

Jun
17
2004

For once, I have very little to add to what it seems is, finally, very obvious. The Bush Administration lied about Iraq and Al Qaeda, and Iraq and its weapons cache. They did it deliberately. And they did it coldly. And they’re not going to stop. Not with $64 million in the bank for a party.
Here are today’s New York Times above-the-fold headlines from, naturally, Left to Right:
GOP Nearing Money Record for Convention
New York Panel Aims to Collect $64 Million
Rumsfeld Issued An Order to Hide Detainee in Iraq
Kept Him From Red Cross
Official Concedes a Lapse
Inmate is Still held Seven Months Later

PANEL FINDS NO QAEDA-IRAQ TIE; DESCRIBES A WIDER PLOT FOR 9/11
This is all news, as classically defined by Big Media. But it’s not unexpected. Read all these stories. Read them to the end.


I’ve had my say on this again and again, on how the Bush Administration deliberately conflated and confused its overwhelming desire to invade Iraq with the 9/11 bombing. A lot of smart people who should – and now admit they should – have known better were confused by their emotions and their panic, emotions and panic that were manipulated by this administration with a bone-chilling disregard for the consequences, here and abroad. This is a corrupt administration, one lacking in any sort of self-reflection; it’s willful and deliberate ignorance is a sham and a national – no, when Tony Blair and Junichiro Koizumi get booted out of office, international – disgrace. Even Andrew Sullivan gets this. It’s why he’s walked away. It’s why Buckley’s looking for the door, too.
Now, before you Democrats out there go and get all pleased and happy about this news, ’cause you think it means a slam-dunk for Kerry. It doesn’t as the crowd at Unfogged spells out. Where do you think the Republicans are getting all that cash? So do yourselves — do all of us — a favor and remember how unseemly gloating can be. Particularly when it involved the dead and the dying, ours and theirs.
For some guidance – this came over the transom last night from political consultant and man-about-Texas Dan Carol – read what he’s written in response to the Reagan funeral. I offer it in its entirety but because Dan, busying consulting, I guess, hasn’t put it up on his own.
Capture The Flag
Let’s Win One FROM The Gipper
By Dan Carol
Last week was textbook politics — by the other side. A week of patriotic imagery, revisionist history, and deft electoral positioning, all executed at taxpayer’s expense.
No moaning or grousing from me, however. As a political professional I was just flat out impressed with how the Reagan crowd took their “moment” and really made it count. Give Michael Deaver & Company their due — those folks know how to tug at heartstrings.
And progressives? Well, we sure know how to whine and complain about the rules of the game — as it is being played. Let me be blunt: I really, really don’t like that. As a self-appointed “coach” for the progressive movement, I was sorely disappointed by how our side handled the whole show last week. No one was more sickened by the Reagan gush-a-thon than me; trust me on that.
But whining about how the media swooned over Reagan only fueled more swooning. It made us seem small and Gipper’s legacy bigger. Not good.
So people, gather under the chalk board and listen up Knute Rockne, Notre Dame style: this cannot happen again. I am therefore treating last week as a useful training exercise in what NOT to do when the Bush team produces Osama Bin Laden this October and the media goes nuts. When they do, your job is to simply be happy that there is one less terrorist running loose, while following these handy guidelines for dealing with patriotic moments — so that another global danger, George Bush, is removed from the game come November 2.
Easy enough? It can be. So let’s review the playbook and the game films from Reagan week one more time.
First Rule People, Get A Grip on The Big Picture: Before letting Republicans ring your Pavlovian bell on ANY issue involving patriotism, take a deep breath first and think a little for goodness sake. With Reagan, it would have been wise to remember that the last president who died was none other than Richard Nixon. Nixon the crook — not exactly a tough act to follow eh! So not only was Reagan a lucky guy as President (he happened to be on duty when the bi-partisan work of 6 previous presidents brought down Communism, he took office after Jimmy Carter and gas lines, he and Ollie North got off easy because hasty Congressional investigators screwed up legal immunity on the Iran-Contra investigation), the Gipper lucked into some kind of cosmic, pent-up presidential hero worship for his final exit. What are ya gonna do — a big presidential send-off was inevitable. No reason to block and tackle something we can’t stop. No reason at all.
Let The Republicans Overreach and Get Cocky: does anyone remember the Houston Astrodome game from 1992 when the Republicans had their convention and let Pat Buchanan and a bunch of their kooks say that what they really thought? They hung themselves with their own rope while we pulled the old Muhammad Ali rope-a-dope. We could have tried that with Reagan last week, but we didn’t. But you can bet there will be another chance in this campaign, with Osama getting caught or something else the GOP tries to trumpet. I say: let them crow. Let the media machine crank out overloaded hype. Have a little faith. The average American will figure this out and will get grossed out on their own — they will, I tell ya — don’t forget Newt Gingrich and the Government Shutdown of 1995. So let’s not get in the way of the old Republican overreach. The only way we can screw it up is by whining rather than saving energy when it counts.
Keep Them Out of The Red Zone of Optimism: there’s only one thing dangerous about last week. It’s that the Republicans made some penetration into the zone of Hope. Give old Reagan his due — he aligned himself with American Optimism, there’s no denying it. That’s Kennedy and FDR turf, our turf dammit, and the Gipper tried to take it back. That Texas boy Bush has been selling fear after 9/11 and we need to keep him in that squeeze. We’d better well not let him get into sweet spot. John Kerry is the guy we’ll need to carry the ball on this hope thing, and the key game will be this summer at the Democratic Convention.
Capture The Flag: But Kerry can’t do this alone; here’s where you come in people. I know a lot of you players are down on the team right now, and you’re not feeling so proud of wearing the colors — red, white, or blue. But this is a patriotic country and it‚s part of the game and we need to fight for our flag when right wingers are trying to hijack it for their purposes. SO I EXPECT TO SEE A FLAG PLANTED IN THE GROUND RIGHT NEXT TO EVERY SINGLE KERRY YARD SIGN. STARTING JULY 4 AND STRAIGHT THROUGH TO NOVEMBER 2. Don’t let the team down on this one, or expect extra laps I assure you! We can win this one people, in spite of the Gipper. Now get out there and do it!

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