Friday, December 12, 2003

Bush knows politics

There is one thing we should keep in mind about this whole Iraqi reconstruction projects/debt renegotiation imbroglio: it may be bad policy and bad diplomacy, but it may very well be good politics. Bush's stated position that only those who sacrificed blood for the Iraq effort should share in the spoils could have a strong visceral appeal to the average American. There's a part of us, myself included, that says, "Hell YES only those who risked their lives and capital should be able to benefit from the results!"

Bush may be stupid about many things, but when it comes to politics he is one of the sharpest there is (it's not just Rove that is the brains of this outfit). He knows very well that this kind of "stuff it" attitude plays like gold in the heartland. So, if we are going to bring him down over something like this, we have to avoid getting drawn into that kind of argument.


Concede the point that, in principal, only those who take the risk should share in the booty. But point out that there is more to leading this country then simple macho bravado and that those we piss off today could come back to hurt us tomorrow.

Civility and good manners are not just a way of lording it over the uncouth. They demonstrate that you actually care and respect the opinions of others. Why is this important? Because some day we will need them to pull our butts out of the fire!

Bush appeal is of the appeal of the kindergarten bully. He looks strong because he is willing to beat up anyone who crosses him. But, when the bully gets hurt, who exactly is going to step up and help him out? More likely than not most of the playground residents will simply cheer his pain.

That is the kind of future Bush is setting up for us.


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