Sunday, August 13, 2006

Look Out! Here Comes Another Chair!

The defeat of White House friendly Jospeh Lieberman by a political rookie is still resounding throughout the nation's capital and beyond. The talking points are pouring out as the GOP tries to determine just the right meme to hang on the Democratic Party as the November elections near. Right now, the favorite seems to be linking the victorious Ned Lamont with Al Qaida. From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Someday Americans will know for sure whether Sen. Joseph Lieberman's primary defeat last week was a turning point in American attitudes toward Iraq or just a footnote in Connecticut history. But it's plain that the Bush administration has drawn its own conclusions and regards the election as an important and worrisome vote of no-confidence in its own foreign policy.

Exhibit A is the astonishing behavior of Dick Cheney. The normally reclusive vice president took time off from vacation in Wyoming to conduct a conference call with reporters on Wednesday and accuse Connecticut Democrats of subverting national security and giving comfort to "Al-Qaida types."

It's bizarre enough that a sitting vice president would decide to meddle in the politics of the opposition party and try to tell Democrats how to choose their own candidate for U.S. Senate. But it's downright outrageous that Cheney would yet again try to draw misleading parallels between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaida. Time and again White House officials have backed off that assertion when challenged frontally -- only to find some new way to insinuate it again a day or a week later. For the record, one investigation after another has shown that Saddam regarded Osama bin Laden as a rival, not an ally, and that Al-Qaida took root in Iraq only after the U.S. invasion created fertile soil for terrorists there.

If Ned Lamont's victory does have any lasting significance -- and the Karl Rove operation plainly believes it does -- it's precisely because it was a referendum on the Bush policy toward Iraq.
[Emphasis added]

While an argument can be made that Lieberman's loss was due to a number of factors (his enabling of the White House to get whatever it wanted; his open disdain of his fellow Democrats; his losing touch with the people in Connecticut who sent him to the Senate to actually represent them), the war in Iraq and Mr. Lieberman's enduring support of that disaster surely has to rank near the top. Over 60% of the American public wants that war over and the troops out of there. Mr. Lieberman got caught in that crossfire and the result was that a man with little political experience who clearly was learning the ropes of campaigning as he went along beat him.

I think it hardly coincidental that the news of the British bust of a cell of terrorists was released just the day after the election in Connecticut. That link between Iraq and Al Qaida had to be made concrete, and only this White House would be crass enough to emphasize it in such a dramatic fashion.

Nicely done, STrib.


Blogger rkrider said...

Well Put -

my local paper had a great op-ed today about Bush's failures - Editorial: What we know / A deadly airline plot and failed Bush policies

1:16 PM  

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