If you can get past the mind-numbing fury triggered by an analysis of the incompetence of the Bush Administration, you may notice a method to the more recent stupidity. You can create a legacy that's so seriously bent that any attempt to fix it will make matters worse before they get better. If you think the other party may be gain power, you can leave a series of world-class screw-ups waiting for them like land mines.
I have to sit down and place a cold cloth across my eyes when I hear Republicans chastise the Democrats for not having any solutions to our failed policy in Iraq. Sometimes it gets so bad I need to gulp down some Wild Turkey to soothe my jangled nerves. It's like one airline passenger grabbing another and jumping out of the plane with no parachute and then complaining that his unwilling companion can't come up with a solution to their dilemma.
We all know the events that led us to Iraq, so I won't rehash the details here. Saddam was inflated to Godzilla-like proportions. He or one of his Agents of Evil, The Terrorists, would stomp through Anytown, U.S.A. breathing electric fire if he wasn't removed from power.
Millions of Americans swallowed that scary bedtime tale, hook, line and sinker. But years of summer blockbusters also assured them that America would emerge Victorious over The Forces of Evil before we'd finished our popcorn.
Now, for better or worse, we're in a quite a pickle. But Americans have snorted awake from their collective slumber and taken a look around. If the polls we're constantly being bludgeoned with are worth anything, we may be preparing to send the Republicans to the time-out corner for being naughty. But they may still make a political silk purse out of the sow's ear that is Iraq.
If the Democrats gain control of Congress, they can either start bringing our troops home or leave them in Iraq. Either action can be characterized as unforgivably stupid.
If Democratic leaders decide we need to stabilize Iraq before withdrawing troops, then it can be portrayed by The Right as a "new boss, same as the old boss" situation. With the body count and bills mounting, that will be hard to deny.
If they decide that we've done everything we can and that Iraq needs to take responsibility for itself, Iraq will likely descend into a knock-down-drag-out civil war. It'll make the current "sectarian violence" look like bashful love taps. Then the Republican Spin Machine can point at the chaos and throw the one-two punch of "it was better in Iraq when we were running things" followed by "the sacrifices of our brave men and women have been wasted". Down goes Pelosi! Down goes Pelosi!
This crap could actually work. If not, we'd probably have tried to slap the stupid out of the morons spouting catch phrases like "cut-and-run" by now.
The only way this political game of Twister won't work is if the public is practical in their expectations. You can't blame firemen if they can't save a building that's already a raging inferno when they arrive. The best you can hope for is that they'll save as many lives as possible and reduce further property damage to a minimum. The same applies to the situation in Iraq.
Leaving Iraq will likely have little effect on our War Against Terror. America has to be clear that we'll probably become more effective in fighting terrorism if we stop wasting resources in Iraq. Unfortunately, getting that point across is going to be like climbing out of the Batcave up a greased Batpole.
So, the Democrats winning Congress in 2006 could insure a Republican Congress and White House in 2008. All it will take is an ill-informed American electorate and a lack-luster Democratic candidate. Sadly, neither of those is in short supply.
Copyright © 2006