The message here was: If the troops and their families are suffering, it's because the Democrats are trying to influence policy. The overall message the Bushites are working to sell to the American people is: whatever is wrong in Iraq is the fault of the Democrats.
It is, I believe, the fear of this phony propagandistic move by the Bushites that most inhibits the Democrats from putting their fingerprints on this disaster in Iraq. Understandably so. But the time has come for the Democrats to be bolder, not more cautious, in approaching the Bushite propaganda. Not, perhaps --at least at this stage-- by taking greater ownership of the Iraqi debacle. That might play into the Bushites hands. But by counteracting the propaganda itself.
It is time for the lies to be boldly named as such and --thus discredited-- to be robbed of their power.
It is time for the Democrats to call the attention of the American people, by strong statements made through the mainstream media, to the whole pattern of dishonesty plain to see in the Bushites records.
"The president is lying here, when he claims that the way he's stretching our military to the breaking point has anything to do with what Congress has done. This is what they've been doing right along. And so also is the lying.
And this bold indictment should lay out some of the pattern of deceit on issues that go beyond Iraq as well.
"This is the same administration whose memoranda surrounding the firing of the U.S. Attorneys talked about stringing Congress along, making efforts in 'good faith' --with 'good faith' put in quotation marks.
"This is the same administration that has pressured its scientists not to speak the scientific truth when it runs counter to the political agenda of the White House."
The sooner the American people --or at least the 2/3 who are not under the Bushite trance-- stop giving any credence whatever to what this Bush White House says, the sooner American policy --not just on Iraq but generally-- can become sane.
BRING ON THE DESIGNATED HITTER
It would be good for the Congressional leadership to work toward naming this persistent LYING by the Bushites and toward thus discrediting --in the eyes of the public-- whatever the White House says. But it might be good for this perception to be given a secure beachhead in the American consciousness by being delivered by someone not directly in the partisan fray, and in a better position therefore to speak boldly.
This would be one excellent occasion for Al Gore to play that role as "designated hitter" about which I wrote not long ago (at www.nonesoblind.org/blog/?p=537).
If not he, then perhaps Jimmy Carter who has some moral authority, and has shown himself willing to speak plainly about the disreputable nature of this regime.