From where I sit, those reactions by Administration officials and their mass-media lapdogs make Bush&Co. look positively desperate, as if they are beginning, at last, to appreciate that they could lose big in November. They're firing the huge guns now in hopes of frightening away their enemies -- and making themselves feel less scared as well.
By suggesting that Ned Lamont and those who voted for him are somehow in the same league with al-Qaida -- as Cheney and Lieberman and Mehlman and others did -- clearly indicates that they're frightened enough to pull out all the stops, legit or not, no distinctions made. Karl Rove at his most Rovian.
Many of those who voted against Lieberman in Connecticut were moderates, some of whom even supported Bush in previous elections. A national poll the other day showed that nearly one in five of those who voted for Bush in 2004 ( http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060811/ap_on_el_ge/republicans_ap_poll ) now say they'll vote for a Democrat in November.
HIGHLIGHT THEIR WORDS
If the Democrats possess any wisdom and cajones, they will leap on the fact that the Bush Administration thinks most Americans are treasonous, aiding and abetting the enemy. Let the GOP pay for that gross political miscalculation, with no letup. The Busheviks charge that anyone who disagrees with them is a witting or unwitting traitor. Let's see how the American people will like biting that big one.
As for what Lieberman is really up to, if I were a gambler I'd place a small wager that Joe is a made man. He might well have been promised a Cabinet post or major judicial or diplomatic appointment by Rove and Bush as long as he stays in the race; reportedly, Rove said "the boss," meaning Bush, will do everything he can to make Lieberman's independent campaign a winning one. Of course, Lieberman also has been humiliated and wants his revenge so badly that he's willing to take down Lamont and the party and the country with him. Nice guy, Sore Loserman.
Lieberman has been carrying Bush&Co.'s water for years, and on many more issues than just the war. But it's the war that Rove and Cheney and Mehlman are focusing on. Why? The Republicans have little positive to run on, since virtually every thing they touch turns into either a disaster or a catastrophe -- and they've got that 800-lb. Iraqi negative that stands out just a tad to American voters. (As I write this, Bush, with a 33% approval rating, remains trapped with little more than the support of his fundamentalist base.)
ROVE'S NON-STOP BARRAGE
That Iraq negative has to be flipped into something positive. Despite the fact that there is no evidence that Bush&Co. have made Americans any more safe under their tenure (more likely, we're less safe), more citizens give higher marks to the Republicans on the terrorism issue than they do on the Iraq issue, where Democrats get the nod. Ergo, Iraq has to be folded into the war-on-terror, even though there were precious few, if any, terrorists in secular Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion and occupation, and most of the ones there now come from the home-grown resistance.
So, from now until Election Day, it's going to be a non-stop barrage of "stop-'em-in-Baghdad-rather-than-in-America," as if that makes any sense whatsoever. The framing set-up: The terrorists who hit us on 9/11 and who wanted to hit us again five years later with their liquid-bombs on airplanes are part of the same army of "Islamic fascists" that we're battling in Iraq. That's it. That's the sole message.
Doesn't matter that it's not true, that nationalist insurgencies have lives and motivations all their own. The GOP will keep on pounding and pounding that message home, along with "stay the course." Their hope is that yet again they can bamboozle just enough former-Bush voters to stick with the Republicans. Then they will claim yet another victory, aided as usual by Rove's patented dirty tricks and likely felonious fraud at the polling machines. That's why it's absolutely vital that all those who value electoral integrity take their election officials to court, if necessary, to get a fair and honest vote count in November.
A RUSHED ANNOUNCEMENT
Now we come to the U.K. terror plot. We don't know all the facts yet, but this alleged conspiracy seems to be genuine, possibly the "Big One" that has been expected since 2001. It's possible that the attack on the 10 or so airlines could have been activated relatively quickly -- perhaps to take place in a few weeks, on September 11.