Cutting them off at the knees
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Also published at
The Bush administration has perhaps the most unique public relations problem in recent political history. In an era of Great Communicators and Snake Oil Salesmen, Bush has seemingly not been able to present his strategy in a clear, coherent fashion. This occurs for a number of different reasons, none of them an accident. Early on, the White House realized that no matter what words were spoken or deeds done, it was up to the MSM (Main Stream Media) to report what was said or done. The template was set early on by the members of Old Media as they breathlessly lead the cheerleading of Gores’ attempt to throw out electoral law in
His Administration has another distinction; it is the single most leak proof in modern history. Its almost military discipline in keeping “on message” is legendary among the Washington Press Corp. This bunker mentality comes on the heels of the
Then along came 911, offering the White House its first unfiltered access to the Public. Bush used the opportunity to get in front of the issue, taking command and putting
With those facts in mind, let’s look at some recent history and see what the future might have in mind for GWB. Given the recent setbacks handed to the Democratic strategists, it wouldn’t be hard to start to feel sorry for them. It has been a baaaaad month. With the momentum now denied them, I expect a change in strategy soon. But first, lets recap;
n The coverage for Cindy Sheehan, that could at one time be counted on for a solid 3 minute story on the MSM every day was thrown out the window when it was discovered that the woman is out of her friggen mind. Her near pathological need to be on camera, any camera, any time and anywhere was spooky. When she started supporting Jew hatred the MSM finally had enough. Hatred for Republicans is one thing, but Anti-Semitism might cost both the MSM and the DNC money so she was quietly shuffled away. Her comeback book signing was an unmitigated disaster, the emptiness of the room being overshadowed only by the vacuum in her head (hat tip Tom G.).
n The two week drumbeat leading up to Rep. Murtha’s declaration that it was time to withdraw from
n Ted Kennedy, the ever reliable counterpoint to sobriety and common sense got a personal tour in
n That Saddam Hussein going on trial is bad for the Democrat party no matter how one slices it. That he isn’t still in power is insulting to most of Hollywood, moveon.org and Democratic Underground and being on trial by Iraqis that will, in a model of Middle Eastern justice, hang him like an oil painting in a few months, does not bode well for them at all.
So, where do the Democrats go from here?
I have a few thoughts…
The Iraqi elections are coming in December. This is an unmitigated disaster for the Dems who need to find a solution for this entire issue of success. The “insurgency” is finding it more and more difficult to get recruits, their “Leaders” being denounced by both the “Arab Street” and their own families. The Tipping Point in Iraq is rapidly approaching and the Democrat Party knows it.
As I see it, they have only 4 choices.
1. Continue to find ways to present the war and election in
2. Declare that it really wasn’t a big deal after all and that if given time, it would have all worked out anyway. That this was tried and failed will not make any difference to them. It has however proven to have little impact with the electorate; Sept 11 is still too fresh in the Publics mind to pull this one off convincingly except for those in the fringes.
3. Jump on the bandwagon and walk arm in arm with Bush as he triumphantly walks into a future
4. Take credit for it.
Let’s evaluate these choices and how they help the Democrats both in the past and the future.
#1 has been implemented since the beginning of the war with mixed results. The drumbeat of failure will be increasingly difficult to maintain in the face of demonstrable progress. Sunday Talk Show hosts and their Democratic allies will find it more and more difficult to keep up their talking points as troop losses dwindle and visible signs of progress appear, beginning with the trial and soon to be execution of Saddam followed by the December Elections which will go off on schedule and with very high turnout, beating the participation rate in the US. This tried and true method worked well for the Left during
#2 was attempted several times in the past with generally bad results. Americans like action and reject passive Politicians. No one ever got elected saying what they wouldn’t do, well, besides
Since the chances of the Democrats suddenly embracing the Bush Doctrine is to me, remote at best, I can predict with a fairly high degree of certainty that #3 is as unlikely to come about as porcine flight.
That leaves #4.
But how can the Democrats possibly claim any sort of victory? They were dragged kicking and screaming into it in the first place. Good question, but you have to understand that undeserved credit is the stock in trade in
To accomplish the goal of taking back the issue of
Get a new crop of Politicians to run in Republican Districts for the open seats and to run against RINOs and weak seats in the more competitive ones. The Democrats are now recruiting returning War Veterans to get themselves on the ballots and some see this as a “magic bullet” for their party. It tends to insulate them from the natural distrust that average Americans have for the Democrats, which is not entirely undeserved considering their record on National Defense and Security issues. How these Vets will be able to spin their own experiences with the reality on the ground as conditions improve and American losses dwindle as time winds down to November will be interesting to watch. Expect lots of Kerry-Like dissembling as somber comments are made that “not enough troops killed my buddy”, “Our HumVees didn’t have Armor” and “I would have gone to war but done it differently” will surely be trotted out post haste. I also expect the Media to carry the Democrats water yet again, as the already scheduled draw down in troops will be underway and the MSM takes every opportunity to make sure that the Public knows that it was the Democrats pushing for an exit strategy that enabled the Troops to come home. Their Allies in the Islamofascist world will be sure to trot out propagandists of their own that will parrot the line that Bush the War Monger caused all of the Death and Destruction and that only through the efforts of “Men of Peace” like the Democrats could Peace have finally been attained.
And on the subject of Peace; look for a “Peacemaker” to make an appearance. I’m not sure if it will be Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton or a “Leftist to be named later” but one way or the other, I guarantee that there will soon be a Democrat Politician, currently in office or not, that will in the next 6 to 12 months, go on a “Peacemaking” trip to Iraq to meet with representatives of the “Insurgency”. He or she will of course be vilified by those on the right but the MSM will do their duty and portray the effort as perfectly sincere and will have fawning video of other attempts this Pol has had to “Stop the Violence”. The fact that the “Insurgents” will have little to offer in return for Peace will not stop him or her as they agree to the most distasteful concessions in order to put a dent in Bush’s victory.
The competition will be among those in the media that can find the most reasons to blame Bush for “prolonging the violence” and being “unwilling to negotiate” that he is “prolonging the war” and being so unreasonable that he wont accept “reality” and “cultural differences” that are the “Root Causes”.
That on the other side of the negotiating table will be people who just a few months earlier were merrily hacking off the heads of such “Infidels” will not get so much as a passing mention.
So there you have it, members of the GOP, knewsmedia and my favored few fans. These are only possibilities, not assurances, but I believe them to be not only possible but probable. Agree or disagree if you will, but reaction is not a winning strategy. Look to the future and plan now. The legacy of the Bush Administration is at stake and President Hillary Clinton is waiting in the wings. The choices are; to react to events as they happen, or plan now with a strategy of our own to get our message out. Getting past the filter of the MSM is difficult, but not impossible. Be aware of what is happening, plan for the future and cut them off at the knees when they try it.