In the Arena


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Well, i’m back…and so much has changed in the last week! Not really. In fact the tragic myopia of the Bush administration seems to have intensified. This, from Dana Perino, is downright hilarious:

At the front of the House chamber, Democrats positioned a blown-up photograph of Mr. Bush standing on the carrier deck on May 1, 2003.
Aides to the president were openly angry about the reminders, and the Democrats’ unusual legislative signing ceremony.
“It’s a trumped-up political stunt,” Dana Perino, the deputy White House press secretary, told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One. Others grumbled privately that Congress had sent plenty of bills to Mr. Bush without such pomp and circumstance.

As if this wasn’t an administration that trafficked–first to last, especially regarding Iraq–in trumped-up political stunts.

By the way, yesterday was also the 4th anniversary of a far more significant event in the history of the war: On May 1, 2003, Tommy Franks began to move his hq out of Iraq, at the behest of Donald Rumsfeld. By early June, more than 500 intelligence officers had decamped from Baghdad–leaving the new, and startlingly inexperienced, general Ricardo Sanchez with 27 intel officers to figure out who the enemy was. Of course, the war should never have been fought. But Rumsfeld’s persistent refusal to take the insurgency seriously will stand as the signal, lethal blunder of the campaign. The man was the worst SecDef in American history. He should be emptying bedpans at Walter Reed–and so should the spinners who gave us the Abraham Lincoln stunt.

Meanwhile, the focus should now shift to the Congressional Republicans–especially people like John Warner–to see how far they’re willing to step away from Bush on benchmarks, short leashes and so forth. Any successful effort to constrain the President is going to come from them.