December 21, 2005
Short-sighted Republicans raged that the Times had done this on purpose to dilute the good news from Iraq, and drive it off the weekend chat shows and front pages; Rove on the other hand must have had the good sense to realize that the Democrats, driven mad by the good news of the Iraqi elections, would pick this up and run with it into a wall. Talk about Christmas! Santa came early.Of course Emery is being tongue-in-cheek here, but you'd swear the way it always turns out to the GOP's benefit whenever the media and the Dems go on the offensive that somehow the "architect" must be behind it all.
Bush now has three gifts: (l) he has an out, in case there's another attack on the homeland (he tried, but his hands were tied by the Times and the Democrats); (2) he has still more sound bites--"We killed the Patriot Act!"--to add the pile that he had already, and (3), he has the chance to draw still more distinctions between the party of force and of public security; and the party that nitpicks, that is too legalistic, and that somehow always gives the benefit of the doubt to the criminal and/or the accused. In a showdown like this, put your cash on the party of force and security. Willie Horton was not a play on the race card, but a metaphor for the larger use-of-force issue. Does anyone doubt that if Dukakis were president when Saddam Hussein crossed the border, Kuwait and perhaps Saudi Arabia would be permanent parts of Iraq? Remember the Homeland Security Act in the 2002 midterms?
And then Karl Rove topped it all by getting Democrats to go round the bend on impeachment, such as Barbara Boxer on the advice of John Dean. The Times, our own little France in the heart of Manhattan, doubtless thought it was dealing a mortal blow to the Nixon redux in the White House, that monstrous figure devouring liberties. Instead, it gave both parties the chance to redefine themselves in ways that do not seem to favor its allies. We think that on a Wednesday morning November 8, 2006, Republicans will give a big "thanks" to the Paper of Wreckage. And nobody more than Karl Rove.
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