09 June 2005

Teflon Dubya

    Vote first. Ask questions later.
      Tagline for the film Bob Roberts
The latest polls show Bush's support continues to erode. Well, it's a little late for that. Honestly, what the hell is so different now than 2004?

Yesterday, Bush was finally asked about the Downing Street Memo. Reuters White House correspondent Steve Holland did the honors, making himself eligible for a $1000 prize. He was unaware of the reward, and won't try to claim it. The memo continues its slow prgression into mainstream media.

The timing of the question couldn't have been better for Bush, as he had Tony Blair do immediate damage control. Bush's own answer meandered through the usual stock phrases about Saddam, difficulties of leadership, and how much safer we all are. There was also a well-place insinuation that the release of the memo was intended to hurt Tony Blair in the British elections.

Suggesting a political motive has been one of Bush's best defenses, and I'm expecting to see more of it around the Downing Street Memo. Remember how well it worked against Richard Clarke? One of the DSM links I found referenced the CBS story as our own version of the memo. It occurs to me that the cases are very similar. The source is high ranking intelligence officials. The implication is that Bush intended to invade Iraq no matter what.

Maybe that's why I wasn't that outraged or, for that matter, surprised that the memo didn't get more media coverage. Maybe that's why I haven't said anything here about the memo, until now. The Clarke revelations got plenty of coverage and had absolutely no effect. I wonder if that's the reason for the lack of coverage. Perhaps the media just sees the DSM as more of the same.

I know, that's not a justification for ignoring such an important story. I support Conyers, Kerry, Kennedy, and everyone on the Net who refuse to let the Downing Street Memo story die. I have to confess, though, that I see little other than futility in the effort to hold Bush accountable. So many revelations have gone unanswered....

I think our next best hope is the 2006 mid-term election. Maybe, just maybe, public disillusionment with the Iraq war will cost the GOP their Congressional majority. Then, at least, there would be a branch of government that could really question the Bush administration. But that's a real longshot, given what the Bush administration was willing to do in 2004 to hold onto power. It's all so damn grim.

I firmly believe that one day people will see the harm that's been done. I believe history will hold Bush and his administration accountable. I'm not so sure anyone else will. Republicans always liked to calling Clinton Slick Willy because of what he got away with. He had nothing on Teflon Dubya.

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