Everything that the Bush team has done in the last several months has been calculated to stave off disaster in Iraq until after the election. At this point, even the Green Zone is no longer secure, so disaster looks pretty close.
If Bush wins, he’ll have a free hand and a four-year blank check. If he loses, Kerry will have to clean up the mess (sort of like Clinton inheriting Somalia from Bush the first, except a hundred times worse).
There are literally thousands of media people and Republicans who pretty well know what’s going on, but who aren’t saying anything because of their career agendas, ideological obsessions, and utter cynicism and shallowness.
If Kerry wins, there really have to be recriminations and score-settling (as I think Krugman has said).
One peculiarity of the moral-clarity people and the religious right is that they frame their political fight as a moral fight against cynicism and relativism, but seem completely unaware that they too will be judged. The most dangerously cynical people in the U.S. today are conservative Republicans.
Anyone who’s knocked around a bit has met cheesy, semi-criminal revival Christians who think that their piety gives them a special connection to Jesus, who they’re counting on to save them if they ever get caught. That describes the Bush administration to a T.
(Apropos of Susskind’s NYT article and this thread on Brad DeLong. Krugman called for recriminations here).