I wrote this in a reply to an e-mail from a reader today:
Man, if you get me started about Iraq… point-by-point it just doesn’t add up, and then we get this Korea nuke situation, where so many of the Bush people’s points DO apply, and you find out that they sat on the news for 12 days because it would interfere with their Iraq-war-vote strategy…
So for Korea we will have diplomacy but for Iraq we will have war.
I think that the plan from the beginning was to frame this as “liberals” and Democrats against patriotic Republicans. I think this was the plan even before they came up with specifics of which country would get the war beat! It was about the election, not about Iraq. I’ll bet that they took polls and found out that x% more people would hate Iraq than would hate Korea, so they decided to use Iraq for the election.
It’s a “wedge issue” they can use to divide people into camps, with the plan being that their camp gets the most people. Republicans have one issue right now – military – so they needed to create an election around the only issue that works for them.
Here’s my case – Max Cleland. You can’t get much more of war hero material than Max Cleland. (Maybe John McCain.) So here we are with Cleland voting with the President on every single vote. But the Republicans are running ads against him with a picture of bin Laden morphing onto Cleland anyway. (And they’re running a draft dodger against him.)
So it wasn’t about Iraq or supporting the President at all. It was about getting the public stirred up so they could run ads like that against Democrats. Here’s a war hero supporter of the President and he gets ads comparing him to bin Laden.