Not About the Election

This cartoon was in my paper, the San Jose Mercury News, this morning. It has Saddam with his arm around Daschle and Lieberman and the caption “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” AM radio is 24/7 all about how the Democrats are traitors. The right-wing machine, pundits, etc… are talking only about how the Democrats are holding up the President. They even brag about how they have “boxed the Democrats in on this one.” This isn’t even ABOUT Iraq to them. This is entirely about politics and the election.

Yesterday Bush said that the Democrats are holding things up. Then yesterday V.P. Cheney appeared on the no-partisan, non-divisive Rush Limbaugh show. Remember, he was originally scheduled to appear on September 11! The transcript is here. I’ve edited the following to focus on the Democrat-bashing political side of it. Read the transcript for the full “interview.” Keep in mind that the tactic of accusing the opposition of what YOU are doing is called inoculation. Also keep in mind that there is no evidence at all that there is any immediate national security need to have this happen NOW, interfering with the election. They started this on LABOR DAY, the traditional day for the beginning of campaign season.

Rush:…The perception here is that the administration is not engaged in politics and that this is a matter of national security. But because of the way the opposition party, up till yesterday in some cases, was opposing this, this appeared to be just another political issue.

Cheney:… Some people say, “Well, it’s an election year.” Well, that has nothing to do with it. Every other year is an election year and you can’t take half the calendar and put it off-limits. … But there does come a time when you have a Constitutional obligation to honor the oath you swore when you took office, that you have to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and there’s an emerging threat here that must be addressed.

Rush: Prior to the president’s speech, the opposition party in Washington was continually saying they hadn’t seen enough evidence and that they didn’t think there was any urgency. In fact, even after the speech, some said, “Well, there’s nothing to hasten this before the election, no reason to go.” Yet these are the same people, some of the same people who, in 1998, said things that could hardly be different from what you and President Bush have said.

Cheney: Well, I think that’s all true, Rush. I don’t disagree with any of that. My take on it, in terms of how members are responding, is that there are a number of folks who have questions, and should have questions. These are important issues and they shouldn’t be treated lightly, and Congress has an interest, a legitimate interest, and we have an obligation as an administration to provide as much information as we can.

But also, I think there’s some very serious folks out there in both parties, and my guess is that in the final analysis, we will be able to get out of Congress a resolution to support whatever the president needs to do, and that it will pass by overwhelming margins in both houses. I think it’s that strong.

Rush: Speaking of wreaking havoc on our society, freedom and country, the opponents of this action seem to dredge up a new horror story weekly to try to frighten the American people into opposing this, or at least not supporting it. The most recent one is that global recession will occur if there is an attack on Iraq. Now, this same thing was alleged in 1991, and if I recall, the oil price actually plummeted to $10 a barrel after that conflict. What are the potential economic impacts, both in America and around the world?

The Republicans have launched a full-court press on this one. Obviously this has been the plan for the election all along. The Democrats might have only a few weeks remaining in charge of the Senate and subpoena power. This may be the ONLY chance to look into how this election is being manipulated! The Republicans are capable of THIS, imagine what’s coming for the 2004 election! In a few weeks they could have the House, the Senate AND the White House. The Democrats in the Senate MUST do something NOW to show the public how the Republicans are manipulating things!

Earlier thoughts on this are here.