Friday, August 11, 2006

Politics of the War on Terror

From "Foiled Plot Swings Voter Attention to War on Terror" by John D. McKinnon at the Wall Street Journal Website:

Yesterday, a senior White House official took the unusual step of speaking on background to reporters aboard Air Force One about the politics of the war on terror. The official said that the results in Connecticut showed that voters were coming around to the administration's view that the global war on terror must be won despite the high costs.

Mr. Lamont's margin "went from 13 to six to four in the last 10 days of the campaign," the official said. "And I think that's in part because at the end of the day, people look at the consequences of failure and the consequences of victory....So, if you have Lamont Democrats who say, 'Bring 'em home, turn away, and it will all be over,' the American people say, 'You're kidding yourself. We're in a war, and the only way you walk away from a war is as a victor, defeating the enemy.'"

Talk about Spin Insanity. In the middle of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon and ongoing diplomatic crises with Iran and North Korea which could turn more hostile, a senior White House official busies himself with memorizing polling data from before and after a Democratic Senate primary to try to score political points.

But there is absolutely no logic to this argument. A better argument could be made that Lieberman caught up in the polls because he gave some interviews in which he articulated (again, but, also again, not very forcefully) that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld should resign.

Or perhaps Lieberman caught up in the polls because just before the election he emphatically declared that President Bush's "agenda was wrong for our country and our future."

Regardless, I would think this senior White House official (first name Dick or Karl perhaps?) has more pressing things to worry about.


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