Monday, March 20, 2006

Warmongering for political gain.

Time Magazine offers an article that details the Presidents attempts to (titled) 'Find a Way to Stay Relevant'. The quote that perked my attention was the following statement by "one Bush advisor".
One Bush adviser sees political promise for the President in a nuclear peril. "Certainly, there's going to be a serious showdown on Iran," he said. "He's very relevant on that, and that may help his numbers a little bit."
One would be well served to remember the last time this administration used scare tactics over weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a Mid East enemy to gain political points during a mid term election.

The vote to authorize the President to invade Iraq was held in October of 2002. This of course placed the vote front and center in the 2002 mid term elections. And make no mistake about the impact this vote had on those elections. Vice President Dick Cheney urged voters to support candidates in the upcoming election based upon their support of the resolution. The Guardian has an excellent article showing the politicization of the war question in the 2002 mid terms.

It is interesting to note the difference between Bush the elder and Bush shrub. Bush I chose to wait until after the midterms of 1990 to push for his resolution to evict Iraq from Kuwait. I suppose we can chalk this up to him being more concerned about the good of the nation in making a rational decision to make war, rather than a crass political calculation.

Of course there is one part of the political equation that has seen a massive shift since the 2002 mid terms. Bush's approval by the American public has nearly halved. The public also now see's the war in Iraq as having been a blunder by overwhelming margins. Perhaps this change in the political landscape will forestall admsinistration attempts to repeat 2002.

However there may be a temptation by the adminsitration to draw on another political lesson from 2002 in an attempt to get an Iran war resolution. That lesson being that Republicans gained Senate control and extended control of the House in the 2000 mid term election, so fear mongering works. If this is the lesson learned by the White House, let us not forget the other lesson from that vote. A politically cowed Congress giving this President the go ahead to invade based upon faulty intelligence is a recipe for disaster.

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