North Korea tests nuclear weapons and promises more of the same just three years after President George W. Bush declared that he would not tolerate the Dear Leader joining the club. Bush has the power of the White House (and all that comes with it as Commander in Chief), control over both houses of Congress, and a bully pulpit that speaks louder than the heavens. So who's to blame for this failure of foreign policy? "Not Me!" says our president and his Strong National Security party.
Three years ago, President Bush said the United States would "not tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea" and "will not settle for anything less than the complete, verifiable, and irreversible elimination of North Korea's nuclear weapons program."
That's some pretty tough talk and why not? This was the pinnacle of Cowboy Diplomacy where Sheriff Bush put the bad guys on notice and could point to the ass kickin' he gave Saddam as proof that he had the balls—THE BALLS!—to see it through.
What a difference time can make, eh? Just this week North Korea tested a nuclear device and has said they'd soon conduct missile tests. And what where's the Sheriff? Turns out he's more like the Coward of the County. Mired in a sickening bog of IEDs and insurgent strife in Iraq, losing ground in the jagged mountains of Tora Bora, and Gob smacked by the leacherous behavior and politically asinine cover-up of Foleygate, President Bush and his ragtag band of deputies are reduced to the only recourse faux tough guys have when they get licked: blame someone else.
If you're a defense-minded Democrat or a libertarian-leaning Independent who liked the political moxie of John McCain, this hasn't been an easy couple of years for you. Aside from the stomach churning public displays of affection Bush and McCain shared during the 2004 campaign, McCain's been bellying up to Bush and many of his most extreme supporters for what appears to be a run-up to the 2008 campaign. His latest hit? Blame Clinton (who else???) for Bush's failure to contain North Korea's nuclear program. And if you can bash Bill by beating on his wife, even better.
"I would remind Senator (Hillary) Clinton and other Democrats critical of the Bush administration's policies that the framework agreement her husband's administration negotiated was a failure," McCain said at a news conference after a campaign appearance for Republican Senate candidate Mike Bouchard.
This gang reminds me more and more of that dopey Family Circus cartoon, "Not Me". Despite control of the White House, both chambers of Congress, and a majority of the Supreme Court, the failings of the ruling party are anybody's fault but their own.