I love that these two headlines accompany each other on CNN's homepage:
Yes, after four and a half years of war, over 3,500 US troops killed (and almost countless Iraqis), billions upon billions of dollars spent...the search for WMD is Iraq is over. And we've come up empty handed. So now what?
The main justification for this lousy war was that Saddam Hussein was a dangerous fellow with weapons of mass destruction that he could unleash on the American people. We heard again and again about the "smoking gun as a mushroom cloud" and watched our terror threat level bounce up and down like a carnival watergun horserace gone mad. It was all bullshit and evidence is gathering that the Bush administration knew it was bullshit, or at the very least ignored evidence showing is was bullshit in favor of "evidence" leaning the other way.
So what's a lame duck president who has lost a war, as well as every major domestic initiative in the last two years, to do? Forget about all that and trudge on.
"The president is not a big believer in hand-wringing," said his communications director, Kevin Sullivan. "You've got to get onto the next thing."
He may not be one for hand-wringing but I am guessing there are more than a few conservative talk show host's necks he'd like to wring for botching his centerpiece immigration reform bill. The crowd who blustered Bush into re-election just a couple years ago have all but left him dangling in the wind now that he's dared to go off the reservation and attempt to work with moderates for a immigration policy that is anything less than punitive for people seeking a better life. Sure, the immigration reform bill had issues and was a tasty sop for corporate taskmasters who hunger for ever cheaper labor, but it was COMPROMISE and that is a rare thing in the Bush era. Too bad he couldn't get the most savage (and yes, that's a nod to the former Michael Weiner—now Savage) of his talking machines to play along.
If nothing else, Bush is fond of bold statements and initiatives, which makes these next two years particularly scary. He's desperate to salvage his legacy and that will require a lightening strike. Seymour Hersh has already said striking Iran would be Bush and Cheney's "wet dream" (the image of which turns my stomach for a variety of reasons) and nothing would quell the conservative backlash like a good old fashioned blood letting. But Iran is not Iraq and if you think we have trouble with moderate Muslim states now, just wait until we light up Persia.
I would like to get one of those gadgets that countdown to the day Bush leaves office in January of 2009, but I'm afraid it could end up a doomsday clock.