Gray Flannel Dwarf

10/12/2006

Out on a limb: Baker findings the GOP’s October Surprise?

So what do we have so far:

  • So that snotrag Newsmax tells us that Rove has assured Republicans of an “October Surprise

In the past week, Karl Rove has been promising Republican insiders an “October surprise” to help win the November congressional elections.

President Bush’s political strategist is also saying that the final two weeks before the elections will see a blitz of advertising, and the Republican National Committee is deploying an army of volunteers to key locations to help the grass-roots effort and monitor the elections.

The RNC is offering to fly in volunteers and cover their expenses.

Rove is not saying what the October surprise will be.

  • Then, we have James Baker, of all people, who heads up the Iraq Panel and is all over the news.
  • Next, we have conventional wisdom out there is that Bush will approve, at least in the release of its findings, whatever conclusion the committee comes to.

That’s not to say Bush is going to flip-flop on his belief that Iraq is central to the war on terror. It’s just that the political divisions at home, coupled with the mayhem in Iraq, have made changes necessary. Bet your last dollar that Baker will have Bush’s approval for his recommendations even before he makes them public.

  • And finally, today we find out the the Baker commission has pretty much ruled out any “victory” in the short term.

Instead, the commission is headed toward presenting President Bush with two clear policy choices that contradict his rhetoric of establishing democracy in Iraq. The more palatable of the two choices for the White House, “Stability First,” argues that the military should focus on stabilizing Baghdad while the American Embassy should work toward political accommodation with insurgents. The goal of nurturing a democracy in Iraq is dropped.

Anyone else see where I’m going with this? With Bush saying, as recently as this week, that we will keep troops in Iraq, “as long as I’m President”, this gives him an out. A change in course is can still be interpreted as “staying the course”, without any “cut and run”. To much cheers, applause, etc. Standing resolutely, then showing a bit of willingness to change — that’s a change of heart, right? Go soccer moms! It’s humility, right? Go evangelicals! At least, that’s what I’m thinking they’re hoping to convince American voters.

The Baker article above says that the committee won’t release its findings until after the November 7 elections. But leaks occur, inferences can be made, and postures can be construed.

Like I said — out on a limb. But we’ll see what comes of it.


Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 2:24 pm

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