Optimistic (and pessimistic) scenario
Tue, 18 Mar 2003 16:06:29 +0000
>OTOH, Bush has made a big bet and the political impact of his bet could be
>significant. He has set expectations so high that even a mediocre
>performance .. may have a severe impact on him. This has to be short and
>decisive and the occupation peaceful and brief in order to have a real
>political payoff for him.
These things have different time scales. Even a
two-year occupation is brief, but the election is
only a year and half away. In that time scale,
simply a clear military victory will carry a lot
of weight with the electorate.
>The end does not always justify the means. I think the "international
>community" --- a codeword for American hegemony, really --- has always
>rallied behind the U.S. and its policy of "the rule of law" --- a codeword
>for "do what we want" --- because we our policy always had some pretense of
>symmetry and moral correctness. The "Prussians" in the administration have
>done something totally novel in taking this unilateral stance: we may now
>have made it impossible for other countries to get behind our notion of
Yep. Unfortunately, this is a long-term consequence,
and the system is set up to always focus our leaders
on the next quarter, ergh -- um, election.
>Now that the war itself has become a forgone conclusion, perhaps it would
>be best for those of us who fear the above to get back to cataloguing and
>pushing back on all the various other fronts --- the "evils" of Bush. ..
Yes. But there is a huge timing issue here.
Criticizing Bush can easily seem to be disloyalty
while the war is on. Critics need to keep these
issues in the public's eye, without acting as if
they are scoring Bush until the campaign itself.
Like you, I have my fingers crossed his will be a
one-term Presidency. At this point, I'm not hopeful.
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