This past spring we read headlines of how “the brain is back”. Of course they were talking about Karl Rove, who came back strong into the political arena once he was cleared in the Valerie Plame leak case.
Shortly after that, Rove remained the headline. He laid out the GOP strategy for the mid-term elections – Iraq and Terror. His plan was to show how the Democrats had no plan and were “weak” on Iraq and the war on terror and the Republicans had the best plan. Well guess what? That plan has backfired big time.
Four months ago, the White House offered a set of clear political directions to Republicans heading into the midterm elections: embrace the war in Iraq as critical to the antiterrorism fight and belittle Democrats as advocates of a “cut and run” policy of weakness.
With three weeks until Election Day, Republican candidates are barely mentioning Iraq on the campaign trail and in their television advertisements.
Even President Bush, continuing to attack Democrats for opposing the war, has largely dropped his call of “stay the course” and replaced it with a more nuanced promise of flexibility.
It is the Democrats who have seized on Iraq as a central issue. In debates and in speeches, candidates are pummeling Republicans with accusations of a failed war.
Their “stay the course” attitude is what has cost them. Their pride is what will defeat them. The Republicans and George Bush have a problem accepting their mistakes. That is evident by their typical defense of blaming Bill Clinton for every problem that happens. Six years into Bush’s presidency and North Korea tests a nuclear weapon. Hey that’s Bill Clinton’s fault! But is it? What did Bush do in the past 6 years to remedy the situation? Did Iraq take focus off of serious threats and contribute to the problem? The same can be asked about Iran.
Have you noticed one thing missing this election year? We haven’t had any terror alerts. Even the football stadium plot was quickly downplayed by the feds yesterday. So why isn’t the federal government trying to scare us anymore? Perhaps it’s because every time that happens we now ask “what happened to we are fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here”. Even the “plot to blow up the Sears Tower” fizzled away from being a big issue.
Americans have quickly realized that Iraq had nothing to do with the War on Terror and that our going there has only hurt our cause in going after the people who actually attacked us. The poll numbers have been reflecting this for quiet some time now, but the Bush administration always claims they “don’t pay attention to the polls”. With two years between federal elections, how else do they plan on gauging public opinion? The Bush cult loves to say that the 2004 election shows that people support Bush, but that election was so close you can’t use that argument. That was also two years ago and since then Iraq has done nothing but gone down hill.
We still got over 2 weeks until the elections, but you do get a different feeling when watching television or talking to people. Opposing Iraq was once something you had to be careful doing in public, but now being a war supporter puts you in the minority on that issue. This is because Karl Rove has a one track mind. He wanted to scare Americans this year, but Americans have grown resistant to that. His putting Iraq and the War on Terror in the front lines of the races have become the greatest assets of the Democrats. Thank you Karl.