Hey George, The Elections Are Over

Someone needs to remind our President that the 2004 elections are over because he seems to have forgotten. In the face of plummeting poll numbers and mounting Republican defections the President has apparently decided that his best defense is an old, tired offense. In a visit to Pennsylvania yesterday Bush resorted to reopening his 2004 campaign playbook by attacking Democrats for being unpatriotic, leaning most heavily on his old opponent Senator John Kerry.

In his strongest defense yet of his Iraq war policies, Bush quoted Kerry as saying he voted to give the president approval to wage war because weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein would be a grave threat.

Um, note to Bush, no one really cares about what Kerry did or did not say or do prior to the war. This is your war, your Presidency, and your steaming pile of crap to deal with. Attacking your opponents for voting to support you, particularly in light of the fact that there are clear questions about your administrations misuse of intelligence, simply looks like an idiotic attempt to deflect attention away from the issues at hand. Let me remind you of something. While you are running around the country stumping with your tired old rhetoric and insulating yourself from any opinions that do not meet your increasingly delusional world view the rest of the country is looking at these facts:

…Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than did lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material. And the commissions cited by officials, though concluding that the administration did not pressure intelligence analysts to change their conclusions, were not authorized to determine whether the administration exaggerated or distorted those conclusions.

…Bush does not share his most sensitive intelligence, such as the President’s Daily Brief, with lawmakers. Also, the National Intelligence Estimate summarizing the intelligence community’s views about the threat from Iraq was given to Congress just days before the vote to authorize the use of force in that country.

In addition, there were doubts within the intelligence community not included in the NIE. And even the doubts expressed in the NIE could not be used publicly by members of Congress because the classified information had not been cleared for release. For example, the NIE view that Hussein would not use weapons of mass destruction against the United States or turn them over to terrorists unless backed into a corner was cleared for public use only a day before the Senate vote.

Even within the Bush administration, not everybody consistently viewed Iraq as what Hadley called “an enormous threat.” In a news conference in February 2001 in Egypt, then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said of the economic sanctions against Hussein’s Iraq: “Frankly, they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction.”

Bottom line here George, pulling out old campaign rhetoric would work expect for one thing – it has been a year since the election and more and more information is coming out that proves your rhetoric suspect at best. Let me give you a hint, quit trying to attack people for supporting their President – this is what you uber-patriots expect of us right? – and get about the business of explaining your real reasoning for going to war in Iraq. I am pretty certain I understand it and may actually agree with it (and no it is not oil), but the longer you continue to stick to this tired old crap the greater the chance we will simply reject even the most well thought out strategic long term reasoning for the war as a means of rejecting your inability to play it straight with us.

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