Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, May 07, 2004

Political Fallout From Iraq

Time to start premature speculation about what is going to happen in terms of the political fallout from the torture scandal. Rumsfeld warned on Capitol Hill that there are worse reports yet to be released!!!! (By the way I strongly recommend that everyone buy a copy of this week's Economist at the news stands. This Libertarian/Conservative magazine has a powerful cover page demanding that Rumsfeld resign). So what will all this do to the political situation here in the US?

I will get the ball rolling...
The Bush campaign right now is based on two strategies. First, pushing the image of George Bush the firm, solid leader. Bush is portraryed as the "War President", the man with "moral clarity." Second, Kerry is a flip flopper who doesn't take responsibility for his votes in Congress.

This mess in Iraq directly undermines both strategies. The current Bush solution to the scandal (blame it on Rummy) will only satisfy Bush's most steadfast supporters. Many others will see Bush as dodging his responsibility as "Commander in Chief." Also, its hard to say this administration is about "moral clarity" when we are in the middle of revalations about wide spread torture in Iraq etc.

The question will be how salient is the Iraq thing to most voters. But the Bush ads have been based on the "war President" idea and little else. So even if this issue is not salient, it undercuts the reelection strategy and forces them to "play defense" at a time when the polls have Bush and Kerry neck and neck.

And what about internationally?

We can all guess what reaction in the Middle East will be (Great Satan does it again - see we told you).

What about Europe? I think this makes it political suicide for any European leader to increase their country's level cooperation with the US in Iraq. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all if some allies currently in Iraq pull out over this. If the USA is lucky, Europeans will blame this on the current administration and a future Kerry administration will be allowed to mend fences. But Bush has 0 political capital with the Europeans right now.

Any other ideas for potential fall out.

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