Monday, November 14, 2005

Only as good as his last job

Operation Pushback is well under way, with pro-Bush/pro-war true believers arguing that Bush didn't lie about Iraqi WMDs because [insert preferred justification here].

The "becauses" — most of which are covered in a Commentary column by Norman Podhoretz — vary but can be grouped loosely:
__ Because Britain, Germany, France, Russia, China, and Israel thought Saddam Hussein had WMDs too.

__ Because Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Sandy Berger, Madeleine Albright, and William Cohen thought Saddam Hussein had WMDs too.

__ Because John Kerry, Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton, Jay Rockefeller, Ted Kennedy, and Robert Byrd thought Saddam Hussein had WMDs too.
Unfortunately for George W. Bush, none of these people were the president of the United States in March 2003. And with the exception of Britain, all those other countries took a pass on invading Iraq.

As Bush's falling poll numbers show, Americans have grown skeptical about Bush's competency, if not his integrity.

By way of analogy — a plumbing disaster. A master plumber, long used by my family, replaced an old faucet in an upstairs bathroom. A very, very simple job that ultimately resulted in thousands of dollars in damage.

The insurance adjuster was calming and sympathetic. I just couldn't understand how such a skilled plumber, long known to myself and my family, could make such an awful mistake.

"Well, people are only as good as their last job," he said.

And that's Bush's problem. His last few jobs have been horribly botched.

So if it makes them feel better, Bush supporters can cherry-pick pre-war quotes by Democrats until they exhaust themselves. At this point, I don't think the American public is all that interested in the esoterica of Silberman-Robb, aluminum tubes, and Nigerian yellowcake or exactly how imminent is "imminent."

All they know for sure is that the country has a giant, phenomenally expensive, and totally unnecessary mess on its hands.

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