Monday, April 19, 2004

Woodword Redux

Watching the interview with Bob Woodward on 60 Minutes last night it was delicious to realize (1) that lots of non-PBS-viewing, non-NYTimes-reading Middle Americans were also watching it and (2) that Bush and his staff were also watching it.

It sounds like a pulp novel with all the characters charactured: Colin Powell, prescient and schoolmasterly, counseling prudence"--Nestor amongst the Whitehouse staff of cavorting centaurs drunk with blood; Bush on orders from his "heavenly father" to save the world. What matters is not whether it's true but that it will be believed.

Now the younger generation, who missed out on the fun of Vietnam and Watergate can enjoy the new, improved version as the Iraq bodycount ticks up and the 9/11 hearings grind on. Admittedly, it may be a little early for the election. Bush afterall has Saddam in reserve. A show trial strategically timed could give him a boost and, if the 60 minutes piece can be believed, declining gas prices will delight the American public this summer. Still, the slow grinding mill diminishes him and will make it impossible for him to appeal to his performance as a war president.

Personally, I couldn't care less about the war except insofar as it erodes Bush's electability. Wars happen--though this one was a morally outrageous blunder.

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