Wednesday, August 27, 2003

September surprise
What's Karl Rove up to these days? His boss' numbers are slipping and too many issues are spinning out of control. The administration can expect a number of unpleasant bits of business to force their way on to the calendar unless the do something. It's not Karl's way to deal with problems by hunkering down and hoping no one notices. It's not Karl's way to council hard work, compromise, and humility to actually deal with the problems. Karl's way is stage some high-profile extravaganza that will keep the opposition off balance, distract the public, and make the boss look leaderly. As any stage magician would tell us, it's all about misdirection.

Last year when the Congressional Democrats returned from vacation all fresh-scrubbed and carrying their shiny new back to school supplies, ready and eager for an election season debate on the state of the economy, the Executive branch met them with war drums and hysterical warnings that we had to stop Saddam--right now before the mushroom clouds bloom over our cities!!! Serious debate about the economy went out the window, the Democrats were stampeded into giving Bush a blank check for war, and the Republicans gained seats in both houses. This summer the economy is weaker than ever, we are losing 1.7 soldiers a day in a ugly overseas quagmire, the post-9/11 international goodwill has all been pissed away, and the Democrats are showing backbone and spunk in pointing out the emperor's bare behind. Rove must have something big in mind to re-seize the initiative and distract us all.

I'm sure we'll have some kind of "proof" that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or a program for weapons of mass destruction, or plans to someday start a program for weapons of mass destruction, or a vague yearning to begin plans to someday start a program for weapons of mass destruction. This proof will be in the form of a mind-numbing paper trail. But, I doubt as if that will be enough to even eclipse the EPA confirmation hearings, let alone their other problems. No, Karl has something flashier than that on the planning board.

So, just what does the Republican Rasputin have in mind?

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