My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Rice Testimony

I have not had time to read the transcript yet--though I will--and I didn't have the opportunity to see any of it, so my comments will be based solely on the coverage on the nightly news. But a few things really stood out:

First, clearly my hope that Rice would be a silver bullet to take down Clarke and the partisans on the commission was overly rosey. She did just fine, she's an impressive woman, and compared to Kerrey and ben Veniste she was a paragon of restraint and articulation. That said, this is what the delay was for? I'm neither convinced that her testimony was worth the "principle" of fighting the stream of opinion nor that any of the maneuvering had any upside whatsoever for the administration. This appears to me to have been pretty badly bungled.

Secondly, remember when Rick Lazio walked across the stage and confronted Hillary with a campaign pledge? Remember how he was attacked for looking like a bully? I wonder where those pundits were this afternoon.

Third, where the hell are the Republicans on this committee? Did it really catch them off guard that the Dems would take this opportunity to pick at this administration? Were they not prepared to set Dr. Rice up with good moments to shoot at the previous administration, Clarke, Albright, et al.? Why wasn't one of the Republican partisans willing to take a moment to point out Bob Kerrey's inconsistencies on the Iraq war? Where were they? I swear if we lose this next election its because we don't--or we refuse to--understand the nature of the opposition.

Fourth, does this display of raw partisan interest start to make it clear what we're facing? As inept as John Kerry is as a candidate, the entire weight of the mainstream media coupled with people like Ted Kennedy who will say anything and be treated deferentially, mixed with the willingness of the left to go over the top could--and will--have a cumulative effect on this President's approval. I thought the first few ads the President ran were effective, and they seem to have had some effect in the polls in the battleground states, but its time to take the gloves off. If the Dems will make raw partisan hay over 9-11, then so whould we.

As one of my colleagues said in relation to another topic, its time to impose the "Chicago Way" on this campaign. The only--ONLY--way the Dems will learn where the boundaries of good taste and propriety exist is if they get beaten. And badly.

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