Patriot Games

PATRIOT GAMES….Carl Hulse and Rachel Swarns in the New York Times:

As they prepare for a critical pre-election legislative stretch, Congressional Republican leaders have all but abandoned a broad overhaul of immigration laws and instead will concentrate on national security issues they believe play to their political strength.

George Packer on the Bush administration in the New Yorker:

I think what those people have done is [turned] what should be very difficult strategic policy questions into, essentially, part of a permanent campaign at home to win a political argument. I think they?ve taken that more seriously, they?ve given it more energy, and they consider it more important, in a way, than they do the actual conflict outside of our borders.

This is, by a long measure, the most underreported aspect of the Bush administration’s war on terror. Not that they’re pursuing the wrong strategy ? though they are ? but that in the end they don’t really care that much one way or the other. Winning the war has always been secondary to winning elections.