George and the Aircraft Carrier

GEORGE AND THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER….Noemie Emery complains about weak Democratic support for the Iraq war and praises George Bush in the Weekly Standard today:

What hurt most Democrats–more than the votes they cast–was their reasoning: to preserve, in Clintonesque terms, their own viability, before trying to change the subject back to domestic issues. Which of course did not work. While Bush put his job and his neck on the line, Democrats were derriere-shielding.

That’s rich. I don’t think that bashing the French, the UN, and Saddam Hussein, and then fighting a war that about two-thirds of the country approved of exactly counts as putting his job on the line. If there’s one thing Bush has never done, it’s take an electoral risk.

Oddly, though, now that I have that minor bit of crankiness of the way, I actually want to agree with the main point of Emery’s article:

With so much good news going against them, the sight of Bush on the Abraham Lincoln was destined to drive the Democrats up walls. A politician connecting himself to a success he created? How unheard of! How lowdown! How crass! So the party wheeled out its most charming and plausible spokesmen.

Robert Byrd took to the floor of the Senate to call it the most disgraceful thing he had seen since he gave up his KKK membership. Maxine Waters seemed obsessed with the fit of the president’s flight suit. Henry Waxman wants the GAO to investigate the whole event.

….Some people think the Democrats are afraid that the Lincoln footage will show up next year in campaign spots and are trying this tack to preempt it. I’m not so sure about that, but if the Republicans run ads featuring Waxman and Waters, they could stay in power for the rest of their lives.

I hate to say it, but I think that’s right. Sure, the whole thing was a PR gig, but so what? Clinton would have done the same thing. Hell, any president would have done the same thing. Most people think the war was a great success, and Bush’s speech on the carrier made them feel proud of themselves and their country. Complaining about it just makes us look like whiners.

Time to move on.

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