THANKS FOR THE ADVICE, BUT….Conservatives are justifiably tired of the “Bush is dumb” meme, but they have a stale and self-serving meme of their own that they really ought to put to bed. It goes something like this: “Bush is unbelievably clever and all his missteps are really just part of a cunning plan to trap Democrats into self immolation.”

Uh huh. Via James Joyner, I see that Bill Kristol plays this to the hilt in the latest issue of the Weekly Standard (the title of his piece is “Bush Suckers the Democrats”), in which he tries rather pitifully to pretend that the uranium controversy is solely about 16 little words in the State of the Union address, not about the broader issue of whether George Bush pushed us into war based on wildly inflated estimates of Iraqi strength. He ends with this:

God knows the Bush administration is not beyond criticism for either its prewar planning or its execution of postwar reconstruction efforts. And it would be a valuable contribution to our politics if such criticism were mounted by the Democratic party–acting as an intelligent, loyal opposition. But it’s a free country, and if the Democrats prefer instead to act as a pathologically disgruntled lunatic fringe, then it’ll be their problem more than anyone else’s.

Certainly the White House won’t think it a problem. That muffled sound you hear coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the sound of George W. Bush chuckling at the success of his nefarious scheme. Misunderestimated, once again.

Isn’t it funny? Every time the Democrats actually attack vigorously and seem to be doing some real damage, why, they’re completely missing the point! They really ought to be attacking something else! The usual candidates for attack ? by some odd coincidence ? are things that are even more hawkish and conservative than George Bush himself is willing to advocate (nuking Mecca, calling for the dismemberment of the UN, increasing the military budget 50%, etc.).

Sad, isn’t it, that Democrats are attacking the president for the peccadillo of starting a war against a country that turned out to pose little or no threat to anyone? And sadder still that Democrats can’t be an “intelligent, loyal opposition” like the Republicans always were when they were in the minority, isn’t it? Sad indeed….

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