If there can be something worse in politics than having no power, it would be to have power, but no clue about what to do with it. Chipping away at the Bush administration via subpoenas and committee hearings is starting to feel like working through endless sheets of bubble-wrap one pop at a time. They’ve insulated themselves with enough inexperienced hacks to last forever it seems. Around the time when Democrats in Congress wise up to the fact that this was part of the design all along - to stock up on sacrificial lambs for the specific purpose of protecting the real players once the testimony started flying - it could be too late. For them and for the American people who lost their taste for these appetizers long ago.
The strategy seems to have been decided on prior to the opening of this session, and in that sense it’s not all that different from the neoconservatives who took office looking to take out Saddam. Much like how 9/11 was said to have “changed everything”, when internally it changed nothing, a USA Today poll that came out this week showing that the portion of Americans who think the surge is “making the situation better” jumped up to 31% from last month’s 22%, and those who say the surge is “not making much difference” dropped to 41% from 51% a month ago.
There’s barely 2 hours of water and electricity per day in 125 degree Baghdad, the initial focal point of the surge. We hear a lot about Anbar and other places, but the strategy was to make it work in Baghdad first and foremost. President Bush even went so far as to reveal the locations of our cooperative police stations in front of an audience, the visual projected up for everyone to see. This strategy was genius and it was led by a genius named Patraeus, who is following the trend himself, having understood that “things are getting better and we’re making good progress” before he even arrived in theatre.
This much you can count on, that while Baghdad is dying of thirst, his schedule is packed solid with trial runs of what he’s going to say in front of Congress, all practiced over right-wing talk radio. McCain, Graham, Lieberman and the Dixie Sound Machine have the general ranked somewhere directly below Zeus, as the days leading up to his testimony will absolutely be an exercise in rewriting the Constitution so that the military alone will make all relevant judgements regarding war. Just disregard that mention of Congress possessing the sole power to wage war. And while we’re at it, let’s pretend from here on out that there is no such thing as the State Department.
And to hell with the Constitution altogether while we’re at it. The Reid-Pelosi-Hoyer brain trust is in favor of that, aren’t they? Well, anyways, they’ll figure it all out. Whatever happens, as long as we never threaten to impeach President Bush, everything will fall into place. Indeed, the voters clearly wanted Democrats to tread water until 2008 and play the Bush administration’s game.