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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

You Almost Have to Feel Sorry

posted by Jazz at 10/26/2004 10:46:00 AM


No... not for me. I mean that I'm nearly to the point of having some sympathy for Karl Rove. He must not not be getting more than a few hours sleep per night these days. First we had the sad news about the Supreme Court Chief Justice being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This is supposed to be one of the more treatable forms, and they caught it early, so that's a hopeful sign. However, it's still very serious and he needs everyone's prayers for a full and speedy recovery.

The problem with this for Rove is the timing. With less than a week to go to the election and the battleground states in a dead heat, the last thing he needs is a news headline reminding the women of America that the next president will very likely be rebuilding half of the Supreme Court. That's one battle that the conservatives will always lose.

Plus the economics numbers continue in freefall. Consumer confidence has dropped to another frightening low, even worse than the drop predicted by the always underselling White House. Talk about headaches.

And then we have the missing explosives story. The timing couldn't be worse, and frankly, there is little doubt in my mind that it was far from coincidental. There are plenty of folks in the UN community, the IAEA, and the Dem side of Congress who are not exactly in love with GWB, and letting a story like this slip out eight days before the election can't do much to hurt their cause. The breaking of that story put Rove's minions into full scramble mode and they began a zig zag run across a broken field that would have made NFL star running back Curtis Martin green with envy. The problem is, they may have moved too fast on that one, and not everyone got the same talking points before they threw themselves to the lions of the press.

There were representatives of both the Pentagon and the Iraq Ministry of Science telling the press that the explosives were there well beyond the time when the American invasion arrived. But at almost the same moment, spokesman Larry Di Rita was out there telling the press that the explosives might have been gone before we even arrived. (An opinion later backed up by NBC News who had reporters embedded with one of the units that supposedly searched the facility on or about April 10, 2003.)

Meanwhile, the White House Press Secretary was busy saying that the Bush administration knew nothing about any of this until October 15... less than two weeks ago. Unfortunately, while he was telling the press that, the Iraqis were busy reporting that they had told the head of the coalition about the missing materials in May of 2003.

What a mess. Rove likes to run a very tight ship... everyone has to be on message all the time. No deviation from the talking points is allowed, lest a crack appear in the holy armor of Bush's unassailable belief in his own Divine Infallibility. Having all of these loose cannons running around telling contradictory stories about the fate of these explosives must have had him breaking out the Xanex early and often.

Make no mistake, though... this is bad news. I don't mean bad news for Bush, or for Kerry, or for the UN. Hundreds of tons of a material that can be used to take down a jet airplane with only one pound has gone missing. As IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming, our winner of this week's "Restating the Unbelievably Obvious" award told us yesterday, "One would have to assume it's been stolen by someone who has some sort of nefarious purpose for it."

You think?

Time to look at the spin, as usual giving fair time to both sides.

Michelle Malkin immediately toes the conservative, "It's all a plot by CBS and the nyt to defame our president" line. "Yet another anti-Bush bomb has exploded and the shrapnel is firmly embedded in the foreheads of the CBS producers and New York Times editors who have recklessly lobbed their weapons of journalistic destruction on John Kerry's behalf."

Arthur Chrenkoff points out the side story on the Bush reaction, saying "It's obviously also an administration that never admits a mistake, no matter how fictional."

Captain Ed, I'm sure you'll be surprised to see, is claiming a vast, liberal media conspiracy as well... "This agenda-driven journalism threatens to deflate the Paper of Record's reputation just as surely as Rathergate did CBS, fake documents or no."

Is anyone starting to see a pattern here? This (Captain's Quarters) is the same blog who, when the story about "ohmygawd Kerry lied about how many UN delegates he talked to in 2002" broke, immediately began poking fun at lefty bloggers who pointed out the fact that the "source" was the Washington Times. However, when something critical of Bush comes out, their first line of defense is to claim that CBS, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and who knows how many other media sources are all part of a vast left wing conspiracy.

Mind boggling.