Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dick Cheney Used to Be a Genius

Dick Cheney--Vice President Dick Cheney was on Rush Limbaugh yesterday claiming that the government in Iraq was doing "remarkably well." In a way, you have to admire the brazen quality of Cheney's lies whether it's about mobile bio-labs, "six months and we're out," "they'll greet us with flowers," or the insurgency is in "its last throes." After his term is up, Cheney could open up an interactive, online exhibit where he tells his favorite lies. He can call it Dick Cheney's fantasyland. But all is not well in Dick's fantasy world. The fact that the veep could not come up with an exciting new lie this close to the election is a sign that he and his staff aren't fully engaged.

Lou Dobbs--One of the things that's killing the Bush administration is that conservative figures like Lou Dobbs and Joe Scarborough are becoming dismissive critics. From all appearances, Lou Dobbs used to be a business-oriented media guy. Now, however, Sweet Lou is taking up class warfare in opposition to the Bush administration and the Republicans. According to Dobbs,

"It's been a tough decade for the American middle class, which has been experiencing stagnant wages in the face of rapidly increasing costs for health care and prescription drugs, soaring energy prices and escalating tuition costs. But worst of all, the middle class is up against a Congress that is driven by powerful corporations and dominant special interests."

If the Democrats were more committed to being coherent, that would be the Democratic attack line on the Bush economy.

Karl Rove--I'm one of the people who think that Karl Rove is a real political genius. The same for Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich for that matter. They've remade American politics since the 1992 election. Jacob Weisburg at Slate, though, is a skeptic who thinks that this election is the first real test of Rove's abilities and that Rove will prove himself a genius only if the Republicans keep their majorities in the House and Senate. Talk about overly high standards. Hannibal, Napoleon, and Robert E. Lee all lost in much bigger ways than Rove is going to lose, but they're still bona fide military geniuses. What makes Rove a genius is that he has created a seamless architecture of money, policy, and media for electing Republican candidates despite the unpopularity of the conservative agenda and the weaknesses of his own candidates. Given the disastrous war in Iraq, the incompetent response to Katrina, popular unhappiness with the economy, and the endless litany of Republican scandals, the Republicans deserve to lose both the Senate and the House by wide margins. As it is, the Republicans still have a good chance to hold the Senate even if the House is lost. If Rove can hold the lost Republican seats in the House under twenty and maintain a tie in the Senate (that can be broken by Dick Cheney), he would still be a bona fide genius in my book.

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