Pet Cobra

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Monday, October 11, 2004

Whoo hoo! Sadr's insurgents are turning in their weapons! The war is over! And Rumsfeld said today that troops will start coming home in January! We won! Mission accomplished!

That's one way of looking at it. Now, remove your rose-colored glasses for a second. Sadr's followers are a fraction of the overall number of insurgents in Iraq. How long will it take before they wise up to the fact that they're getting an IOU (they receive a coupon for cash from a government that doesn't yet exist), with no capital to back up it? And are you really that naive to think that these fanatics will simply turn in a gun, get a few bucks, and NOT turn around and resume shooting up American and Iraqi security forces the next day, with a padded wallet courtesy of the U.S. government?As for Rummy's claim, this was the same guy who told us last week that there was no Iraq-al Qaeda connection, then recanted his statement the very next day. I hear he's got some oceanfront property in Arizona for sale, if you're interested.

This is a feeble, populist attempt by Bush and company to plug the leaks in their sinking ship. Especially after Debate #2.

The most insightful analysis of this latest contest came courtesy of "Saturday Night Live", lampooning Bush's new whining/yelling style ("It's hard work!!!"). If Kerry didn't drop the hammer on Bush, it may have been because he didn't need to. Bush's rambling, incoherent "rebuttals" were the same non-answers that he's fed to the press and the public for months. We heard nothing new - no plan for establishing control in Iraq, no ideas on how to move the country's economy forward. Instead, what was intended to be a debate became a playground argument - "Oh, yeah? Well, he's the most liberal senator in history! And he talks funny! Uses big words like Orwellian!" The crowd's reaction - noticably, the lack of one - to the bulk of Bush's lame attempts at humor were a telling indicator that those folks were more than a bit tired of listening to the oil salesman toss around stale jokes. Clearly they were there, as was Kerry, for an honest look at where each man stands. As Bush began to flail ("Anyone need some lumber?"), Kerry did what a smart fighter does - let his opponent swing away at air, until he's exhausted himself, and shown the crowd what he's really made of. And unlike Foreman, there won't much of a future for Bush after this fight's over.

Oh yeah - about the lumber company that Bush claims he's never heard of. He should probably fire his accountant. Evidence that he does, in fact, qualify as a small business owner is right here, on those pesky "Internets":
http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx@docID=275.html

It's a bit of a gamble, but Kerry is tackling these debates in the same way that Phil Jackson got his rings with the Lakers. Give your opponent the chance to give everything they have, study his weakness, then exploit that when it counts. I suspect that the pundits were eager to either call this a tie or cede somepoints to Bush for this debate to ensure that folks would tune in to the final one. And I suspect that in the back of his mind, Kerry gave Bush some time to show voters how uninformed on key issues he really is (off-road diesel vehicles were a major polluter? Really?) and to arm himself with stupid Bush comments that he can throw back in his face the next time. You can bet we'll hear about the lumber company on Weds.

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