Integrity Disconnect

While President Bush calls John Kerry a traitor for questioning just how rosy things are in Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell chimes in to tell us that the situation in Iraq is worsening as we prepare to rig that nation’s elections this January. I sure as hell hope that Senator Kerry is listening, and can now add Secretary Powell’s remarks to his litany. The reality, of course, is that we are killing around twice as many innocent civilians as the insurgents, and once in a while, the President might want to check what his own Pentagon is saying about how rotten things are in Iraq, becuase it might prove, you know, that the President is a bald-faced LIAR.
Listening to National Palestine Radio (NPR) this morning, hardly a right-wing mouth-piece, I heard concerns of so-called “security moms” in swing states, or in plain English, women who Bush has successfully scared the bejeezus out of that only he can prevent Chechen terrorists from seizing and blowing up their kids’ schools. Indeed, some even lauded Bush for the Iraq adventure for “how much safer” it has made us. (Senator Kerry may have only himself to thank for this, having himself blasted Howard Dean for daring to tell the truth, i.e. that we are no safer whatsoever with Saddam Hussein in custody, about this last winter; but I digress.)
As many of you know, my own interview with Dick Morris last year hinted that if this election is about terror, Bush wins. If its about anything else, the Democrat wins. Well, for all of his much maligned prognostocative powers, current polling is showing Morris’s prediction to be alarmingly prescient.
Which is totally pathetic. Because Kerry COULD have taken this off the table a long time ago, instead of wasting time on reliving ‘Nam (which was a no-win then!), and domestic issues, which kind of have to be tied into the big picture (i.e. how can we “support our troops” if tax cuts are a bigger priority than equipping them; or perhaps– on a ‘Nam theme– our troops are winning battles in the field only to be denied victory in the war because there was no planning to win the peace.)
If Kerry starts highlighting stories such as this one, about entirely unarmed units being sent into Iraqi combat zones, to train the new Iraqi army no less! In short, Kerry must not stop HAMMERING at national security and terror issues, until the President starts talking about something else. He’s doing this late. I don’t know if I respect a strategy that involves only doing your real campaign for six weeks against a guy whose been campaigning non-stop for four years, but it’s all we got.
This one is close enough, still, so that we can recover and take this. But Democrats (and human beings of good will in this country, if there are any left) have got to realize that Kerry’s situation right now is urgent: “tracking poll internal gigashmite analysis” belies that hearts and minds are shifting toward the “strong man on a horse” (forgetting, of course, that the President is afraid of horses.) It’s crunch time.