The War at Home

This is a critical piece in the NYT that shows just how off-base the President's policies and priorities are. Billions for Baghdad, Nothing for New York. No to theocracy in Iraq, yes to theocracy in the US. Liberty for the Shi'a, the PATRIOT act for Americans. And rewards to the rich corporations and the wealthy in both. The general election will hinge on whether the Democratic nominee can successfully argue these points.

The president makes a good political general. One of his canniest strategies has been to raise the bar so high that even the smallest of compromises seems like moderation. ANWR has become the red herring of the environmental wars; any energy bill that protects the caribou from the oil drillers will be seen as a victory even if it contains ridiculous tax breaks for the coal, oil and gas industries and does nothing to deal with the problem of gas-guzzling automobiles. Somehow, a budget with $350 billion in tax cuts � at a time of war and enormous government deficits � has come to be seen as a great victory for the president's opponents. With defeats like this, Mr. Bush never needs to win.

Mr. Bush's willingness to take big gambles, to push for what he wants no matter the consequences, are likely to leave an imprint on America far beyond his tenure in office. We hope that he's successful in the fight against terrorism, and that he brings about a more stable Mideast and a democratic Iraq. But on the domestic front, almost every success cripples the nation's ability to move toward a happy, prosperous future. This is one war we hope he loses.

This is perhaps the most comprehensive anti-Bush editorial I have seen in a while, and it comes at precisely the right time - when conventional wisdom dictates that Bush is a juggernaut. We need a political general of our own, a General Grant to Bush's General Lee. We all kow which flag our side prefers. This is war.

UPDATE: Alterman says Bush is AWOL (again). TAP calls Bush the "Most Dangerous President Ever." And The Dixie Chicks are at #1!

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