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Friday, February 06, 2004

prediction  

posted by Michael Piwonka 9:19 PM
About a year ago, I made a prediction. Scott, a work colleague, and I were discussing the possibility of a US invasion of Iraq. I told Scott that if the US invades Iraq, Bush won't get re-elected.

My logic was simple. If Bush the Elder couldn't get re-elected after a war on Iraq that was supported around the globe, how could Bush the Second get re-elected when the rest of the world (outside England) was opposed to the war?

I kept hearing that the US had proof of imminent danger, yet none was ever shown. I could accept the theory that Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld (a.k.a. Halliburton) couldn't reveal the proof because of national security, but why couldn't they convince the UN or any other country whom they could secretly show the overwhelming evidence?

I told Scott that I was a believer inf the US notion of innocent until proven guilty (and I did accept that Iraq might have WMD even if they posed no imminent threat). But I couldn't see anything that would prove Hussein guilty of being an imminent threat.

Scott's response was that we do arrest people we believe have committed a crime, and they will have their day in court when we attempt to prove their guilt. So while they're legally still innocent at the moment of arrest, we do (and should) arrest them before they commit more crimes. Scott continued that we were about to "arrest" Hussein, and that eventually he and Bush would be "tried" in the court of international review.

So we pre-emptively struck before the WMD were unleashed on us. And now it appears that the day of reckoning is nearing.

However, Bush isn't going down without a fight. He has another pre-emptive strike: name a task force to investigate intelligence breakdowns before the Democrats start assailing him prior to the election. This snippet from the referenced article sums it up:

The commission has been given till the end of March next year to report. It sounds suspiciously like an election-avoidance timetable.

It will be interesting to see how successful his plan is. (It's actually sad that some poor fellow(s) will probably get canned as the scapegoat after having his arm twisted to report the exaggerations in the first place.)

But there are other forces that will influence the election. Most notably, the amazing deficit spending. While most Americans don't think about the war because it's not in our backyard, they do care about their immediate economic well-being. And the deficit doesn't bode well.

Even Rush Limbaugh is publicly complaining about the deficit (perhaps breaking his drug addiction has allowed Rush some objectivity). What's more, Rush's complaining was reported in the "National Enquirer for Republicans", the Drudge Report.

Still more, even the GOP itself is starting to have internal grumblings about the out-of-control spending. And that's quite amazing, given the GOP's usual solidarity.

Could it be that the GOP is not only worried that Bush won't get re-elected, but that the party might lose significant seats also? He might take the party down, so it's time to start distancing themselves from him, just as Gore tried (unsuccessfully) to do after Clinton's affair?

But alas, there could be yet another factor in the election. What if bin Laden gets captured right before the election? This incredible conspiracy theory is bouncing around the Internet now; but when would be the optimal time to capture him? You wouldn't want it to be too early, since Americans' attention spans are about 10 minutes. But you can't wait too late, lest it look entirely too contrived. (I don't buy into this crazy theory that we can orchestrate his capture without exposing the plan; it's just too far-fetched for me to believe.)

But what would have more effect would be another terrorist attack right before the election. That would scare us into forgetting about the deficit, giving Bush carte blanche to spend all the money needed to make us feel safe, at least until after the election.

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random. arbitrary. completely unnecessary. yet refreshingly therapeutic.




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