Who do you trust?
The Republican Party is in deep trouble. With the War in Iraq going badly overseas and new waves of scandal breaking every day at home, the GOP looks more and more like a beaten and broken force whose energy is entirely spent.
Nothing could be further from the truth. History teaches us that cornered animals will, in the end, turn and fight. There will be one at least one last great battle and I suspect it has begun.
The Bush administration believes the moment has come and has launched a "classic" Rove-style campaign based on the War in Iraq and focused on personal attacks directed at the person of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Republican attack machine has targeted Reid based on his description of the War in Iraq as "lost."
The administration has called out the attack dogs: everyone from Cheney to the smallest and most inconsequential of pseudonymous bloggers is on the job, calling Reid things like "pig" and "traitor." Reid responded to those attacks yesterday:
"I do what I think is right, and I think this war is headed in the wrong direction," Reid said. "And I'm going to speak out as often and as regularly as I can."This really is the last big play for Republicans. They hope that by attacking Reid personally and in the strongest possible language they can trigger a major shift in public opinion in favor of President Bush and his "plans" for War in Iraq.
Reid has been an outspoken critic of the president, calling him a loser and a liar in the past.
"I don't back off that at all," he said. "So if you say something that is untrue to me and in the right circumstances, I will call you a liar. I have no regret having called him a liar, because he lied."
I don't think it's going to work out that way. In fact, I think this could backfire on the Republicans.
You see, the vast majority of Americans believe what Reid--frustrated by Bush's refusal to face reality--called the war: "lost." Calling two-thirds of Americans traitors doesn't seem to me like the most politic of moves. Most Americans also believe that Bush, Cheney and Rove have been less than honest about the War in Iraq, the reasons for starting it, and the progress of the war since. Layered on top of that is the long record of dishonesty Bush, Cheney, and Rove have on practically every other issue they've touched. Then layer on top of that the fact that all three are chickenhawks. Then top it all off with the Republican scandals that seem to break at the rate of two or three a week. Put all that together and it becomes obvious why the Republican Party has a serious credibility gap.
Who do you trust?
Let's recap: the Republican Party is making its big move based on supporting a war two-thirds of Americans oppose and its point man--Dick Cheney--is someone two-thirds of all Americans hate and regard as a liar.
Good luck with that.