Monday, June 04, 2007
* Bush was behind 9/11. Either that or he knew of it and did nothing to stop it.
But why, you ask?
* In order to go after the Taliban. Keep in mind that the Taliban didn't actually have any part in the 9/11 plot. All they did was provide sanctuary of sorts for Bin Laden (and keep in mind that, even if the Taliban didn't want Bin Laden hanging around, his success at staying free the past five plus years indicates that the Taliban might not have been able to do anything about him, even if they weren't inclined to give him safe harbor).
So why did Bush want to go after the Taliban?
* Because he wanted America to think of him as a tactical military genius.
And why did he want the public to think this?
* In order to get their support for going after Hussein. Bush knew that it would be lot easier to get support for going after Hussein if he had a notch on his pistol and he figured that going after the Taliban, who could be counted to take off and head for the hills at the first sign of shooting, was a great way of looking good without having to do much heavy lifting. But, contrary to the arguments of a whole lot of people, Bush didn't go after Hussein because he wanted control of Iraq's oil, or to 'finish the job' Bush I failed to do, or anything like that.
So why was Bush so eager to get us into another conflict?
* Because he knew that if he allowed America to return to any sort of a pre-9/11 mindset, that he would probably lose his re-election campaign. Remember, he had won the Presidency only thanks to the Supreme Court. And, other than a tax cut, he didn't have a whole lot to brag about in terms of domestic successes. And he knew that while he would lose if the election was about domestic issues, he would probably win if the election was about national security (seeing as the public couldn't seriously consider a Democrat sitting in the White House during wartime). So Bush needed to keep America focused on the threat from abroad, and not being able to count on Bin Laden or other terrorists to follow up 9/11 with something equally spectacular, Bush needed to take the initiative, to take the fight to them. But it was important to not go after anybody easy, like the Taliban. Bush needed to go somewhere were it wouldn't be so easy. And Bush knew that contrary to the story being peddled by Rumsfeld, Cheney and so on, Iraq would turn sticky shortly after the initial invasion and would remain a concern through the 2004 election.
And this was important to Bush for what reason?
Because he knew that the frothing Democrats would nominate an anti-war candidate. Keep in mind that for all of the talk about a conservative takeover, America only votes against Democrats running for President for a few reasons: one, they're seen as incompetent, ala Jimmy Carter and Michael Dukakis; two, there's a hint of scandal surrounding the Democrat, ala Al Gore getting tainted with Clinton's dirty laundry; or, three, when we're in a fight. Bush couldn't count on either of the first two being in play, so his only option was to make sure we were in a conflict during his re-election campaign, knowing that the Democrats would play to form by nominating someone like Kerry.
Other than the usual ego-driven reasons, why was it so important to Bush to win a second term?
Not because he had some sort of Daddy issues, wanting to win the second term his dad couldn't pull off. But rather because he had something in mind that would require a perfect storm of sorts: him in office and the Democrats having control of Congress. And since Bush knew there was no way to pull of his own re-election and have the Democrats take control of Congress at the same time (Presidents don't get re-elected at the same time their party is losing control of Congress, and vice versa), the only way to bring things together was for Bush to win in 2004 and to have the Democrats take control of Congress in 2006. Which is exactly what happened.
Setting aside a moment the question of why Bush needed the Democrats in control of Congress, how did Bush go about making this happen?
By doing exactly what he did. Playing the incompetent fool during Katrina, where he alienated almost everybody, the liberals for not doing more and the conservatives for spending too much. Keeping our troops in Iraq, where the ever-rising body count would surely cause grief for the GOP candidates who knee-jerk reflexively back the President in a time of war. Not doing anything to stop Congress' spending sprees (knowing that GOP voters were far more likely to punish GOP members of Congress for this than Democratic voters were likely to be upset at their representatives). He knew that if he 'screwed' up enough, he would not only lead moderates to vote Democratic, but he would also be able to discourage the Republicans from showing up to vote.
OK, so he helped engineer the Democratic takeover of Congress. But, coming back to the first question, what was it that he had in mind that he needed to have the Democrats in charge?
Immigration reform, of course. While Bush had enough overall 'votes' in Congress for passing his package (Democrats + RINOs), he didn't have either the House or Senate leadership on board. And, especially in the House, if the leadership wasn't going to back Bush on this, it wasn't going to happen. So, for Bush to get his package made into law, he needed the Democrats to control Congress.
So, you see, what has gone on during the past six years - the 9/11 attack, our invading Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush helping the GOP lose control of Congress - has all been part of his plan to end up right where he is: a second term President with the Democrats in charge of Congress.
And his critics have said he isn't smart....