Man Without Qualities

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Trend Away, Trend Away, We Will Cross The Mighty Ocean To Lagos Bay II

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice does her customarily brilliant and thorough job again on Fox News Sunday, this time defending the President from the liberal media's rolling suicide-bomb claims that Mr. Bush "lied" about Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium.

Ms. Rice pointed out that the statement should not have been in the Jan. 20 speech, in which Bush laid out reasons for military action against Iraq. "We have a higher standard for presidential speeches" than raw intelligence. But the statement was nevertheless still supported and probably accurate.

But Condi didn't stop there; she went right to the heart of the ongoing historical revisionism of the liberal media and some Democrats (especially Senator Kerry):

"It is ludicrous to suggest that the president of the United States went to war on the question of whether Saddam Hussein sought uranium from Africa ... This was a part of a very broad case that the president laid out in the State of the Union and other places. But the statement that he made was indeed accurate. The British government did say that. Not only was the statement accurate, there were statements of this kind in the National Intelligence Estimate."

All very true - and very important and very Condi. She offers no bull. No circumlocutions. No alternate meanings of “is.” This is not a mere “spokesperson” we are hearing - this is a real advisor and real defender. This is a key team member at work. And that's what makes the most important things here from a political perspective that she said it and that the President is, in fact, relying on her brilliance and thoroughness and savvy. She is publicly deflecting charges emanating from white, liberal, Democrats - and those people will have to get at and through her to get at the President. For example, the President's political defense is not being crafted by any behind-the-scenes Jewish neo-conservatives of the type the same crowd of critics tried so hard to present (in one of the worst examples of national-level political sliming ever) as the Presidential “puppet-masters” a few months ago that some of the presenters fell into naked anti-semitism. No. With this Presidential defense you see what you get. This time, the President is essentially all but forcing his critics into presenting Condi (and Colin) as his puppet-masters.

And African-Americans are watching it all happen. Every day. And the more the same white, liberal, Democratic crowd mounts their assaults on Presidential "credibility," the more they can watch the most important Democratic constituency trend away ... trend away.

UPDATE: This particular Presidential rope-a-dope of his white, liberal, Democratic critics is all the more entertaining because the critics grasp neither of the main points at issue: the "he lied" meme has a very small downside risk for the President because few people outside the critic crowd itself see things the way the crowd does. But the critics' efforts are nevertheless giving the President an unexpected and invaluable way of getting through to a portion of the African-American community. In any national election in which a substantial portion of the African American vote can be put in play, there will be few trophies for Democrats to bring home.

UPDATE: The Miami Herald reports:

The NAACP's top leadership lashed out Saturday at several of the major Democratic candidates for president, calling their intention to skip Monday's candidate forum an ''affront'' to the nation's oldest civil rights organization. As many as four of the nine candidates have refused to participate in the forum, expressing reluctance to appear on stage with their rivals in a debate format, NAACP officials said. As of late Saturday, Sens. John Edwards of North Carolina and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Reps. Richard Gephardt of Missouri and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio were not expected to attend.


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