The Sound of the Crowd

Eric Alterman Has More

…than a few good things in today’s Altercation, including exceprts from and a link to a Wall Street Journal article on the Woodward book:

“There is a tendency among Mr. Bush’s critics to think that if word just gets out – if Americans find out what he is really like – they will toss him from office. An example of that kind of thinking slipped onto the front page of Sunday’s Washington Post, in a story arguing that the president’s “skillful use of language and images” had enabled him to retain high poll numbers despite misadventures in Iraq. The story seemed to suggest that Americans were tricked by clever public relations into supporting Bush and his war.

Hogwash. That’s “Blue America” elitism at its worst. By now, all Americans have taken fair measure of their president. And their sharp disagreements have less to do with who he is and what he has done than with who they are and what values they hold. Mr. Bush has become the ultimate Blue America-Red America litmus test. Your response to him determines which side of the great divide you populate.”</i>

To which Alterman responds, in part:

“Of course, the fact that the book places all of the WMD blame on CIA Director George Tenet certainly didn’t hurt. Indeed, Woodward quotes Bush as initially not buying into the WMD argument: “One of the book’s best moments is when the president reacts skeptically to intelligence suggesting Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Tenet shuts the discussion down by rising up, throwing his hands in the air, and saying: “It’s a slam-dunk case!”

Whether that actually happened or not is irrelevant to the White House. Bush has boxed in Tenet via Woodward, who has given the President a “fall guy” for the catastrophic failures in intelligence. Any Democrats who question the President’s intelligence or political acumen would do well to pay attention to this brilliant bit of manuevering.”

Check it out.


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