It's turning into a mini Neoconpalooza today!
We offered earlier, what it would be like to be stuck on a boat full of Neocons (see our post "Where's Ernest Borgnine when you need him?")
And, lo-and-behold, before the second cup of coffee (fair-trade-bought-beans) can get cold, we have a couple of Legacy-Writing Drafts to chew over, that is before we smash them both with "The Hammer".
Legacy #1 - The Don't Call Him Dick For Nothing
First, there's the big, fat, wet kiss The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes plants on Darth Vader's cheek (and not either one above his neck), with his "Cheney Speaks", portraying a staunch and resolute, fearless Vice President, just doing his job (you're on your own as to supplying a barf bag);
"It had to be done. It was a--once you made the decision, once the plane became hijacked, even if it had a load of passengers on board who, obviously, weren't part of any hijacking attempt, once it was hijacked, and having seen what had happened in New York and the Pentagon, you really didn't have any choice. It wasn't a close call. I think a lot of people emotionally look at that and say, my gosh, you just shot down a planeload of Americans. On the other hand, you maybe saved thousands of lives. And so it was a matter that required a decision, that required action. It was the right call."And, perhaps, an insight to the question, inadvertently supplied by Hayes, of who the real President was/is;
"Shortly after 10:00 P.M., Cheney, along with his wife and top two aides--Libby and Addington--walked back upstairs from the bunker and out the diplomatic entrance of the White House to the South Lawn, where Marine Two, the vice president's helicopter, was waiting. Joined by three Secret Service officials, a military aide, a communications expert, and Cheney's doctor, they took off under cover of darkness, an unusual precaution. The departure itself was a violation of longstanding protocol: No one takes off from the South Lawn other than the president. Their destination was kept from all but a handful of the most senior White House officials."And;
"Less than thirty minutes later, another tradition was discarded when Cheney and his family settled into the Aspen Lodge at Camp David, the facility typically reserved for the president." And what's so good about building up one legacy, is you get to throw someone under the bus.
"On February 15, 1991, George H.W. Bush had urged Iraqis to overthrow Saddam Hussein ...And in case Cheney was impressed with the first big, wet, kiss, Hayes puckered up in closing out;
Those comments and the subsequent failure of the United States to support the rebellion would have lasting consequences. "The Shia had been treated for centuries as second-class citizens, governed by the Sunnis, and in recent decades the Baathists, under Saddam Hussein. They had been encouraged, in '91, to rise up, and did, and were slaughtered for their troubles. Nobody came to their assistance," Cheney says.
Many Iraqis assumed that the United States refused to remove Saddam Hussein after the first Gulf war because the United States wanted him to remain in power ..."
"And then Cheney paused, his words and his emotions tangled in his throat. He started to speak and then, choking back tears, stopped again. Reporters exchanged quick glances as if to confirm that they were seeing what they thought they were seeing.
For the man who had repeatedly evaded questions about how those attacks affected him personally, this was his answer."
Legacy #2 - When In Doubt, Pucker Up
But wait, not to be left behind, and under a sun-drenched, cheery title of "On The Brighter Side", TWS's main man, the warrior who put the destruction in the WMD's, the hawk who will measure the Bush Presidency by how well he carpet bombs Iran, Little Billy Kristol throws his hat in the ring for writing The Decider/The Commander/The Shakespeare Guy's legacy, the uplifting scolding that we've had it all wrong, with his "Why Bush Will Be A Winner" (okay, we'll wait a minute, while you grab the Hayes Barf Bag ... )
"Let's step back from the unnecessary mistakes and the self-inflicted wounds that have characterized the Bush administration. Let's look at the broad forest rather than the often unlovely trees. What do we see? First, no second terrorist attack on U.S. soil -- not something we could have taken for granted. Second, a strong economy -- also something that wasn't inevitable.First, throw some garlands down on the domestic front (after all, you'll want to secure those library donations from the Isolationist Conservatives as well as all the others);
And third, and most important, a war in Iraq that has been very difficult, but where -- despite some confusion engendered by an almost meaningless "benchmark" report last week -- we now seem to be on course to a successful outcome."
"So on the two biggest pieces of domestic legislation the president has gotten passed, he has been vindicated. And with respect to the two second-term proposals that failed -- private Social Security accounts and immigration -- I suspect that something similar to what Bush proposed will end up as law over the next several years."And;
"And if you're a conservative constitutionalist, putting Roberts and Alito on the court constitutes a huge accomplishment."The War? Everything's coming up roses;
"What about terrorism? Apart from Iraq, there has been less of it, here and abroad, than many experts predicted on Sept. 12, 2001. So Bush and Vice President Cheney probably are doing some important things right. The war in Afghanistan has gone reasonably well.And Kristol isn't adverse to puckering up himself;
These Waziristan havens may well have to be dealt with in the near future. I assume Bush will deal with them, using some combination of air strikes and special operations.
We are routing al-Qaeda in Iraq, we are beginning to curb the Iranian-backed sectarian Shiite militias and we are increasingly able to protect more of the Iraqi population.
Iran is a problem, and we will have to do more to curb Tehran's meddling -- but we can. So if we keep our nerve here at home, we have a good shot at achieving a real, though messy, victory in Iraq."
"Following through to secure the victory in Iraq and to extend its benefits to neighboring countries will be the task of the next president. And that brings us to Bush's final test.
The truly successful American presidents tend to find vindication in, and guarantee an extension of their policies through, the election of a successor from their own party. Can Bush hand the presidency off to a Republican who will (broadly) continue along the path of his post-9/11 foreign policy, nominate judges who solidify a Roberts-Alito court, make his tax cuts permanent and the like?"
Send In The Hammer
But, it's Sunday, so we can count on - and he delivers, as usual - Frank Rich to come hammering home (Stanley Tools, take note), to save the day by turning the reality channel back on, as he continues his relentless pounding of the Bush Grindhouse in "Don't Laugh at Michael Chertoff";
"But even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Last week, as the Bush administration frantically tried to counter Republican defections from the war in Iraq, Mr. Chertoff alone departed from the administration's script to talk about the enemy that actually did attack America on 9/11, Al Qaeda, rather than Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the jihad-come-lately gang Mr. Bush is fond of talking about instead. In this White House, the occasional official who strays off script is in all likelihood inadvertently coughing up the truth.Regrettably, these won't be the only legacy drafts we see coming out of the TWS barn, they have an almost inexhaustible supply of Kool-Aid, as well as another farm-produced by-product.
The White House's game is to create a new fictional story line to keep the war going until President Bush can dump it on his successor. Bizarrely, some of the new scenario echoes the bogus narrative used to sell the war in 2002: an imaginary connection between Iraq and the attacks of 9/11. You'd think the Bush administration might think twice before recycling old lies, but things have gotten so bad in the bunker that even Karl Rove is repeating himself.
The capital's entire political debate over Iraq - stay-the-surge versus "precipitous withdrawal" - is itself pure hot air. Even though felons and the obese are now being signed up to meet Army recruitment shortfalls, we still can't extend the surge past next April, when troops for Iraq run out unless Mr. Bush extends their tours yet again. "Precipitous withdrawal" (which no withdrawal bill in Congress calls for) is a non sequitur, since any withdrawal would take at least 10 months. Rather than have the real debate about how to manage the exit, politically panicked Republicans hope to cast symbolic votes that will allow them to tell voters they were for ending the war before they prolonged it."
And it will take all the Frank Rich's out there to keep them on the ranch, not letting them stray too far.
And just in case it isn't the Kool-Aid, Hayes and Kristol, you can follow the same advise we gave John Fund, as well as Dorothy Rabinowitz and Richard Cohen ...
Webb Rips Graham As ‘Politician Trying To Put His Political Views Into The Mouths Of Soldiers’’
Kristol: ‘We’re Not In A Civil War’ In Iraq, ‘This Is Just Not True’
Glenn Greenwald: Still more White House secrecy -- this time in the Tillman investigation
Bonus Links II
Crooks and Liars: Bush Iraq policy controlled by Bill Kristol
The Guardian: Cheney pushes Bush to act on Iran; Military solution back in favour as Rice loses out; · President 'not prepared to leave conflict unresolved'
Get ready for some big, wet ones, boys, Kristol and Hayes are calling ...