I have to plead insanity on behalf of whoever at the Democratic National Committee decided to blow almost $100,000 on a New York Times ad that called for an investigation into the administration. The ad had little impact, and if respected Democratic candidates like Florida Sen. Bob Graham -- who has hinted that Bush may have committed impeachable offenses -- continue with this wacky strategy, the Democrats may find themselves unable to gain power in any branch of government.
Bush may (or may not) have erred in publicizing British intelligence that Iraq tried to buy uranium for nuclear bombs from Africa. But to compare that to President Clinton's misstatements made under oath is just plain silly, not to mention a boneheaded political tactic. Besides, Clinton's false deposition didn't lower his public approval. So why would a less serious breach by Bush lower his?
The 9-11 intelligence breakdown was systemic throughout an uncoordinated U.S. government. No serious person believes the president, FBI, CIA or anyone else wouldn't have done anything possible to prevent 9-11 had they known it was imminent. That's probably why Bill Clinton is more understanding of Bush. He knows an attack on America could easily have happened under his watch.
The only way I see anything other than a loud backfire on the Democrats for these swipes at Bush is if the president and his allies themselves overreact by seeking retribution against these political enemies. I've seen some petty and ineffective efforts at character assassination in the past by GOP operatives. The Republicans would be wise to remember what Richard Nixon never did: There's no need to call a plumber if the downstairs isn't flooded.
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