Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Many MANY people are kinda noticing that things are not as they seem:

The extent of the Bush administration's abuse of intelligence and propagandizing on behalf of this "optional war," as George Will casually called it, is at this point clear to anyone watching. So are the recent and continuing lies and fictions. To take one of the most striking: Donald Rumsfeld said on March 30 that we knew precisely that weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were in and around Tikrit and Baghdad; Condoleezza Rice said Sunday, "No one ever said that we knew precisely where" the weapons caches were.

In fact, matters reached the point of comedy this week as we watched George W. Bush define deviousness down from "weapons of mass destruction" to a mere "weapons program," a criterion by which we would be obligated to invade virtually every nation on earth except Monaco (although even the pesky Monegasques, being sort of French and all, aren't above suspicion).

The question for Democrats now: How to make Americans care?

We're living in times that I don't even know how to describe. It's pretty hard to understand what's happening in this society when the majority leader of the House of Representatives makes use of a presidential agency for the nakedly political purpose of hunting down some home-state legislators. And when that agency complies with the request. And when it's a little two-day story, not a scandal at all. One doesn't even have to ask, in this case, the hypothetical that liberals are prone to present -- to wit, imagine if the Clinton administration had been involved in something similar. No; this would have been a scandal, and properly so, if it involved a federal agency under any administration from Bill Clinton to Dwight Eisenhower. But not now.