Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Politi-flicks: Salvo

John Edwards got out in front of the race for 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate last Thursday in New Orleans, invoking one of the two largest failures of current Republican Presidential policy by announcing at an unrepaired site of Hurricane Katrina devastation. While Edwards has had a lightweight tag in the past, this time around appears to be different, and the Primary calendar itself could favor him enormously.

Far from appearing lightweight or "me, too" on foreign policy, he came out strong on Sunday's interview by George Stephanopoulos against the reported "surge" strategy, referring to it by the more Vietnamesque term of "escalation" and, most stunningly, pinning it squarely on vocal GOP proponent Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Watch Stephanopoulos do a doubletake as Edwards boldly frames "the McCain Doctrine."

Edwards reveals himself as having something his previous top 'o ticket running mate John Kerry sorely lacked -- and Rudy Giuliani can't seem to keep to himself -- a plan to win the Presidency.

By going after GOP frontrunner McCain and in such a classy way (referring to his once-colleague as his friend with whom he just adamantly disagrees) he undercuts McCain when it hurts the most -- early.

The timing could not be better, with McCain continually seeming to erode his own "straight talk" brand by courting Bush fundraisers and Christian Conservatives in ways that alienate his more moderate former fans, but before any other potential candidate (Hillary? Barack?) has taken a stand against McCain's Presidential aspirations. Edwards does it by inference, deftly and, it would seem, fairly.

There's a firestorm soon to come. Whether it's complemented the long-prophesized crash of the housing or stock market, a sudden shoot up of oil prices or another natural disaster for which the currently corrupted sectors of Administrative government are ill-prepared to handle, the stage is set for a potential crisis in U.S. military command, specifically the Commander-in-Chief.

He may think he's Harry Truman but he never served in the military, didn't work his way up from an indigent background, and didn't end World War II. He wants to believe it was his Secretary of Defense who lost the plebiscite on November 7th, 2006, but the country made clear it was voting against his own policies, his own judgment, his own inability to make the right decisions to lead our great nation. Does Bush think those GOP Senate and House candidates all lost their elections because they were bad candidates? Of course not. They were cut so Congress would stop enabling him.

Given the tenor of the country, one expects Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid went home over Christmas and realized the full support of their constituents there and Democrats, Moderates, and even some Traditional Conservatives nationwide, to go ahead and make changes without apology. Lift Minimum Wage, protect Social Security, weed out executive corruption and, most of all, end the debacle in Iraq. So if they're not steeled now, they never will be.

But even if they maintain their recently reconstituted backbone, they're up against Presidential authority over our military and setting foreign policy agenda. And as far as America is concerned, there is no more pressing foreign policy item than our military in Iraq.

So the questions for President George W. Bush are:
(a) How well can he sell his reported plan for a 20-minute national address prior to the January 23rd State of the Union, and
(b) How well does he think he has to?

If Bush thinks he has to sell the plan but fails, will he still execute his authority to the utmost limits of what he and his men believe a Constitutional challenge will support?

Edwards made the opening salvo; two days later here's Keith Olbermann with his first Special Comment of the New Year, on the leaked story that Bush's speech will cast the word "sacrifice" in the starring role (hello, Daily Show montage).

Here's a sample, if choice moment:
Your citizens, the people for whom you work, have told you they do not want this, and more over, they do not want you to do this.

Yet once again, sir, you have ignored all of us.

Mr. Bush, you do not own this country!

Buckle up, America.

You're about to live in interesting times.

As always, Politi-flicks is cross-posted to The Daily Reel.

No comments: