“Liberal Activists Boo Clinton” is the best thing that could have happened to Senator Clinton. She’ll clip and save that Washington Post headline for the presidential debates in the fall of ’08, and when she proclaims that “I supported this mismanaged war even when those in my own party didn’t see past the mismanagement to the freedom and future of Iraq, and I was booed for it,” her indifference to her party’s moonbat left will have proven to be a boon.
Two other agenda journalism pieces in the Post this morning.
The Peter Baker assessment of President Bush’s week is as grudging and tentative a bit of coverage as can be imagined. The central graphs use a former Clintonite to drum the message home –the president is manipulating the news, but the advantage he gained will only be a blip:
“When you get into these ruts, you’re always looking for anything to bounce you out and get you back on track,” said Joel P. Johnson, a White House adviser to President Bill Clinton during difficult times. “They’ve been in a rut for so long that anything that serves to pull them back onto the road has got to feel pretty good for them. The real question is, does it last a week or is it a real sign of some sort of steadying of the process?”
The aftermath of the capture of Saddam Hussein demonstrated how transitory a single moment of victory can be. Bush got a four-point bump in Washington Post-ABC News polling after Hussein was found in December 2003, but it lasted about two months. Recognizing that, Bush orchestrated a flurry of activity on Iraq in the past few days — including his secret trip, a Camp David war cabinet meeting and a briefing blitz on Capitol Hill — to demonstrate that progress in Iraq means more than Zarqawi’s death.
It is almost a piece of art, this diminishment of W’s successes, a “Get Well Soon” card to the Dems.
And Robert Barnes’ assessment of former Navy Secretary and USMC hero James Webb’s chances in the fall doesn’t want you guessing as to whom he and the WaPo are supporting. Look at this second-to-last line:
So Virginians will choose between the cowboy-booted Allen and the combat-booted Webb.
As I have written before, James Webb is a formidable candidate because of his record of courage, honor and achievement.
But the question in the Virginia Senate race will not be his past but the country’s future, and whether the Iraq campaign should be adandoned, Supreme Court nominees obstructed, taxes hiked, spending unbound even beyond its already high levels, and border security ignored.
Because those are the positions of the Democratic senate caucus that Webb would join if he triumphs in the fall.
His great qualities aside, a Webb victory means a much greater likelihood of Patrick Leahy in the chair of the Judiciary Committee, Joe Biden in control of the Foreign Relations committee, and Carl Levin back in the saddle of Armed Services. Harry Reid and Dick Durbin running things with Barbara Boxer also back in the leadership are all bound up in a vote for Webb.
If the Democrats really want to give Webb a chance, they’d announce now that he would be appoitned to Judiciary, where one centrist Democrat would indeed make a difference.
But they won’t, and Virginia voters will spend the next five months pondering whether they wish, through an Allen vote, to continue to support not just Senator Allen –who has represented them very well– but also the president, the war in Iraq and across its other fronts, and justices like Roberts and Alito.
The left and its allies in places like the Washington Post will try again and again to make this a referendum on the life of James Webb, which will always require serious Americans to thank the candidate for his service.
But the real choice is between parties, not footwear.