Thursday, July 24, 2003

From the WaPo today:

If President Bush's White House is known for anything, it is competence at delivering a disciplined message and deftness in dealing with bad news. That reputation has been badly damaged by the administration's clumsy efforts to explain how a statement based on disputed intelligence ended up in the president's State of the Union address.

They don't mention one of the crucial bulwarks of that reputation: the combined failures of Dubya's nominal political opposition to effectively point out the obvious falsehoods that pervade his disciplined message -- on everything from the phony threat from Iraq to the obviously cooked budget projections he's been putting out since entering office -- and the failure of the press to raise those issues on its own.

What's different this time is nothing that Dubya's doing; it's that he's faced with an opposition which, for once, is genuinely clever in getting its own message out -- viz., for example, the buried stings in two successive rounds of mea culpas -- one from the CIA, the other set up by them, leading to press conferences whose message proved to be, on close examination: "I confess -- Condi did it".


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