It’s a Dirty Business
I should probably be slapped around a bit for taking all damn day to find the latest Podhoretz column in the New York Post.
I’ll give you the last three paragraphs.
That’s disingenuous. Daschle did what he did not because he’s a leader of the Senate but because he is a true partisan leader. He believes it’s his responsibility to test the depth and strength of the public support for George W. Bush, who is not only the president but the head of the rival party.
Not only that, but Daschle needs to test the waters for his own presidential run in 2004.
Daschle may believe that the more skeptical news coverage of the war in the past month has penetrated into the American consciousness and has therefore given him and other Democrats an opportunity to chip away at a president who has been all but unassailable for six months.
Sounds like Tom is paying too much attention to the beltway pundits (beldits? I mean, if we’re “bloggers”) and not enough to his South Dakota constituents.
But does the Democratic Party really want to play this role when it comes to terrorism? If its leading politicians become naysayers and skeptics, that will open up the party to legitimate charges that its anti-war and pacifist legacy dating back to the 1960s is just too strong to be overcome.
And now we’re to the meat of the matter. Daschle is playing a very dangerous game, prodding at a (so far) successful and popular war leader. Which is why he’s starting out so gingerly. The upside? Daschle could sink this presidency and help his own chances in ’04. The downside? He could do more harm to himself and his party than LBJ and Carter combined.