Politics and Iraq
: OK, is anyone so naive as to think the Bush administration isn’t, for even a moment, making political calculations behind the scenes as it gears for possible war against Iraq? And what’s wrong with that? Lincoln desperately needed and wanted battlefield victories during his re-election campaign of 1864. Sherman dutifully delivered Atlanta as a pre-election present for the grateful president. FDR made decisions based on political considerations in the years leading up to America’s involvement in World War II, and he ran for re-election in 1944 as the successful war-time president. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, John F. Kennedy was acutely aware of the political fallout -- and even his possible impeachment -- if he didn’t act aggressively in confronting the Soviets. The key is: Don't pull the Wag The Dog with the American public.
Politics are -- and always will be -- part of the American political landscape, no matter what the issue. Americans understand that, within reason. That’s why this morning’s editorial by the Globe
is so impressive. It carefully notes that Bush was talking about the Homeland Defense bill when he took swipes at Democrats, but the Globe didn’t back down from the common-sense assertion, that, yes, of course, naturally, the administration has been using the war for political gain. As for Tom Daschle’s staged outburst the other day, the Globe summarized: “There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Daschle is right to complain that the Republican game plan is to keep the issues of Iraq and terrorism before the voters. By the same token, Daschle's expressions of indignation Wednesday may be counted as the political equivalent of a brushback pitch -- essentially a warning.” ... In other words, Daschle is merely playing politics with the politics of the war. As the Globe rightly urged, it’s time to put this silly spat behind us.