The Politics of It
I'm subscriber to the screw-up view of history, so I doubt if there's some Rovian double-bluff here. What's undeniable is that this administration has, for some time, been remarkably obtuse, flat-footed and incompetent, even by its own extremely low standards. It doesn't take a genius to see a headline like "Port To Be Run By 9/11 Country" will do great damage. But no one saw it coming; the Congress wasn't adequately briefed; the middle class was not prepared. It's also clear that whatever leverage this president had over his own party, it has all but evaporated these past couple of months. They're not afraid of him; and pretty soon, a whole bunch will be running against him. This incident, Bush's rash and stupid veto threat, and the blithe way in which much of the GOP is now ignoring or scorning him, is a sign of how much oomph is left in this administration. Not much.