"If the American public says they're done with something, our leaders have to understand what they want. They're saying, 'Get out of Iraq."'
--Matthew Dowd, this-week. (New York Times, 04.01.2007)
Washington D.C.--This is a pretty dramatic and remarkable break we have here, and it originates with a NYT article that's out today. Matthew Dowd worked as a polling expert for the Texas Democratic Party until joining the Bush campaign in 1998 over disillusion "with the Clinton years." From then on, he worked as a high-level strategist, even commanding Bush's 2004 reelection effort, and authoring the "flip-flop" attack on Sen. John Kerry's campaign. Now, it seems, Dowd has done his own flip-flop: he's attacking the Bush administration for dividing the nation to achieve...well, what? He's still pulling his punches here.
[Dowd] also cited the administration's bungled handling of the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Bush's refusal to meet Cindy Sheehan, who had lost a son in Iraq, while she was leading a protest outside Bush's Texas ranch. "I had finally come to the conclusion that maybe all these things along do add up," Dowd said. "That it's not the same, it's not the person I thought." Although some other administration officials have expressed similar views over the years, the Times said Dowd is the first member of Bush's inner circle to break so publicly with him. (Reuters, 04.01.2007)Since he was once a Democrat from Texas, he uses the same lame-excuse as those in Congress: "I was fooled." But he wasn't. It begs the question: are you stupid? I'm just a little guy writing this, and I told people that George W. Bush was absolutely corrupt when he was governor of Texas. Oh yeah, and then there's his father, the architect of Iran-Contra, illegal lobbyist for Eli-Lily while holding public office, the illegal invasion of Panama, and that other stupid war in the Gulf. Mr. Dowd's incomprehension sounds more like what he mentions in the AP piece: a continued denial of reality. He should have known better, but a statement like that sounds as if he did.
Still, he deserves credit for coming-forward. He isn't entirely alone, as some of the architects of neoconservatism have jumped-ship, but it was well-before Dowd. Why the wait? What took so long? According to him, it wasn't until Spring of 2006 that he finally "saw the light." Perhaps he sees that when everything comes out on how truly corrupt and criminal these years under Bush have been, he's going to have some explaining to do. He decided since there will be so much of it, he'd better start now. That's how big of a mess he knows he helped create and maintain. There is one crucial question he could be answering right-now: were the 2000 and 2004 elections stolen? He should be asked this question under oath. Did the Bush campaigns of both elections orchestrate the disenfranchisement of millions of Americans (mostly Black, Hispanic, and even veterans)? Surely, Mr. Dowd would know this, but perhaps this is the reason why he's pulling-punches with President Bush and refusing to discuss his relationship with Karl Rove--mutual blackmail.
What's so galling about all of this are the presumptions made in the NYT article, and in the heads of Dowd and others. It all hinges on the war's execution to them, when the whole military adventure was illegal from-inception, with questionable aims. Stated-aims, and the real, overarching-goals are exclusive. Stated aims are the sell. Going into Iraq never had anything to do with the also dubious "war on terror" (what's the alert color today?), a power-grab made by an administration that was headed towards oblivion. Thanks to the events of September 11th, 2001, they're now headed towards ignominy.
He said he thought Mr. Bush handled the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks well but “missed a real opportunity to call the country to a shared sense of sacrifice.” He was dumbfounded when Mr. Bush did not fire Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld after revelations that American soldiers had tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Several associates said Mr. Dowd chafed under Mr. Rove’s leadership. Mr. Dowd said he had not spoken to Mr. Rove in months but would not discuss their relationship in detail. (New York Times, 04.01.2007)
So, one could gather that Mr. Dowd knows quite a bit about all of the illegal activities surrounding the White House, which is probably why he won't go into any details about the professional "relationship." It would implicate him in crimes. He should be offered a deal--by a grand jury, a federal judge, and a US Attorney's office. With all these leaks, and former associates and the GOP breaking-ranks with the neocons, we can expect the Bush White House to close ranks even more.
Will it matter? Not likely. In the case of the US Attorney firings, Cheney, Rove, and Bush have formulated a strategy of public defiance, while they're really being forced to cooperate and turn over documents. They are the American disease writ-large: appearances are everything, nothing-else matters. The problems begin when the laws-of-physics and objective reality come crashing-in, like a bullet smashing-through a brainpan. And that's another reason why Dowd finally broke-ranks. His son has been deployed to Iraq, and the war has come home to him, just as it has for all the Iraqis murdered by our policies and actions, and all the lives wasted of our young men and women overseas. Words become deeds, and deeds become shattered-flesh.
Matthew Dowd is the best argument for a reinstatement of the draft, the topic that finally caused his awakening. "Shared sacrifice" means just that, and it would include making this nation more secure by tending to the needs of all. That's what makes a nation strong and secure. Loyalty has its price. In the immediate-aftermath of 9/11--when congressional offices were being inundated with envelopes of anthrax, and whatnot--the AMA stated the best defense for any biowarfare attack was universal health care.
This was just one lost opportunity that the Bush administration never had any intentions of acting on. How would we think of them today if they had? Would Al Gore have done things any differently? Without what happened to him in 2000, I don't think so. But the common good doesn't matter to a bunch of criminals and crony politicians who covet the power and the perks (preserving power by funneling the public's money to the narrow interests that got them into office) of the White House and Congress. Incredibly, even before the recount was finished in Florida in 2000, Dowd and Rove were already planning for the 2004 elections. Dowd had this to say to Frontline in the Spring of 2005:
I was a very close confidant of Karl's. He'd bounce off whatever ideas he had to see what I thought of them from a strategic standpoint. And then obviously we won the race. The race was over. I was the first one in that process to start thinking about, in sync with Karl, what would we do in a re-elect right after 2000. Right after the 2000 race, I began to sort of put together memos and stuff of how we'd win a re-elect as an incumbent president.
How soon after?
During the process, I was already doing memos about the changing shape of the electorate as reflected in 2000 during the count in Florida. So it was before we actually even got the victory, I was starting to think about how the race would be different in 2004 than it was in 2000. So it was fairly quickly. The president obviously had not made up his mind -- he wasn't president yet, hadn't even been inaugurated yet -- but had not made up his mind about whether he was going to seek re-election until late 2002 or early 2003. And so there was a lot of obviously brainstorming things with Karl. ... (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/architect/interviews/dowd.html)
No mention here of all the irregularities--like when John Bolton announced the counting was done back in 2000. Interestingly, Bolton was one of the reasons that Dowd began to question the integrity of the Bush White House. He knows something, but he's not telling, and it's all about his relationship with Karl Rove. When the Bush campaigns illegally intervened in the elections of 2000 and 2004, it had all been orchestrated by Rove and his associates (and we can be certain that George W. Bush approved them). Dowd was one of Rove's lieutenants. Matthew Dowd could be the smoking gun we've all dreamed of, all along.
The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/washington/01adviser.html?hp