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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

One-Car Funeral

You just have to wonder how much more fouled up the Bush administration’s Iraq policies can possibly get. The Prez was supposed to meet with Iraqi prime minister Maliki and King Abdullah in Jordan today, on the wings of a leaked National Security Council memo basically saying Maliki doesn’t know his butt from page eight. Then came the news that five Iraqi Cabinet members and 30 parliamentarians aligned with Moqtada al-Sadr–whose support is necessary to Maliki’s continuation in office–were “suspending” participation in the government indefinitely, to protest the summit. And now we learn today’s Bush-Maliki-Abdullah meeting was canceled, as a “social event” that wasn’t important (Bush and Maliki will still meet tomorrow). Add in the massive anti-Bush demonstrations on tap for Amman, and you’ve got a public relations disaster of serious magnitude, instead of the confidence-building event the whole show was supposed to represent.A long, long time ago, a Georgia colleague of mine, at the nadir of Jimmy Carter’s handling of the Iranian hostage crisis, said: “Well, Jimmy’s just become the first president to show he could screw up a one-car funeral.” That probably wasn’t fair to Carter, but it’s increasingly becoming an apt characterization of George W. Bush when it comes to Iraq. I don’t know if the Baker-Hamilton commission will indeed give Bush a way to back out of virtually everything he’s said and done since the invasion of Iraq, but something’s got to give, and very soon.

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