Or take Vice President Cheney's statement on Tuesday: "Some Democratic leaders seem to believe that blind opposition to the new strategy in Iraq is good politics." Cheney assumes that opposition to the administration's policies must be "blind" rather than a considered, rational response to four years of failure. And the opposition must be rooted in "politics" and not in principle, presumably because reasonable people cannot possibly have good cause for disagreeing with the administration.The Oregonian's David Sarasohn takes it a step further.
THE IRAQ DEBATE
Vice President Cheney -- who for five years has been unable to open his mouth on Iraq without saying something ludicrously at odds with reality -- is now furious with Democrats for suggesting the war isn't going well.So recognizing the reality that Dick Cheney is political.
Cheney -- who has insisted that a 9/11 bomber met with Iraqi intelligence before the attack, that Saddam had reconstituted nuclear weapons, that American troops would be greeted as liberators and, two years ago, that the violence was in its "last throes" -- declared this week that Sen. Harry Reid's pessimism about the war was "uninformed and misleading."
And on the subject of Iraq, the vice president knows uninformed and misleading.
"What's most troubling about Senator Reid's comments yesterday is his defeatism," said Cheney, who apparently can't imagine that anybody would think that things weren't going well. After all, he explained loftily, "it is cynical to declare that the war is lost because you believe it gives you political advantage."
Thursday, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll found that 55 percent of Americans thought victory in Iraq was "not possible" and only 36 percent thought it was.And of course the deception and lies continue.
Imagine, 55 percent of Americans thinking about Iraq only for their own political advantage.
The poll also showed 27 percent approving the Bush Iraq policy and 66 percent disapproving.
You can see why the White House is indignant that Congress would interfere with the president's management of the war.
Besides, it's the administration's insistence that since the surge began, things are looking up, that sectarian killings are down -- although, like a lot of things the vice president knows about Iraq, that's not exactly true.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq says the country faces a "breakdown in law and order" and a "rapidly worsening humanitarian crisis." And it turns out it's hard to be sure that deaths are actually down, because the Iraqi government -- doubtless out of shyness -- has stopped reporting civilian deaths to the United Nations.
Moreover, as Nancy Youssef of McClatchy Newspapers reported Wednesday, "U.S. officials who say there has been a dramatic drop in sectarian violence in Iraq since President Bush began sending more troops into Baghdad aren't counting one of the main killers of Iraqi civilians."
Deaths from car bombs, which have killed tens of thousands of Iraqis over the past three years and have been increasing over the past few months, are now not being counted.
As President Bush explained Tuesday evening, "If the standard of success is no car bombings or suicide bombings, we have just handed those who commit suicide bombings a huge victory."
It seems if we actually count the numbers killed, the enemy wins. But if we refuse to count them, that's how we win.
You can see why the vice president insists the war is winnable. It's just a matter of counting right.