Last night on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, the Republican jugular was exposed. Chris Matthews repeatedly asked Peggy Noonan, a most eloquent conservative spokesperson and top media champion for President Bush, a question which she simply could not answer. Recent polls were being discussed, specifically the bump in the President's ratings after the capture of Saddam Hussein. All was looking good for the President, when Chris Matthews took note of the fact that 52% of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
It has been unequivocally established that there in is no evidence at all that links Saddam Hussein to 9/11, and the other panelists agreed. Peggy Noonan took exception and Chris Matthews asked Noonan whether she believed Hussein was responsible. She gave an evasive answer; Matthews asked again; another evasive answer; and 3 or 4 more times Matthews tried to get Noonan to state the fact. She couldn't. And in not being able to admit the fact in public for reasons outlined below, and by evading and redirecting the subject numerous times, she appeared to be a person without credibility, without honesty, and this she did on prime time TV.
This is the jugular of the Bush Administration. The polls showing more than half of Americans are still misinformed by the President and the Vice President as to the absence of any connection between Hussein and 9/11 and therefore, they are interpreting the capture of Hussein as a victory over the terrorists who caused 9/11. Hence, the bump in the polls.
If the opposition spends its money and expertise in educating the public on the facts, in very much the same manner as Matthews did for his audience with Noonan, support for the President will drop like a stone. Why? Because upon learning the facts and accepting the truth, they will be embarrassed for having been so gullible and have only the President to blame for the embarrassment. Then, they will have to ask why the body bags and tens of billions of tax dollars were spent in a, go it alone if need be, invasion into Iraq? Finally, they will have to ask how much safer would we be had we spent those military lives and monies going after the actual terrorists responsible for 9/11.
The enjoyment by the Bush Administration of their bump in the polls is a direct result of a lie held by half of the American people. A lie deftly designed by this Administration and one it has spent virtually no effort to rectify in the minds of the American people. The Bush Administration will have to answer the question in the debates, 'Was Hussein responsible for the 9/11 attacks?' If he tells the truth, those 52% will feel duped. If he lies, every person who holds facts and evidence to be the cornerstones of reality will pounce upon the President as a liar and a cheat.
Ralph Nader's testing of the waters may not be as absurd as it first seemed. Ralph Nader is almost always ahead of the curve when it comes to exposing government's pulling the wool over the eyes of the people. He knows he cannot win, but, if he can expose the deceipt, he can seriously impair the President's reelection bid. The Green Party and Democratic Party should also follow that lead if defeating this President is the first goal.
The Washington Post notes in an article yesterday entitled, White House Web Scrubbing, that the Administration has been observed scrubbing former statements which no longer look good, accurate, or truthful. This won't make a dent in the public's awareness simply because it is not newsworthy enough to permeate the media.
It will be impossible for the President to avoid the no win answer to the Iraq – 9/11 link, unless he avoids debate altogether. I would not be surprised if that is in fact the strategy the President follows. He will probably state as President he has not the time for politics, he has a country to run. This President is shrewd and politically saavy, and must avoid having to answer for the misunderstanding by the American public which he fostered and nursed for political gain. [Third Party WatchBlog]