News from the Noise Machine, Item 2

Ron Hutcheson writes for McClatchy Newspapers that the Bush Administration is losing spin control.

After six years of setting the national agenda, with help from a compliant Congress, Bush is losing control of events in Washington. The new reality hit home Tuesday on multiple fronts.

At the federal courthouse, a jury convicted former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice. On Capitol Hill, congressional committees demanded answers in separate investigations into the shoddy treatment of wounded soldiers and allegations of politically motivated firings at the Justice Department.

With Bush’s job-approval ratings already so low they threaten his political viability, the latest eruptions of bad news could weaken him further with 22 months left to go in his term.

“When each story comes out, it adds to perceptions of an administration that is potentially incompetent and potentially corrupt,” said Julian Zelizer, a political historian at Boston University. “Second-term presidents always have trouble. On a scale of bad to worse for second-term presidents, he’s at worse.”

This is more than just a second-term slump. It’s more like all the chickens coming home to roost.

6 thoughts on “News from the Noise Machine, Item 2

  1. Given that the Democratic Party is making plans to sell us allout by continuing the Iraq War and expanding the war in Afghanistan, how can you say Bush no longer controls the agenda? In a real sense, the die has been cast, and our Bipartisan War Party will do nothing to stop the disaster. One more terrorist attack-real or black ops, and the American people will rally around the war.

  2. That’s the problem with the Bush Reality Distortion Engine technology: even if you try to keep a close control on the spin-driver, the built-up torque in the space-time continuum will come back around and bite you, hard. Frankly, they’re lucky it took six years before ‘the flay rod went askew on the treadle.’

  3. Although I agree it was the right thing to do, I question the longer term significance of Libby’s convictions.In all likelihood he’ll get a last minute pardon in January of 2009,and neither Cheney nor Rove will face prosecution.

    As a side note, I’m continually exasperated by the teevee news folks insisting that outing Plame was designed to discredit her husband. How does having a spouse who works for the CIA discredit him, unless he’s applying to join the Peace Corps? I guess if you point out that the whole business was to ruin her career and to send a warning to other potential whistle-blowers not to jeopardize their futures either, that makes you complicit with the terrorists, or at the very least someone who hates freedom.

  4. re #4 This seems to me was a warning to anyone who might speak out against the administration’s spin for war. The message was, If you say ANYTHING against us, we will go after your loved ones.

  5. Valerie Plame Wilson was dragged into it purely to discredit Wilson. Wilson’s original column about his trip to Africa said something to the effect that he’d been sent to Niger at the behest of the Vice President. And the CIA has said that is true; they got a request from the Vice President to check out the Niger story and chose to send Wilson. However, the Right spun Wilson’s words to mean that the Vice President had called upon him personally to go to Niger, so that they could call Wilson a liar. Then they claimed he was sent to Niger by his wife, which made Wilson and his wife into conspirators who were just trying to bring down the White House, and Wilson got a cushy government-paid trip (to Niger?) out of it. The truth is that it was other management in the CIA who authorized the trip, not Valerie Plame Wilson.

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