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Republicans plan to take Iraq off the table by 2008, consolidate authoritarian gains

The Bush crime family is plotting an "intervention" to halt young George's Iraq binge--with the help of some Moderate Democrats. And yes, it really is like dealing with a drunk. I wonder why?

Anyhow, even drunks have their uses, as we shall see. Long-time Bush consigliere and Florida 2000 thug James Baker is in charge of a commmission to get the country out the qWagmire George got us into. Washington Monthly's final paragraph (boy, is this lead buried):

"The object of our policy has to be to get our little white asses [!] out of there as soon as possible," another working-group participant told me. To do that, he said, Baker must confront the president "like the way a family confronts an alcoholic. You bring everyone in, and you say, 'Look, my friend, it's time to change.'"

"White asses"? Have these guys been talking to George Felix Allen? But let that pass.

What's this "working group"? (Not, not, to be confused with the White House Iraq Group) Read on:

A Bipartisan commission quietly started work last spring with a mandate to help the Bush administration rethink its policy toward the war. ... [W]hat makes this particular commission hard to dismiss is that it is led by perhaps the one man who might be able to break through the tight phalanx of senior officials who advise the president and filter his information. That person is the former secretary of state, Republican insider, and consigliere of the Bush family, James A. Baker III.

And Baker's motivation?

"Baker is primarily motivated by his desire to avoid a war at home--that things will fall apart not on the battlefield but at home.

As if there weren't already a war at home--against the Constitution and small-d Democrats. What Baker is really afraid of is that the what the Republicans started, they won't be able to finish.

So he wants a ceasefire in American politics," a member of one of the commission's working groups told me. Specifically, he said, if the Democrats win back one or both houses of Congress in November, they would unleash a series of investigative hearings on Iraq, the war on terrorism, and civil liberties that could fatally weaken the administration and remove the last props of political support for the war, setting the stage for a potential Republican electoral disaster in 2008.

As we've said all along, for Republicans, "national security" is "job security"--specifically, their jobs.

"I guess there are people in the [Republican] party, on the Hill and in the White House, who see a political train wreck coming, and they've called in Baker to try to reroute the train."

Since a Republican's "train wreck" is a democrat's "restoration of Constitutional government."

Naturally, the work of the commission is entirely secret. (Gosh, remember the Republican furor about Hillary's health care commission? Here's the same thing, except with thousands of lives, billions of dollars, and the country's standing in the world at stake, and not a Republican says Boo. Plus ça change....)

It's hard to know what the commission is really up to because its inner workings are nearly as secretive as those of the White House. Baker has imposed an ironclad gag order on all of its participants. The 60 people involved in the effort have been instructed, in the strongest of terms, not to comment to reporters on the task force's work.

So, who are the Moderate, Centrist Democrats helping to prevent the restoration of Constitutional government by refusing to throw the Republicans an anvil?

Besides Baker, the bipartisan task force is co-chaired by former congressman Lee H. Hamilton, the Indiana Democrat and foreign-policy wise man. Working with a quartet of think tanks--the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for the Study of the Presidency, and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy--Baker and Hamilton recruited a star-studded task force, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans include Robert M. Gates, the former CIA director; Sandra Day O'Connor, the retired Justice; Alan Simpson, the former Wyoming senator; and Edwin Meese III, attorney general under President Reagan. The Democrats are William Perry, President Clinton's secretary of defense; Charles Robb, the former Virginia senator; Leon Panetta, Clinton's chief of staff; and Vernon Jordan, the lawyer and Friend of Bill.

Funny, Ho Lieberman's not on the Commission. Or at least not listed. Nobody trusts a turncoat.

Naturally, the Moderate, Centrist Dems are just there to give the Republicans cover for whatever it is that they want to do:

But according to all accounts, the Iraq Study Group is Baker's show, with the assembled cast of characters there to give Baker the bipartisan, protective coloration he needs. "Jim Baker is the gatekeeper," one task-force participant told me, insisting on anonymity. "He's by far the most dynamic, and everyone else is intimidated by him."

Meanwhile, Bush says he supports the task force:

In June, President Bush himself met briefly with the task force. "Iraq is a complex situation," Bush told them. "And the fact that you are all willing to lend your expertise to help chart the way forward means a lot."

Meaning he's either lying to the task force, and their expertise doesn't "mean" anything, or he's lying to the public with all this "stay the course" crapola. Or he's lying to both of them. Who knows?

And here's the bottom line for the Republicans. The whole commission is a scam to get Iraq off the table by 2008:

The president may have had another political motive for giving his blessing to the endeavor. If--and it's a very big if--Baker can forge a consensus plan on what to do about Iraq among the bigwigs on his commission, many of them leading foreign-policy figures in the Democratic Party, then the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee--whoever he (or she) is--will have a hard time dismissing the plan. And if the GOP nominee also embraces the plan, then the Iraq war would largely be off the table as a defining issue of the 2008 race--a potentially huge advantage for Republicans.

Grover Norquist was right: bpartisanship is a synonym for date rape.

Iraq is a Clusterfuck of humongous proportions, there's no doubt at all. (That the Republicans would even think of creating a commission like this shows this clearly).

However, although the Republicans can't govern with shit, they are adept at gaining and holding power. As ever, they think strategically. The real war is the Republican's war to destroy our Constitutional form of governnment. The real war, like the Iraq war, is still being fought, and the outcome is a lot less clear than the outcome in Iraq.

Taking the Iraq war off the table means that the Republicans have a much better chance of win their real war to destroy Constitutional government and replace it with an authoritarian system, consolidating their ill-gotten gains under the criminal Bush regime and staying in power forever.

The game is for keeps. Why would any Democrat want to help them?

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