November 19, 2004


Archie Gates: What's the most important thing in life?
Troy Barlow: Respect.
Archie Gates: Too dependent on other people.
Conrad Vig: What, love?
Archie Gates: A little Disneyland, isn't it?
Chief Elgin: God's will.
Archie Gates: Close.
Troy Barlow: What is it then?
Archie Gates: Necessity.
Troy Barlow: As in?
Archie Gates: As in people do what is most necessary to them at any given moment.

David O. Russell's Three Kings

When you look at a President's agenda it's important to remember necessity. The Clinton Presidential Library opening and the discussion of his Presidency has got me thinking about how Bush part 2 is going to play out. I believe you can divide any Presidency into two parts, both driven by necessity. The first term is all about getting a second term, cause if the number one priority of a President isn't reelection, then it doesn't matter what priority number two is. Once you get that second term, necessity changes. Now it's all about legacy, history, lasting changes to the country and seeing if they have any room on Mt. Rushmore. This is what Bush and his people are thinking about now. It's the new Necessity.

My own take is that things do not look good for the W page in the history books. The lead entry will have to be Iraq and the second paragraph, the part where it ends, doesn't seem likely. Casualties have spiked massively, but even worse, there doesn't seem to be any way for us to leave:

There's nothing on the drawing boards, in fact, to suggest Iraq can defend its freedom if our servicemen and women come home. Not now, not next year, and possibly not for generations to come. Ever since the old Iraqi Army was dissolved by the Americans last year, the country has been dependent on the United States for its national defense.
So it's no wonder that many Iraqis including the majority of the insurgents, who still see themselves as fighting foreign invaders simply don't believe the American administration's spin about pulling out of Iraq sometime soon. Iraq's neighbors don't believe that either. And neither should anyone else.

That's Christopher Dickey in Newsweek. Six years of bloody insurgency will eat up a lot of space in the Bush II Presidential Library. On the domestic side they seem to be contemplating some monumentally bad tax policies, but the budget deficient will hamper any attempt to mess with taxes or Social Security. For legacy it's all about Iraq from here to 2008. Iraq is necessity.

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