The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM-MOVERS JUMPING SHIP

Howard Fineman, MWO's "Whore of the Year" for 2001, and one the initial providers of the "Howard Dean is insane" meme, thinks that the tide is turning against Bush:
George W. Bush rose to power on the strength of a disciplined, aggressive, tightly focused, leak-proof spin machine — one that took issue positions and stuck to them, divided the world (including the media) into friends and enemies, and steamrollered the opposition with ruthless skill while the candidate remained smilingly above the fray. Sure of his social skills but not of his speaking ability (let alone his ability to speak extemporaneously), Bush (and Karl Rove) learned to stick to their bullet-item talking points, to operate through surrogates, all the while steering the initial course they had set for themselves.

But the machine they built may have run amok — at least that seems to be what Fitzgerald is examining, as he looks at the leaking of Plame’s identity and of other classified information.

In essence, the Bush-Rove campaign machine was redeployed in the service of selling of the Iraq war and, later, in defense of that sale. Did they go over the line in doing so? We’re about to find out.

In the meantime (and in another twist on the poetic justice them), the very discipline of the machine itself — its short internal supply lines, the consistently followed talking points, the focus on feeding friends and obliterating enemies — could be helping Fitzgerald. Tightly knit groups rise together, but they fall together. If the inner circle is small, it takes only one insider “flip” to endanger the rest.
And the word is that not one, but two aides have done so.

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