Just as the unveiling of Deep Throat brought forth echoes of the Vietnam Era, so does the bleak news about Iraq. The rhetorical parallels are becoming eerie, even suffocating. The White House issues upbeat assessments deemed absurd by critics; senators return from "fact-finding" tours full of glum and frightening tales. The president declares that we can't "cut and run" - not so subtly implying that anyone who suggests withdrawal is a traitorous weakling.
So far, so tedious, so wrong (we have, in fact, already won in Iraq...but that's a post for another time)...but wait: Fineman's not finished.
The lowest public approval rating ever for the Democrats. Why, that can't be, can it? Why would that be so? I've got my suspicions. I'd love to hear yours (by the way, two buried treasures here - if Fineman is right, Kerry may be mulling over an impeachment effort after all, and Al Franken, likely Senate candidate? Life is rich)...
And the Democrats, facing a Republican president they regard as "imperial" (the word they used for Richard Nixon) grow increasingly hysterical. Howard Dean is unbound and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton - who began her political career as a staffer on an impeachment committee in 1974 - claims that "there has never been an administration...more intent upon consolidation and abusing power to further its own agenda." Al Franken, talk show host and likely Democratic Senate candidate, suggests that Bush should be impeached. Even Sen. John Kerry is said to be considering the possibility.
But Democrats shouldn't gloat. Voters are far - very far - from being convinced that candidate Clinton & Company possess the answers, on Iraq or anything else. The same Washington Post poll that contained gloomy Iraq numbers for Bush also showed that the Democrats had fallen to their lowest public approval rating ever.