On Clarke's performance today
Billmon has a hell of an analysis, but the last point he made is I think the most salient to the re-election chances for Dear Leader. He says

But I don't think the base is their big problem now -- it's the middle, the mainstream, even (or especially) the mainstream media, which has been forced by today's testimony to award Clarke the legitimacy it has denied to other administration critics, even Paul O'Neill. Now they'll expect the White House to give them the steak, not just the sizzle. They're going to demand more serious answers. So far, though the administration has shown no sign it thinks it can hold its own in that kind of debate.

If Bush doesn't have the base motivated after 3+ years of pandering and giving them damn near everything he could, then he'll never have them and he ought to go back to Crawford now instead of losing 49 states. That said--keep it up with the red meat to your base, Mr. President. The Democrats will gladly welcome every single one of those swing voters you seem so willing to alienate right now.

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