Procrastination Nation

Things that Robert is thinking about that keep him from accomplishing anything.

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Sunday, July 13, 2003
God Bless You, Karl Rove
It looks like the Bush administration has decided on how it will handle the inaccurate State of the Union address: hopelessly confuse America so that they get frustrated with trying to sort it out and let it slide. Here's how it works:

  • Make inaccurate statement, over objections of CIA, before Congress and nation on t.v.
  • Wait for others to prove it inaccurate
  • Deny that the statement is inaccurate
  • Deny that the statement is inaccurate while maintaining that you made the right decision anyway
  • Eventually admit that it was inaccurate but that you made the right decision
  • Blame the people who found it to be inaccurate for not pointing out the inaccuracy yet again
  • Then, claim that the statement was accurate based on new information rather than the disputed piece of information.
  • Repeat as necessary.

So, now the administration is trying to have it both ways: they argued that this single piece of bad evidence was just one microscopic point in a broad case against Iraq, which prompts you to ask why they would include it over the CIA's objections in the first place; yet, they feel the need to provide replacement evidence when they've just argued that this wasn't the lynchpin of their case. Could we have a better example of the end justifies the means?

Now, when it comes to political campaigning they can have it both ways: they've "come clean" on the bad piece of evidence, yet they can still be self-righteous that about having new evidence to support the action taken (even though it wasn't necessary for action).

What makes it so effective is, the more you do it and the longer it takes, the more confused people get and the harder it is to hold anyone accountable for lying. Then people can just rely on their "trust" for the administration because he's a good, honest, sexless Christian who they'd like to barbecue with. It's the same basic strategy as Whitewater-Lewinsky, but on defense rather than offense: "deny enough charges and eventually the charges will drop," compared with "make enough charges and eventually one will stick."

Update: The Washington Post has this story about the CIA's effort to keep the Niger statement out of the president's speeches, and the administration's persistence in getting it back in.

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