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Monday, February 16, 2004

Generals And Majors

Maybe Colin Powell is losing it.

Check out this story, where he chews out an (unnamed) Congressional staffer in the middle of a question because he was silently shaking his head at yet another attempt by an administation member at whitewashing the fact that, when it comes to alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, they either had no idea what they were talking about or simply lied to the public. I still want to have a little more respect for him than other Bush insiders (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, et al.) but sometimes he makes it hard. The lashing out, not generally characteristic of him, could be cognitive dissonance.

Now, Powell would be perfectly justified in ripping the poor guy had he actually opened his mouth. But Capitol Hill is not a military installation, at least not yet. You may ex officio be entitled to some measure deference and respect, but you can't unilaterally make people bend to your will. (This is one reason I am wary of career military officials - who are accustomed to having their orders followed with no questions asked - in the give-and-take world of the political arena.)

The other story of course is that Congressional Democrats are less timid about fighting fire with fire when it comes to attack-dog politics. I suppose you can only have your patriotism questioned so many times before you hit back.

Make no mistake about this - Powell's just as culpable as the rest of the Bush crew. He no less deserves to be summarily ejected from office than the rest of them.


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