What a weird performance: Bush's talk to the nation tonight was too long, too unfocused. Hard to follow. Where were the succinct bullet points designed to convince a skeptical nation that he knows what he's talking about? And Bush appeared nervous, his attention elsewhere. Iran, perhaps? What does he know he's not telling us?
Why did George Bush start the Iraq war? That's anyone's guess, but tonight's address to the nation makes it crystal clear that he is not only continuing it, but he is escalating it. Rejecting the input of old family retainers, the Iraq Study Group and even his generals -- let alone the will of the American people, as expressed in the November election -- Bush confirms that he is going to lurch forward with a plan that has absolutely no chance of success if judged by its supposed objectives.
But that's not really what it's all about, is it? Perhaps the rumors about an impending attack on Iran are true, and the troops are being positioned to help contain Iran's response. But just as likely, Bush just doesn't want to admit he lost the war -- and the longer he can extend the war, the more he and Karl Rove figure they'll be able to blame the Democrats instead. In short, with every passing day, Bush is sacrificing more American and Iraqi lives for a classic Rovian wedge issue.
For all the talk lately about how the Democrats don't have the constitutional power to stop Bush, the Constitution clearly provides a remedy. It's called impeachment. Members of Congress should read up on it. They could begin with The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism by John Nichols. They may need to consider it as a real option sooner, rather than later.