Plame Game - The DNC Connection

Sometimes to go forward, you have to go back. There has been so much to this story. Much more than a "blog" can contain in a single, or even a group of postings. Yet as I said before, the past sometimes becomes clearer via hindsight.

In this case I go back to a story printed in Capital Hill Blue, dated 6 January 2003. This story is no long on the Capital Hill Blue's website, but was captured by some posters on Free Republic at the time. For those who missed it here it is again.

Dems plan to undermine America to beat Bush
January 6, 2003 | By DOUG THOMPSON

"Democrats plan to undermine public confidence in President George W. Bush by challenging his credibility and raising doubts about America, sources within the party tell Capitol Hill Blue.

A multi-pronged attack against Republicans and the President will focus not only on economic issues, but question American values, raise doubts about how this country is viewed by other nations and question the patriotism of Bush and his party.

The extensive campaign, developed by senior Democratic consultants and party leaders, was launched last week with attacks on the Bush economic plan by Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Richard Gephardt.

In coming weeks, Democratic elected officials will question the President’s intentions on the pending war with Iraq. Writers and broadcasters friendly to the Democratic cause have already been provided talking points suggesting the war is about oil, not terrorism. “The talking points were developed before the end of last year and sent out to operatives and friendly media,” one Democratic consultant confided. “No Democratic member of Congress will question the President’s patriotism openly but we will use the media and other surrogates to raise doubts.”

Capitol Hill Blue obtained a copy of the talking points when the Democratic National Committee sent them to a news outlet recently acquired by CHB’s parent company. The talking points outline a strategy to raise public doubts of the President’s real intentions, including: --Saying the war is about oil and will be fought to benefit oil companies that have long supported Bush and the Republican party;

--Claiming the Bush administration has “manufactured” evidence against Saddam Hussein and used that evidence to encourage Britain and other allies to join the American fight against Iraq;

--Suggesting a wartime economy is the only way the administration can revive the country’s lagging economic situation.

“It is clear that the current approval ratings of the administration are tied directly to strong American feelings toward traditional values,” the talking points say. “To counter this, doubt must be raised as to America’s true position within the world community and the true intent of the Bush administration in waging war.”

Some Democrats admit privately they are uneasy with the party strategy to undermine American values in an attempt to get Bush.

“My boss doesn’t want anything to do with it,” one senior Senate aide told Capitol Hill Blue on Monday. “You don’t undermine this country to win elections.” Others, however, are willing to try anything to put the White House and Congress back under Democratic control. “The real war isn’t in Iraq,” one Democratic consultant said. “It’s right here at home, at the ballot box in 2004.”

Among the other points Democrats hope to make in the coming weeks:

--Both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are controlled by oil and defense industry special interest groups.

--The war on terrorism is a failure because Osama bin Laden is still at large.

--America is unprepared for another terrorist attack because of White House preoccupation with Iraq. --War will increase the country’s economic woes. --Bush will be forced to raise taxes to finance the war.

“It’s time to take the battle to the people and make them understand just how dangerous George W. Bush’s policies are to the future of America,” the talking points conclude.

Democratic sources say the talking points were developed by Democratic Chairman Terry McAuliffe, former Clinton campaign strategist James Carville, Senate Majority Leader Daschle and former House Democratic Leader Gephardt.

“This is a classic, Jim Carville, scorched earth campaign,” crows one DNC staffer. “Take no prisoners. That’s how you win elections.” Democratic party spokesmen would not return phone calls seeking comment on this report."

Interesting enough that this story came out nearly a month before the President's SOTU speech and the infamous "16 words". In addition, though I noted that Mr. Wilson seemed totally unconcerned with WMD and his speeches, while viewed by some as "anti-war" were actually more along the lines of a "difference of opinion" - almost a "gentleman's quarrel" approach".

However, they were far removed from the rhetoric we would see beginning with the Kristof article of May 6th, 2003 and beyond. There is no mistaking that from that point on it was a totally different Wilson with a completely different, but familiar set of talking points at his disposal.

Yet with every race there is a start, and the "starting gun" was fired on March 7th, 2003 by the IAEA and their 'discovery' that the Niger documents were forgeries- convieniently a week after the SOTU speech, and from there Wilson and the DNC were off to the races.

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