Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Curse on the Second Term

Can W beat the curse on the second term? Where will the gate fall? Since Nixon had Watergate, it seems second terms have a curse. Reagan had Iran-Contra and Clinton had Lewinsky (yea, I wrote it that way). While Iran-Contra is now pretty much forgotten, it did put a stain on Reagan’s second term.

One point that may have made the Iran-Contra scandal less than that for Nixon and Clinton may be what happed after news of the specific incident began to break. The actual scandal for both Watergate and Lewinskygate was the cover-up. Although there were some shredding documents in Iran-Contra, it was the lie and then the lie about the lie that led to bigger scandals for both Nixon and Clinton – scandals so big that impeachment and resignation were the result. This is not a curse to taken lightly.

With its tight security and paranoia about the press, the Bush administration does appear disposed to try and cover up any mistakes to a point further than prudence would say you should. A ripe situation is in place for a scandal to occur. Two possible contenders are waiting in the wings. The Valerie Plame affair: Who leaked her name to Karl Rove? And, the more controversial one: Was Ahmed Chalabi a spy for Iran, and who in the Bush administration was sharing information with him?

A Chalabigate would be bad for W and the neocons. Neocons are currently running foreign policy and are more responsible than any other group for our war in Iraq. Chalabi and the Iraqi International Congress (INC) is another major group responsible for our invasion of Iraq. It is Chalabi and INC who are responsible for those really good stories in The New York Times about WMD from scientist recently escaped from Saddam’s Iraq – too bad none of it was true. Chalabi promised the neocons that the U.S. would be welcomed as liberators when we marched into Iraq. If this blows in W second terms, it could be a really juicy one.

The clock is ticking; the scandal is waiting for the other shoe to drop; the metaphors are mixing. W got the mandate he wanted but maybe he got something else he didn’t anticipate – the curse on the second term.

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