Mideast War to Defeat Dems? Worked Once, Could Again

Frank Rich: Iran bluster really about '08 election
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2007 12:24 PM CST
President Bush claps as base commander Brigadier General James H. Schwitters , looks on during graduation ceremony of basic combat training Friday, Nov. 2, 2007, at Fort Jackson, S.C., the nations largest...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Bush's rumblings about bombing Iran look like a strategic dead end: With the military stretched thin and Iraq a debacle, what does a lame-duck president stand to gain from a full-scale regional war? The answer, Frank Rich argues in his New York Times column, is a proven election-year tactic of making Dems look soft on terror.

Bombing Iran, Rich says, would be disastrous foreign policy but a winning campaign strategy. The real target of Bush's saber-rattling is not "little thug" Ahmadinejad but American voters. Spooking the public, the only card Bushies have left to play, could snag Dems as it did in 2002 in the trap of "walking to war" to avoid looking soft.