Monday, April 03, 2006

The Endgamers Versus The Openers

As he watches his father's thousand points of light turn into the glint off a thousand pitchforks, President Bush must be aware that his administration is increasingly trapped in an endgame.

In chess the endgame is played with fewer and fewer pieces. The moves are more desperate, the logic is simpler and less avoidable.

Unless things change, in about 6 months the number of soldiers lost in action in Iraq will be greater than the number of people killed on 9/11. The number of people Bush sent to their death in his silly sidetrip will exceed the number lost to terrorists.

Saddam's trial threatens to outlive the American presence in Iraq. If we leave before he is convicted, he could be rescued by his old comrades in crime. We could be back where we started. So we need to have a presence in Iraq until Saddam's trial is completed.

Meanwhile, federal prosecutors are seeking the death of failed terrorist Moussaoui on the grounds that his lies led to the death of thousands. Setting a new precedent, they are, which may find use in future cases.

Discovered in the act of peering into everyone's private communications, the President excused himself by explaining that the endless war against terrorism empowers him to do as he wishes. His excuses dig an even deeper hole. Mismanagement is declared intentional.

Rather than cut him down, the Democrats have elected to let him swing in the wind, a poster boy for bad politics incompetently defending his failed adventures. There is little he can do.

While the conservatives are trapped in an end game, the progressive forces are playing the beginning of a chess game - the opening. At every move, they put a new piece in action. Capture the center. Catch the opponent off guard. Get a piece ahead. Put him on the run.

Every departure from truth is eviscerated and its entrails explored. Every shading invites close inspection. Every move attracts more headlights.

It may be that conservatives, the defenders of what has been, will always be trapped in an end game. Progressives may similarly be trapped in a perpetual opening game.

Our two-party system at work.

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