Andrew Sullivan thinks that Bushs opponents are mis-underestimating him again. Sullivan: "Bushs problem at home is not one of general disbelief in the war itself. It is a function of the fear that incompetence is ruining the war. History shows that Americans are not squeamish about war, if its succeeding. But they are ruthless in getting out of conflicts where they seem to be failing. Bushs speeches in the next month will be designed to counter exactly that impression of drift. His advisers are confident. They note that even as his poll numbers have dropped, John Kerry has failed to take a lead in the race. Its also true that the press corps is in danger of over-playing its hand in attacking an administration for partisan and political reasons, when that administration is fighting a difficult and costly war.
There is, in other words, no panic among senior officials. There is a deep sense that neither the war nor the election is lost; and that victory against the nexus of terror and tyranny in the Arab-Muslim world is still still within reach. In the presidents words: dont mis-underestimate him. The gloomsters have overplayed their hand before; and they may well be doing so again." Bush speaks tonight at 8 p.m., but dont look for it on ABC or NBC, and CBS hasnt decided whether or not to run it. The cable stations will run it. This will be the start of Bushs rhetorical offensive against those who think that Iraq has fallen apart; he will be succesful in the end, as long as the place doesnt fall into a civil war, and I have no reason to think it will.