President Barack Obama has taken a beating politically over the last month. Controversy over the handling of the Professor Gates situation, coupled with the public relations fiasco relating to the health care reform bill has sunk his poll numbers. Zogby even had the President at 45% last week.
And so with the primary messages not working, it appears that the White House is trying to change the message. The President and the First Family are on vacation, so Obama will be out of the spotlight. So that's why Eric Holder is replacing his image with... George W. Bush.
That's why the new investigations over CIA abuses are making the headlines. The President's out of Washington and something else needs to fill the media vacuum.
Well, there's a few problems with the new "investigation."
1. Since they were legally authorized, the actions of the CIA are, and were, considered legal.
2. All of the issues relating to these incidents have been over for at least five years.
3. The President promised not to do this.
4. The techniques were only used on three terrorists, and were not systematic.
5. George W. Bush isn't President anymore.
These "enhanced interrogation" techniques are and were wrong, but I'm not going to cry if Khalid Sheik Mohammed was told that his kids would be killed if 10,000 more Americans died. I'm more concerned with the prospect of al Qaeda massacring civilians than a lie told to the guy who plotted the September 11th atrocities.
Another problem with the investigation is that much of the information is not based from CIA, FBI, or Washington sources. Much of it is from testimony of al Qaeda murderers. Keep in mind that Saddam Hussein also claimed that he was tortured, while the guy was chowing down on Doritos.
So what's next. A couple of things. But let me tell you that one of them is that this investigation will not go anywhere. This is not a serious attempt to bring former Bush officials "to justice." This is just an attempt to get the media to focus on something other than the current President right now and hope that pop culture can re-foster that "Obama is awesome" message.
Another thing that will happen is that the investigations will polarize Americans. A majority of people don't support this action, and will leave Republicans angry. Now, that doesn't matter compared to who else it'll piss off: independents. Independents, especially conservative and libertarian ones, may have voted for Obama because of his "transcendent" message. Now these same voters see Obama not healing divisions, but exploiting them.
The President and his staff must think that they're pulling a fast one, but if the President and Rahm Emanuel would spend less time pulling it and more time plotting how to help our country, we'd be in a world of awesome.
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