There’s one point that’s important to remember about the White House’s pushback to cover up its collective dishonesty about Iraq. We’ve noted before that in scandals or political nominations the decisive issue is not the number of opponents, the intensity of their opposition or even the quality of their arguments. The decisive issue is most often whether the scandalee or the nominee has some committed base of support, even if it only amounts to a distinct minority.
A parallel dynamic is in play with respect to what the White House is trying to accomplish with this current pushback.
Virtually all of the arguments the White House is now advancing are transparently ridiculous on their face to anyone who has closely followed this evolving debate over the last three years.
But that doesn’t matter. The White House doesn’t need to win any debates. What they need is for their core supporters to have something to say. Anything. And to be able to say it loudly. The one thing that would be fatal for the White House from its defenders would be silence.
I don’t say this as a counsel of pessimism or futility. It’s just important to understand, to know what they’re trying to achieve. The good news is that most Americans have already figured this out. Clear majorities of the public now believe this president misled them about Iraq. And they’ll certainly grow. The key is to press these on the specifics, why they said these things they knew weren’t true.