If the Democrats have

If the Democrats have an ounce of strategic know-how or common sense they will not allow the Vice President and others in the White House to pull off this deeply cynical bait and switch. Here’s the Vice President — a chillingly arrogant man by all appearances — speaking tonight:

When members of Congress suggest that the president of the United States had foreknowledge of the attack on September 11th, I think that’s outrageous, that is beyond pale. Somebody needs to say, that ain’t criticism, that’s a gross outrageous political attack, and it’s totally uncalled for.

Who’s making this claim? What member of Congress beside possibly Cynthia McKinney? To the best of my knowledge, the answer to that question is: none. If there is a charge out there it’s that the White House should have known about the attacks or perhaps could have if all the tidbits and shreds of evidence had been properly assembled and analyzed.

Whether that’s true remains to be seen. And I for one remain quite skeptical of this sort of retrospective analysis of scattered intelligence data. But the whole topic is a very legitimate topic of inquiry. One which almost everyone except the people in the White House think should be looked into, and preferably by the Lieberman/McCain-sponsored independent commission.

But, look: earth to Democrats. You’re being bullied. This is the oldest trick in the book. Lash out at your enemies for saying what they didn’t say and see if they’ll run scared. This man is a bully. He’s arrogant. In the marketplace of ideas and argument he believes solely in force. Accepting it now will only encourage further untoward behavior. In any context, bullies can only be treated in one way. Call him on his lie. Be firm in what is a very reasonable position: support for an independent commission.

Don’t get baited. Don’t get scared. Don’t get distracted.