Dingbat Kabuki

Josua Marsahll has a way not just with ideas but with words. What better phrase than “dingbat kabuki” to describe the bizarre and transparently fraudulent claim that House Republicans are rebelling against GW Bush's earnest and assertive request to extend the life of the 9/11 commission?

The White House's suggestion that Andrew Card's personal appeal to Speaker Hastert to make good on Bush's pledge to deliver an extra 60 days for the commission fell on deaf ears would be funny if the issues — the extent to which 9/11 was preventable, and what we can learn from the failure to prevent it — were not so serious.

So now I have two questions. First, which one of these three scenarios is at work:

  1. Karl Rove and Dick Cheney never planned to extend the 9/11 Commission's mandate past May, and Bush's pledge was a lie when uttered.
  2. Rove & Cheney did plan to extend the 9/11 Commission, but then backed off due to declining poll numbers, figuring it was better to take a hit now, from a disorganized limited and rushed report than later, closer to the election from a slicker, fuller report. [This seems to be Josh Marshall's assumption.]
  3. They did plan to extend, but the committee got frisky or got near something, and they decided to pull the plug.

My second question is whether, after being continually shafted by non-cooperation from the White House (refusal to testify, refusal to provide documents, bait and switch on the terms by which Commission members could see documents), and now by this latest promise reneged upon, even the Republican members of the committee — or at least one of them — won't develop enough patriotism to denounce the White House's sabotage of their efforts.

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