Roy McGovern’s analysis of the Presidential speechwriting process (*).
Just for good measure, Kevin takes on the al-Qaeda connection.
Just a note about the journalistic dynamics going forward. One thing a story needs to have “legs” is a constant flow of new news. In this context, the fact that Tony Blair is under attack on the same set of issues is likely to matter, and that process isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
The political stakes there are much higher than the political stakes here. Bush faces nothing worse than some loss of popularity. But as powerful as Blair is, he’s toast — as in “former Prime Minister Tony Blair” — if it can be shown that he deliberately deceived the Cabinet or the House of Commons. That ought to color our interpretation of the fact that the British are hanging tough, refusing to admit that the story was a fraud. Unlike Bush, Blair can’t afford to back off: it’s his neck on the chopping block.
This is a real constitutional difference between the two systems: misleading the Congress is fairly routine, but misleading the Commons, even on something minor, is simply Not Done. Remember the Profumo scandal? He could probably have gotten away with the hanky-panky, but not with fibbing about it in Parliament:
O what have you done, sweet Christine?
You’ve wrecked the whole party machine!
To lie in the nude
May be vulgar and rude
But to lie in the House is obscene.
How long are the warbloggers going to be able to live in a parallel universe where this isn’t happening? Not much longer, I’d guess.