What a lucky stroke!
When I wrote a few weeks ago that Bush's biggest asset for the mid term elections would be to conjure up a boogeyman with a big bomb, I figured the most likely candidate was Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
I was completely wrong.
I discounted the wily Kim Jong Il of North Korea and his insatiable drive to reclaim center stage in world events after being ignored.
With Mark Foley and the Republican cover-up completely dominating the news, Bush's only chance to keep the House and Senate Republican is to bring back terrorism and national security - front and center. Remember, concern over national security and the war on terror is still the Republican's strongest issue and Bush's only hope to squeak through. Latest poll numbers show that Republicans still lead Democrats on these issues by 17%, from 48% to 32%.
Their slogan should be Terror, Terror, Terror! - All News, All the Time!
Kim Jong Il's little Big Bang has come to the President's rescue. There are even some parallels between the two strongmen. Jong Il, with his elevator shoes and quirky behavior, was the ne'er-do-well, none-too-bright son of a national hero and liberator. Both inherited their positions and are struggling to stay in power.
Too bad North Korea's nuclear explosion was underground. No Photos!
What Karl Rove now needs are some North Korean defectors - backed up by CIA leaks, complete with spy photos - claiming that Kim Jong Il has operational missiles that can hit Los Angeles, Washington, even New York.
If the electorate believes that there is a madman capable of atomizing US cities, Bush can again assume the role of Grand Terror Warrior.
The fear mongering can begin anew. "Perilous times...No way we can change horses in the middle of a nuclear standoff...We have to back the President...We are staring down the barrel of a nuclear holocaust."
Not that it's going to work, but hey, what's wrong with a Hail Mary pass? Didn't we have press sightings of Karl Rove on a plane to Asia last week?
Anything that takes the public attention off the loser issues: Foley, Iraq, Iran, Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, the budget and trade deficits, is a godsend to Republicans.
Nobody knows anything about North Korea or what they are capable of. Talk about inscrutable! The country has not let Westerners in for half a decade. It is a blank slate and Bush spinmeisters are free to come up with any story, however preposterous (what about an Intergalactic Death Ray), and petrify the voters.
But if the voters keep talking about Foley and Speaker Dennis Hastert, the Republicans are cooked.
Don't count Rove out too quickly. There are lots of things that could go wrong in the world before October is up.
And as far as winning elections goes, Republicans have proved to be clever buggers. Democrats used to be much smarter, but gone are the days when big city bosses like Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago could register and vote 10,000 names from the graveyards.