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William Arkin, at the WaPo's Early Warning Blog, catches an interesting tell in Bush's presser yesterday:

Extremist-in-chief George W. Bush yesterday continued along his merry way, going over the heads of the wise men and defying Washington moderation and the glories of bipartisan centrism to remind the American public that he is also the protector.

"The only way to secure a lasting peace for our children and grandchildren is to defeat the extremist ideologies," the president said.

Mark his words: the only way.

Those yearning for a tidier world can produce studies and recommendations galore, but the president firmly believes he is the one who has to deal with the real world, and that he and not the ivory tower uniquely understands how dangerous it is.

Thus we are witnessing the emergence of a new divide in American politics. It is no longer Democrats vs. Republicans or withdrawers vs. stay-the-coursers. The majority, bucked up by strong majority in American public opinion, is clearly in favor of change. In English, that means it's over in Iraq.

The new battleground will be between the believers and the non-believers. Bush and Cheney command the believers, who remain the custodians of the Sept. 11 aesthetic that America and the world are threatened, leaving no room for niceties and togetherness.

But it is not just Bush and Cheney, and the Washington-New York-Hollywood axis should take notice. The protectors are mobilizing. They see American "will" dwindling and think they need to do something about it.

In our naïve ways, we might believe that that means they have to change policy. But in the ways of national security, the protectors believe just the opposite….  (emphasis mine)

Go read the whole thing. I enjoy keeping up with Arkin's blog, despite not agreeing with it half the time because he is much more aggressive tactics-wise than even I am when it comes to enforcement issues, because he always catches bits and pieces of national security chatter to which I have no access. But which always makes for a great read.  (The fact that the wingnut brigades have shown up to denounce him each and every time he has any criticism about the Bush Administration's misuse of national security personnel or tactics, or denouncing missteps made by the Administration?  Well, that just makes me want to link him up that much more.)

And while you are contemplating the potential for George Bush and his Administration and supporters to stay within the bubble of their own making, take a peek at Digby's discussion of their underpinnings.  Add to that a dose of Gilliard, and a bit of Watertiger for good measure.

Repeat after me:  two more years.  But just in case, let us all give thanks for January's resumption of Congressional oversight…and hope that somehow, some way, we can all make it until then. 

(Blergh…is it too early for Teddy to open the bar?)