Today Show Serves Up Gloomy Triple-Header on Iraq, Energy Prices, National Guard

The Today Show this morning employed a phalanx of Democrats to heap scorn on President Bush's foreign policy and its impact on domestic security, while just for good measure throwing in a segment letting Americans know that the impact of rising oil prices is . . . even worse than they thought.

First up was the lugubrious George Mitchell, former Dem Senate Majority Leader and foreign envoy under Clinton, to comment on developments in Israel and elsewhere. Mitchell-of-funeral-director-mien droned up predictably about the evacuation of Israeli settlers from Gaza.

But turning to Iraq, Mitchell first suggested that W's decision on troop levels in Iraq will be driven not by the national security interests of the United States but by pure politics, stating: "I don't think they [the Bush administration] can go into the next general election in the United States in November of 2006 with the status quo so I think you're going to see significant troop withdrawals."

Mitchell then induldged in an "I told you so" moment. He stated that with the drawdown of US troops, "the burden will be on the Iraqis themselves to demonstrate that they can protect themselves. The problem is that you're very likely to have a government dominated by Shia very close to Iran precisely at the moment the United States and Europe are confronting Iran over its nuclear ambitions."

Then, subtly sliding in the dagger, Mitchell added "which I think could have been and was foreseen by many at the outset of this conflict." Ah, those prescient Democrat foreign policy mavens. Guess he's referring to those same folks who learned at the feet of Jimmy Carter and Madeleine Albright.

Then it was on to a segment on energy prices hosted by the smiling Alexis Glick, who some surmise is being positioned to take over the anchor seat from Katie.

The segment focused on an average family living on Staten Island. The gist? The impact of higher energy prices is even worse than imagined.

While much of the focus has been on increased gasoline prices, Glick led the family on a tour of its home, pointing out how increased electricity and natural gas prices are also having a big impact when it comes to running family appliances, heating the home, etc.

Has this been a mystery? Alexis seemed to think so. For purposes of comparison, Today displayed graphics of the cost of running various appliances in 2001 compared with today. They took as benchmarks an oil price per barrel of $24 in 2001. Oddly, for 2005 costs, Today applied $70 per barrel. Now, oil prices have been climbing, but even so they currently have topped out at $67/barrel. The Today Show folks must figure an exaggeration of 4% is OK if that's what it takes to make its point.

Then, just when you thought our foreign policy was bad enough as is, perhaps you hadn't considered the negative implications for domestic security. Today paraded two governors on to complain that the deployment of National Guard troops abroad was reducing their availability at home to fight forest fires and attend to other domestic duties. And who were those two governors? Why, two Democrats of course, Brian Schweitzer of Montana and Ed Rendell of PA.

Yup, it's unanimous - among Today's calvalcade of Democrats, at least. W's foreign policy is no good.

Finkelstein has degrees from Cornell University and Harvard
Law School.He lives in Ithaca, NY where he hosts "Right Angle," a local
politicaltalk show. Finkelstein specializes in exposing liberal bias at
NBC's Today Show.