In recent days the frustration in the Dole camp with events in Iraq has been obvious. The developing crisis obscured Mr. Dole's Labor day campaign kick-off and, in the view of campaign advisors, threatens to wrest away the one issue in which he believed he had dominance over the younger President: foreign policy expertise.New York Times, September 4, 1996.
Obviously, the ability of an incumbent administration to use government resources--such as troops and materiel--in support of re-election is patently unfair; in fact, it is subversive of American democracy. There is an intuitively obvious solution: the same way that the government contributes money to finance the campaign of the party out of power, it must contribute troops, guns, tanks and planes for the same purpose.
To neutralize any gain in the polls realized by Clinton after hammering Saddam Hussein, the Republicans should have had their own forces (the "Republican Guard"?). Imagine the additional complexity of nuance this would have added to the campaign! Republican options would have included:
Of course, equal military posturing opportunities for both parties are useless without a straw man or two to knock down. President Bush was wise not to eliminate Saddam from the scene; he's been of use to so many people since. Let's put Saddam on the payroll and keep him around forever, so that both parties, the ins and the outs, will have someone to take a whack at in the autumn of an election year.