There's confusion galore over what the Dubai deal is all about. The one thing that is crystal clear is that this is a political lulu for the president. Unlike the reaction to Dick Cheney's hunting accident, none of this is press driven. Instead we see politicians reacting to a popular outcry. If, as is the current wont, the president's ports fiasco has to be compared to anything, it's more serious than, say, his selection of Harriet Miers. Rather, it's more akin to Iran-contra -- before the contra part of it was known.
When the Reagan administration sold arms to the Ayatollah's outlaw regime despite its firm public commitment never to trade arms for hostages, the public reaction was one of stunned, disappointed disbelief. That's what we're seeing now -- an administration signing off on an unexpected deal with representatives of a politics and culture the American public, for all it knows and has been told, thinks we're at war with. No Sam Alito will get the president out of this one.
The press seems to want to move in for the kill. Dubai wasn't even its lead story tonight. Rather, it was the outbreak what it apparently hopes will be real civil war in Iraq.