The saga continues over the Dubai ports deal. A solution has been suggested that would allow a US company to officially “run” the ports, while Dubai Ports World would receive the profits. There is only one company that could handle this type of operation. How would Haliburton running the ports sound?

While I’m sure that would cause screams of a Rovian plot all along, this ports deal is becoming an increasingly worse issue for the Republicans when it does not have to be.

When the deal was first announced liberals were among the loudest in their yelps of protests, but they have shrewdly stepped away and allowed the Republicans in Congress to be the ones battling the President.

The media, which was also forcefully against the deal from the beginning, is also starting to make insinuations about racism against those opposed to the deal, while maintaining the security questions against Bush.

It is a lose, lose situation for Republicans. Now that the Democrats are no longer being vocal about the deal, the media is free to charge them with racism and xenophobia for opposing the deal. They are, at the same time, free to use the deal to attack Bush’s strength in national security.

Rush Limbaugh made this point the other day. After several of the deal supporters used the words “profiling” – the liberals backed off. They saw the inconsistencies (for once) in their positions. In fact on the Sunday shows the new talking point was to, what else, blame Bush.

Several Democrats were acknowledging that there was a hint of racism or anti-Arab sentiment in the reaction against the deal (not in their reaction, of course). However, the reason for this xenophobia is Bush has been “stoking the fires” since 9/11. Nevermind that Bush is the one supporting this deal. He is to blame for the racist reaction.

So now instead of forcing the Democrats’ hand on this issue, instead of forcing them to carry their new found obsession with national security to its logical conclusion – support of other national security measures and border control – the Republicans want to look “independent.” All the while the media and the Democrats have a free pass to attack both sides without ever having to enter the fray. Sounds like a good strategy there Republicans!

UPDATE: Maybe I was speaking a little prophetically this morning. The UAE is going to transfer control to a US company, averting the political showdown. I can see the black talons of Haliburton swooping in.