Call It What It Is
All you've got to do is check out headlines--recent and not-so-recent--to come to the inescapable conclusion that Team Bush can't be trusted to handle animal control, much less the $2.5 trillion dollar embodiment of "lone superpower."
Look at what we've got today, for instance: more than two years following "Mission Accomplished," nine more Americans were killed in Iraq, while down in Basra, it looks like the Brits are starting to use our playbook--with similar results. Yesterday I mentioned in passing the latest billion dollars gone missing from Operation Enduring Clusterfuck...oh, and recall, before Hurricane Katrina delivered AMPLE WARNING of its impending landfall, the big story was the new Iraqi constitution, which Riverbend analyzes...well, to the extent someone can analyze drafts of drafts. Short version: the Iranians will finally have a friendly government on their western border, courtesy of the Bush administration.
Well, what did you expect? How deluded do you have to be in order to believe nonsense about Iraqi "freedom" coming from the mouths of people who three years ago barely understood the difference between Sunni and Sh'ia Islam, much less anything about the complex internal dynamics of Iraq. Oh, but why worry about internal issues when you've got an election to win?
Meanwhile, down in Gitmo, they apparently got tired of all the lemon chicken being offered, prompting a change in diet to glucose solution via nasal tube. Can't wait for Duncan Hunter to show us how that works.
On the domestic side of the coin, David Safavian is the first of presumably a number of frog-marchers soon to emerge from the slag heap--prompting this from Billmon:
I could go on, but to tell you the truth, now that I've run down what everyone else has reported about Safavian and the the slime trail linking him to Davis, Norquist and Abramoff, I don't have anything original to add -- other than my deeply held suspicion that God has subcontracted the fashioning of reality to the spirits of Mark Twain and Franz Kafka, who are sitting around in heaven like a couple of coked up screenwriters, dreaming up ever more ridiculous characters and swapping increasingly absurd story lines.
No, wait, Twain says, I can top that . . .
Update 1:35 AM ET:
Kafka: Oh? Well what about zees, Herr Twain: What if zat verrückt president of yours tried to fill a critical homeland security post with a 36-year-old lawyer whose main credentials for ze job are zat she once worked for Ken Starr, and is der niece of Herr General Dick Myers?
Twain: OK, you got me there, Franz. Not even an idiot or a congressman -- I repeat myself -- would fall for a damnfool yarn like that. Not after Katrina. Now tell me the one about the fellow who turned into a cockroach again.
And if this isn't enough, you've got another storm moving into the Gulf--Jeezus H. Christos--and the master of the reconstruction, one Karl "I-will-soon-be-frogmarched-myself" Rove, has the following to offer us in a time of crisis:
Karl Rove, President Bush's top political advisor and deputy White House chief of staff, spoke at businessman Teddy Forstmann's annual off the record gathering in Aspen, Colorado this weekend. Here is what Rove had to say that the press wasn't allowed to report on.
On Katrina: The only mistake we made with Katrina was not overriding the local government...
On The Anti-War Movement: Cindy Sheehan is a clown. There is no real anti-war movement. No serious politician, with anything to do with anything, would show his face at an anti-war rally...
On Bush's Low Poll Numbers: We have not been good at explaining the success in Iraq. Polls go up and down and don't mean anything...
On Iraq: There has been a big difference in the region. Iraq will transform the Middle East...
On Judy Miller And Plamegate: Judy Miller is in jail for reasons I don't really understand...
On Joe Wilson: Joe Wilson and I attend the same church but Joe goes to the wacky mass...
It's all about competence--or the decided lack thereof, beginning at the top, going through the ranks, crossing into the legislative branch, and passed along for public consumption by a media that's evidently too stupid to watch movies, much less read books.
No, this isn't a matter of "big" versus "small" government, or even priorities, unless you agree with me that a major priority of the GOP is to loot the treasury and pass the money along to Halliburton and various lesser known sleazebags. It's a simple matter of the national government simply doing the job it's supposed to do.
Say what you want about Bill Clinton--and I for one didn't like him much at all (Full Disclosure: in '92, he got my 'lesser of three evils' vote, in '96, he didn't)...but despite his weasely, triangulation approach to the batshit insane conservative movement, he appointed competent individuals to important government positions. Example: James Lee Witt, FEMA director during the his administration. Mr. Witt had more to his resume that "horse judging."
Clinton also understands the long term ramifications of George W. Bush's credit card spending spree--in a way that the latter has neither knowledge of nor apparent interest in understanding. I'll guess the public likewise has little interest in following that--which is a shame, considering that it's their grandkids who will pay...no power to cool/heat their homes, and yearly remittances/tribute to China on a scale that Cyrus the Great would envy.
And the funniest/saddest thing: it was all by choice. From the paranoic rantings and ramblings about the smarm in our midst, to the ridiculous invasion of Iraq (and dropping the ball on Osama--who, when all is said and done, will likely be an inspiration to the eventual Islamic Republic of Iraq), to the spend-down of the Treasury...NONE of it was in the cards.
However--when you look, that sort of incompetence was written into the business and public record of one George W. Bush. Which explains why the "fuck you boys" are some of his biggest diehards. But how do you explain the rest of his 'base?'