November 9, 2007

Now back to the ranting

Once again, Bush takes us into uncharted waters, though this is really more about him than us. Turns out that more people strongly disapprove of him than did Nixon at the height of Watergate. Of course, the poll shows that the Republican base still supports him (that 29% must be able to manufacture their own reality) but Independents are leaving him in droves. The rest of us look at a situation where America has lost moral standing. An America, for example, THAT TORTURES, and has a leader who says to Pervez Musharraf (evidently with a straight face) that a) fighting terror is no reason to undermine your constitution, and 2) 'you can't be President and head of the military at the same time'.


If you want an example of the deluded 29 percenter, look no further than this guy:
"By almost all accounts, this Administration has done more to improve government effectiveness than any previous Administration, ever.' --Clay Johnson, Bush buddy turned deputy director of OMB who also chairs the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency, which oversees all government inspectors general."
Yes, by all means. Effective. That was the word we were looking for.

***** has some excerpts from a new book on W called The Fall of the House of Bush by Craig Unger. One addresses the story of Bush's conversion experience, and says that the entire "Billy Graham led George to Jesus" is a lie--constructed by his staff. He did have a conversion experience, but just not with Billy. Seems like an odd thing to lie about, but I guess connecting Bush to someone as respected as Billy Graham seemed like a good idea at the time.

More interesting to me was the battles and disagreements between W and his father. I have argued for years that lay at the heart of this little drama, and Unger has some additional info to support it. From appointing Rumsfeld (who Daddy hates) to barring HW's closest friends Scowcroft and Baker from access to the White House, to saying this:
"But now his son had not only reversed his policies, he had taken things a step further. 'The stakes are high ...' the younger Bush told reporters on April 21. 'And the Iraqi people are looking -- they're looking at America and saying, are we going to cut and run again?'"
Again? Nice little shot at Daddy. And we find out that Bush doesn't talk to his Dad about anything of substance. Yeah, it isn't as if Daddy had some experience with the job.



The GOP as party of Family values appears to be fading fast--replaced by the Party of Jack Bauer. As LA Times columnist Rosa Brooks suggests, Torture is the new abortion--but not in a good way.
These days, you can forget that old-style GOP rhetoric about "values," "human dignity" and the "culture of life." Because the GOP has a new litmus test for its nominees: Will you or will you not protect U.S. officials who order the torture of prisoners?

As Scott Horton reports in his Harper's Magazine blog: "Several days before his first meeting with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Michael Mukasey's Justice Department handlers arranged a private meeting for him with a number of 'movement conservatives.'... They pushed aggressively on the torture question. They wanted Mukasey to pledge that he would toe the administration's line" by not criticizing the administration's approval of waterboarding and similar interrogation techniques, and they wanted him to "protect those who authored the [interrogation] program" by issuing opinions that would keep those responsible for the program from facing criminal prosecution. "

And speaking of torture, Andrew Sullivan notes the Christians who enthusiastically endorse torture and some who even provide some Bible verses to justify such actions. I hope those represent the fringe, but given the tacit approval for torture from people like Dobson, Robertson, Land and others, I fear that Sully is correct when he says:
Christianism - as opposed to Christianity - is quite comfortable with torture, as long as it is wielded by a Master to protect his Servants, and as long as it is used for revenge against what Robertson calls Islamic "bloodlust." When you fuse Christianity with power, it isn't long before Christians start imposing the cross on others rather than taking it up for themselves. God is on their side, remember? And so they can do no wrong. You're either with them or against them, for torture or against America. Get it?


From the "funny if it weren't so damn depressingly true" category, Maureen Dowd has a suggested rewrite for Bush's second inaugural. Sounds more accurate than anything he has ever said.
Condi was very worried about Mushy suspending the Constitution, but Vice says Constitutions are for sissies. He doesn’t see anything wrong with Mushy’s press blackout. He thinks we can learn a few lessons from him.

Vice says if we had someone decisive like Mushy in Iraq instead of those floppy Iranian puppets we put in power, we’d be a lot better off.

All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will ignore your oppression and excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will not stand with you.


In the long run, there is justice without freedom, and there can be human rights once the human rights activists have been thrown in the pokey.


Mo MoDo said...

The Maureen Dowd column is even more effective if you see it side by side with the speech she is parodying. The hypocrisy level in what Dubya says and what he does is astounding by even his standards.

Tony said...

On Sully's remarks, it is interesting now watching the power brokers of the right fight over who is the most viable candidate: Robertson, Giuliani; Weyrich, Jones, Romney; Scarborough, Huckabee; and now Dobson is setting the stage to endorse Huck. They're dickering over who is the most influential Christian!

What happened to the last shall be first and the first shall be last?

Streak said...

I am reminded of the progressive response to the Moral Majority as "neither moral, nor a majority." Seems to apply even more to these people.