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By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers
For many months, I felt like the little silver ball in a pinball machine, getting banged around this way and that, about to fall into a dark hole. My subpoena, the U.S. Attorneys scandal, our political briefings at Justice and so on -- they almost had me cornered. But today I feel like the pinball machine, back in control of all the levers and balls.
I had just about run out of fresh ideas for how we can hang on through January 2009. And then it hit me: Who needs fresh ideas when our old tried-and-true formula can still be made to work? You want me, coppers? -- just try to come get me. It's you who will suffer; we're steaming ahead, get out of our way -- or else.
Since the Democrats don't have the balls to impeach us, or cut off funding for the Iraq War, that means they're still scared and therefore easily rollable. They're terrified of what we would do to them in the 2008 election ("unpatriotic," "soft on terrorism" ) if they challenged us frontaly like that.
Of course, we're going to do that to them anyway, but they don't see that, or don't want to see. What I can tell is that, even in the majority now, they're still frightened little puppydogs who can be counted on to back down when it really counts -- especially on the war and on expanding our domestic police powers.
Impeachment "off the table"? Thank you, Madame Speaker. You've just let us pass Go as often as we like, collect the $200 each time, and hang onto a permanent Get Out of Jail card. Thank God! Even just the existence of an impeachment panel -- since it's pretty certain the Senate would not convict -- would derail many of our initiatives, forcing us to devote most of our time and energy on playing defense, not our strongest suit.
THE DEMOCRATS CAVE AGAIN, HURRAH
Who would of thunk it last week? First the Dem senators rough up "Fredo" in their hearings, calling him unqualified and a liar, and then a few days later OK more domestic spying with Gonzales in ultimate charge. I love it!
And the Dems in the House likewise. They kicked and screamed about Gonzo being in charge and the civil liberties aspects of the bill, but enough of them went along anyway, pretending no major damage done since the bill will be re-examined in six months. Ha.
They wanted to get home to their states and districts for a month's vacation and some electioneering, and they figure they've innoculated themselves on the "patriotic" issue for the 2008 election. Boy, have they got another thing coming.
I DON'T HAVE TO SHOW YOU NO STINKIN' RULES
It's as true now as it was six years ago when we invented our approach: The Dems are clueless about how to stop us. They're used to playing by the rules, getting along to go along, compromising to get things done, democratic niceties, etc. But we don't operate that way. That way lies namby-pamby, always worrying about who not to offend. You think like that and your agenda gets bogged down in the reality-world.
It's much more effective to rev up the old rammer, hit 'em and hit 'em hard, grab what we can get, full-scale smashmouth politics, call their bluff, demonize them, cut 'em off at the knees, rub their noses in their powerlessness, find their weak points and go for the jugular, take their strong points and demolish them. You'd think after six years, the hapless Dems would have figured all this out by now, but they still stand there like deer in the middle of the road, mesmerized by the headlights of our power and ruthlessness. God, I love this job!
On the other hand, it's possible that the Dems have figured out our approach, but they're just total wusses. "Oh, please don't hit me again, Mr. Rove. Ouch! Oh, please don't hit me again. Ouch! I promise we'll be good little boys and girls. Ouch! We're in the majority now, so if you do that one more time, we'll, we'll, we'll...do something. Ouch! Oh, please don't hit me again." Etc. Etc. It's wackamole time!
Of course, our enemies are just itching to get me. Their proxy on the white horse, Patrick Fitzgerald, thought he might be able to put the political noose around my neck, but I played the Plame game with finesse, "corrected" my testimony and all he had left was poor little Scooter. The jury convicted him, but we took care to make sure Scooter would never feel tempted to talk to get out of prison. Of course, the Dems howled like banshees about Bush's commutation of his sentence but (surprise!) took no retribution and quickly moved on to the next topic.
The Dems thought they'd found some traction in the U.S. Attorneys scandal and our partisan briefings in the various government departments, but they couldn't pin us down in testimony with any actionable lies, so we got off there, too. Of course, I and the other key players won't testify -- "executive privilege" is a handy little escape-hatch, ain't it? -- and the Dems can issue all the "contempt of Congress" citations they want, but they won't get me, or us. Our hold on the U.S. Attorneys and on the courts -- and Bush's pardon power -- will make sure of that.
FREE TO ROAM UNTIL 2009
In short, we're good to go for another 16 months. And, if things somehow go spinning out of control and it looks like we may be facing political or criminal jeopardy or a landslide defeat of the GOP at the polls, some "imminent" act of terror might "require" us to declare martial law, postpone the election, and rule by decree for awhile. Let them suck on that one!
We'll wrap ourselves in the old red, white & blue and control the scenario where we are the only force standing between the American people and bloodthirsty terrorists. The confused, frightened populace, at least enough of them, will come to believe that we are protecting them and let us do what we want. Those who cause trouble and interfere with our rule will be dealt with; a few symbolic radicals thrown into prison would probably get the message across effectively. But who for starters? Michael Moore? Cindy Sheehan? Joe Wilson? If it was up to me (and guess what? it IS!), I'd opt for that trifecta as appetizers.
But I don't think we'll really have to go the marital-law route. Even though California is quickly moving in the direction of requiring verified paper ballots for the 2008 election, and a few other states may follow suit, our friends still control most of the computer-tabulating of the votes, regardless of how the ballots are cast. And we still can have tens and hundreds of thousands of likely Dem voters purged from the rolls in competitive districts.
With most of our fundamentalist base firmly in place, and with our various election maneuvers, and with fear still operative in the population, it's possible that we can manage to regain either the House or the Senate. And, if the Dems swallow the bait and choose Hillary as our opponent, we could conceivably hold onto the Presidency as well.
It's a long shot, diary, I grant you -- especially because a lot of name-Republicans have abandoned the GOP ship in the face of popular revulsion against our administration -- but the Boy Genius loves a challenge. I will bring enough GOP faithful back into the fold to eke out a victory for our side. The new Republican President will pardon all of us -- in order to "move the country" forward, away from tit-for-tat "partisan wrangling" -- and the people, so tired of all the bickering and sniping, will buy it.
THE FLY IN THE OINTMENT
The one thing that could go wrong is Iraq. Even though we can assert that the war on the ground is easing up in certain areas where we've front-loaded American troops, the political civil war is spinning out of control, and the reconstruction projects are a disaster, with hardly any water or electricity getting to the people. This is dangerous news for us.
We'll probably have to engineer a replacement for al-Maliki, who is to governance what a fish is to a bicycle. Petraeus, who is dependent on our favors, will give us six more months after September -- he'll report that there is some good "progress" on the ground and the new Iraqi government "deserves a chance" to succeed -- and we'll try to get six or eight more months after that to take us through the election campaign. Petraus then can join al-Maliki among the fall-guys when the war is lost. Joining the scapegoat list will be the Democrats, of course, who didn't "support the troops" and thus stabbed our war effort in the back. Certainly, we in the Bush Administration are not going to be caught anywhere near that humilating defeat.
Domestically, we'll consolidate our power base inside the government and take care of our enemies outside, if you get my drift. The Dems certainly have helped give us the enormous police powers that make our job such fun. We're always two steps ahead of them, and, surprisingly, they haven't put two and two together as to why we always know how to block their next move.
Gotta run. I'm rehearsing another rap number for a You Tube ad against the Democrats. It's called "Lie Back and Enjoy It, Bee-itch."#
Bernard Weiner, a playwright and poet, has peeked inside the diaries ( www.crisispapers.org/weinerpubs.htm#diaries ) of everyone from Cheney to Osama bin Laden, Rumsfeld to Kenneth Lay; a Ph.D. in government & international relations, he has taught at universities in California and Washington, worked as a writer/editor with the San Francisco Chronicle for nearly 20 years, and currently is co-editor of The Crisis Papers (www.crisispapers.org). To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org .
First published by The Crisis Papers and Democratic Underground 8/7/07.
Copyright 2007 by Bernard Weiner.
Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has taught at universities in California and Washington, worked for two decades as a writer-editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers (more...)