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Beginning of the End Game

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In his remarks to the press on Thursday President Bush looked very agitated and not the least bit comfortable.  When he spoke about Iraq War funding being tied to a withdrawal timetable for some reason he tripped out of the possessive for "harm's way," saying "harm way," and into the singular for "troops," saying only "troop."  You could see that he heard himself say it wrongly, but he moved on with his jaw tightening just a fraction more. Use of the singular syntax betrays the state of Bush's mind, such as it is.  It is the mind of a born-again person, as one of Keith Olbermann's experts noted during Countdown on Thursday.  Bush subconsciously moves to the singular when he knows in his heart that he can assert only his own belief.  Without the Congress he is reduced to the singular number and stands increasingly alone in government asserting what is plainly his true belief, but just as plainly a fantasy built up over these past four plus years on the uncertain foundation of his own malformed and often-bruised psyche.

In a way Bush is now getting the payback for refusing to do the work of consensus building, something that was within his grasp in the months after 9/11, but scorned as needlessly "political," especially considering that they intended to erradicate the Democrats once and for all, reduce the Judiciary and the Legislative branches to lackey status, and to establish the Pax American domestically from the White House.  The lord only knows what they planned for the succession, but perhaps it is best we not know.

Bush's back is to the wall.  The wall is Rove, and Rove is counseling the usual political belligerence, even as a subpoena begins its trip to his inbox.  We see this all as the men in Plato's cave saw the shadows cast against the opposing wall.  When you read about Condoleeza Rice flitting around the middle east accomplishing nothing and then read about Cheney following her to undo any messes she might make, the circus begins to take on new meaning, especially when Saudi King Abdullah calls Bush's occupation of Iraq illegal and unacceptable.  If we are down to a beleagered Bush and Rove and Fredo, we (that is Bush&Co) are in big trouble.

Alberto Gonzales was called a liar by his former chief of staff Thursday in the Senate.  Senator Shumer made sure that point was crystal clear.  Even Orin Hatch could not turn the avalanche of testimony into something palatable for the President.  His Attorney General is looking more and more like an incompetent boob, incapable of lying convincingly, and never really owning his job of running the Department Justice, leaving it instead to Rove and all the President's men (and Harriet Miers).

Fredo may be too stupid to resign without a smart kick in the ass from someone.  Bush does not want to do it, because that would mean Fredo might not keep his loyalty after being fired.  After all, the secret decoder ring in the Bush White House is the word Loyalty.  Getting fired is not really part of that whole thing.  You will read about this later on, but the old time leaders of the GOP are going to have dinner with Alberto soon, and tell him to resign.  If he refuses they will have him for lunch the next day!

You knew all this would happen when Bush was chosen by the Supreme Court.  You knew the kind of spoiled brat, born-again, middling intellect kind of guy George is and you just knew that it would come to this.  There is radar screen full of lethal icebergs surrounding the White House now, and surely it would be better to abandon ship now than to go down with the bridge half of this broken ship later.  We have advised here at ALP that impeachment of Cheney and Bush would be the better thing for our country.  In the shorter and midterm run I am certain of it.

But there may be a case for letting this whole thing run its power-drunken course, impale itself on a few major issues, and then sink.  The lessons would be good ones.  Maybe then we can have a few Constitutional amendments and new laws pass in the aftermath,

  • getting rid of the electoral college at last,
  • isolating the federal prosecutors from daily politics,
  • declaring signing statements to be mere comments, asides, if you will, without any legal standing whatsoever,
  • putting military hospitals and the Veteran's Administration under closer scrutiny,
  • guaranteeing safe and honest elections,
  • mandating all candidates use limited federally campaign funds and no others
  • outlawing the outsourcing of legislation to PACs and lobbyists
  • adding consensus civilians to the House and Senate Ethics Committees
    and many other things that Bush has taught us can be exploited for ill.

    If the Democrats see that Bush is going to be truculent even as his Presidency lies in ruins around him, if he is going to insist that troops in harm's way will the responsibility of the Congress, then let him try to fix this awful mess.  He cannot.  It is too far gone and far too many people abroad and even here at home will work to see that it doesn't happen.  The risk is the lives of perhaps two or three thousand more troops and a possible nuclear war against Iran.  Maybe these deaths and that war can be averted by members of the GOP in the Hill who want to be re-elected.  Maybe.


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    James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) a long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese (more...)

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