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Which Came First—the Dumbing Down of the Presidency or the Dumbing Down of the Electorate?

By Missy Comley Beattie  Posted by Rob Kall (about the submitter)     Permalink
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The oaf of Office. That 's what we have in the United States, where so many of us are embarrassed by our Commander in Chief 's inability to articulate thoughts or the even scarier concept that he, perhaps, has no deep thoughts to offer. World leaders have called him an idiot and a moron. Still, he has his supporters and you have to wonder if they are essentially bubble-dwellers whose lives haven 't been affected by his war and his policies or if they are, well, in simple terms, just simply simple.

Maybe, just maybe, at some other time in our history (but probably not), I could have laughed at Bush 's ineptitude. I watched the news the day he attempted to deliver the old saw, "Fool me once, shame on ...uh, uh, uh, uh --well, they won 't fool us again. " Remember, Michael Moore used the footage in Fahrenheit 9/11. I 've heard the President during a live presentation make mistakes that made me wince and, then, later when his words were reported by our not unbiased, television, entertainment/news anchors, the editors tidied up all the misspeak.

Too bad they can 't tidy up Bush 's egregious actions. Nobody can. Certainly, not Cheney and Rice, who, along with the rest of the conspirators, convinced our representatives and senators that Saddam posed an imminent threat. Bush is proud to say we "won 't cut and run, " but when it came to presenting evidence to congress and the public that WMD were being stockpiled in Iraq, George and Dick used "cut and paste " to present evidence for the invasion.

Furthermore, there 's now some chatter about withdrawing since the war has become overwhelmingly unpopular with the American public. Bush has always maintained he doesn 't pay attention to polls and reiterates his "stay the course. " Nevertheless, those puppeteers who orchestrate his moves are looking at the graffiti on the walls.

But let 's talk about Rice and Vice, two who definitely have a silver-tongued command of the English language. The very brusque Cheney defends with a snarl while the arrogant Rice squares her shoulders and says, "How dare you impugn my character " when questioned about all those misrepresentations that have resulted in the deaths of more than 2,100 troops. It 's their use of "the best defense is a good offense " that makes them a serious threat to our country 's credibility in more areas than mere diplomacy. The bully pulpit sermonizing furthers the Administration 's "might makes right " policy.

Finally and mercifully, it 's losing the congregation.

Now, John Warner is suggesting that George W. hold fireside chats to reconnect with the people. It 's too late, John --not only because the majority of Americans think we never should have gone to war in Iraq, but also because a large percentage of us don 't trust Bush to tell the truth about anything. Probably not even what he ate for his Thanksgiving feast in Crawford.

So, let 's talk turkey. Why has the President lost the credibility that he had when promising to restore dignity to the highest office in the land?

For one, he 's paid our military personnel so poorly while spending their lives so frivolously. War MUST be the decision made after every other effort has failed. This is the caveat --that we use the lives of our soldiers only to protect our country 's security. The invasion of Iraq did not meet this qualification. We know that now. Bush Inc. knew it then.

Tragically, we are trapped for three more years with a man whose limited knowledge diminishes his willingness to examine his character and admit his mistakes to those he represents. Some say many of the President 's pals realize we 've lost the war and are suggesting that he declare victory and bring the troops home after the December election in Iraq. They understand that our occupation is energizing the insurgency. Bush knows it too, but it 's more important for him to save face than to save lives.

Which came first --the dumbing down of the Presidency or the dumbing down of the United States electorate? Throw in the main-stream media, owned by corporations that profit when someone like Bush is steering the ship, and there 's a truly terrifying picture presented to the world. In fact, eight years of George Bush makes me think of the William Butler Yeats ' poem, The Second Coming. Especially the lines:

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

The time for good intentions is long overdue. Those of us who strive for peace must fill ourselves with passionate intensity and work to elect only those candidates who would reject empire building and NEVER be profligate with our soldiers ' lives. That means a lot of our congressmen and women will be slouching towards the private sector.

Missy Comley Beattie lives in NY city and recently lost a nephew to the Iraq war.

 

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