Kingness of Mad George
By B. Rehak
The Founding Fathers wanted this democracy to last forever
because they understood that mere empires come and go.
To that end, they established an intricate system of historic
checks and balances to make sure the sort of tyranny they'd
just fought to defeat never rose up again. They gave us the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights to guarantee our freedoms.
Americans would never have a king, but instead a popularly
elected President, and they'd always be free to openly express
their opinions, especially about the government and its policies.
The people would be the master of their own rulers. It was
a unique experiment in liberty which evolved and endured for
more than two centuries, until one day in November 2000.
The Founding Fathers never figured on the Imperial Presidency
of George W. Bush, and his court-appointed "Government of
the neo-cons, by the neo-cons, and for the neo-cons." A self-righteous
minority of ruthless profiteering ideological extremists was
never supposed to dominate all three independent branches
of the American Democracy. It's in your old high school civics
book. Look it up.
While we were all busy with the breathless search for the
elusive Iraqi A-Bomb, Mr. Bush and his handlers have apparently
secretly passed the 'Freedom of Disinformation Act,' under
which the Republican-controlled Senate and House have finally
issued their long-delayed and heavily rewritten version of
the '9/11 Report,' laying blame on everyone but the
White House. Imagine that.
Imagine also that 28 key pages in that report related to
Saudi Arabia were blacked out. Mr. Bush's people apparently
thought that redaction was the better part of valor, considering
that the bin Laden and Bush families and the Saudi Oil Princes
all go back so profitably for decades. The Presidency is temporary,
but big oil money is eternal.
Do you like political intrigue?
Take a moment now to envision the Republican response if
a Democratic president who allowed 3,000 Americans
to be murdered and never caught the man behind the plot after
promising to do so, issued a softball report carefully produced
by a totally Democratic Congress with key clues to the actual
people responsible missing - especially those that might impact
his own long-time business and political associates.
Are you envisioning?
Now envision that back on September 12, 2001, the day after
the mass murder, that Democratic president had reportedly
allowed a private jet to collect the closest relatives of
the key man behind the murderous attack so they could leave
the country ahead of any untidy FBI questioning. Imagine that
same Democratic president had then tried to block an outside
independent probe of the worst U.S. terrorist event in history
demanded by the attack's own victims and their families.
Are you following this so far?
Now imagine that to divert attention from his botched domestic
economy and his failed quest for the killer of those 3,000
Americans that this Democratic president instead invented
reasons to attack a whole different country and got us stuck
in a pointless holy war there costing a billion dollars and
seven dead U.S. soldiers a week.
Got the picture? Can you see it?
It's a good thing the Republicans were totally in charge
when all this actually happened. If it had been Mr. Clinton,
we'd have never heard the end of it.
Can you imagine the bleating on neo-fascist Talk Radio across
the land? Can you see Rush Limbaugh's head explode? Ann Coulter
would go postal. Can you hear the calls for impeachment? Fox
News would brand it treason, with good purpose. Matt Drudge
would be up all night dishing online dirt about the idiot
Democrats who'd foolishly allowed 9/11 to happen, covered
it up, and then created Saigon on the Tigress. Bill O'Reilly
would have kittens, and cable news ratings would go through
Actually, few folks seem upset. Can you really imagine the
American people are so stupid they'd buy all this without
question? The Republicans are banking on it.
The regents behind King George the 43rd realize that voter
apathy and ignorance have become increasingly critical to
their neo-conservative re-election game plan. A majority of
Americans polled even mistakenly think that Saddam Hussein
was behind the 9/11 attacks. The Bush folks must figure that
as national policy, stupidity works. That includes the man
currently serving as President.
It's not just that the Emperor Bush has no clothes, he has
If we leave it to the enfeebled Democratic Party, Mr. Bush
and his handlers will probably get away with all this, but
thankfully there are good people in Washington ready to act.
The Republican monolith, which had seemed invincible, is starting
to show some cracks. The Cheney-Halliburton Administration
is quietly running scared. This is due to a growing revolt
in the single constituency that the Bush folks can't dominate:
their own Republican Congress. The neo-cons apparently thought
they'd bought it, but it appears now they only leased it.
On November 2, 2004 (66 weeks from today) all the members
of the U.S. House and one third of the U.S. Senate have to
stand for re-election, and they represent the one group that
will dump Mr. Bush if they sense he's spoiling their chances
to keep power. As a national Republican candidate in 2000,
Mr. Bush had very short coat tails.
If you seek political change in this country, here's the
key. The Republicans are the only people who can effectively
defeat George W. Bush. The Nixon years ended with a coverup,
but the Bush years began with one, and it apparently continues
to this day.
When this is all sorted out, the original crimes will doubtless
pale in comparison to the misdeeds of those trying now to
rewrite reality into a winning patriotic saga. When it starts
to go bad all the 'good' Republicans will book. The smart
money never goes down with the ship. Never.
Consider the following. Over the weekend, two key conservatives
went public as they calculated the diminishing electoral potential
of the Cheney-Halliburton Administration.
Richard Shelby, Alabama's senior U.S. Senator and Chairman
of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, is a top Republican
investigating intelligence failures before 9/11. He's openly
criticized White House pressure to censor the 9/11 report.
Mr. Shelby said he'll dig into the financial connections between
governments and terrorist groups. You can reach him at http://shelby.senate.gov/.
Even more telling were the words of Senate Foreign Relations
Committee Chairman Richard Lugar of Indiana on NPR Saturday,
who said the White House knows there's a big price tag for
rebuilding Iraq, "But they do not wish to discuss that." Lugar
supported the war but now admits U.S. post-war planning was
inadequate, and he estimates the rebuilding alone might cost
$30 billion. You can reach Senator Lugar at http://lugar.senate.gov/.
These two men are hardly lefties, and their public shift
away from Mr. Bush is something of a sea change in conservative
willingness to distance the President's actions from those
of other Republicans. Interesting.
Meanwhile, the "father" of the stalled Iraq war, U.S. Deputy
Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was all over TV on Sunday
defending the invasion as a prime example of how the Administration
must be prepared to act on "murky intelligence" in the war
on terrorism. Odd that many inside the CIA reportedly think
the Bush people are a lot more "murky" than the
Intel, which was apparently extensively "refined"
until it "made" the case for war. More than 200
American kids have thus far died for "murky."
Also, there's one other place the dreaded Iraqi WMD is missing:
from Mr. Bush's new speeches.
Rising to Mr. Bush's defense is Ed Gillespie, the new GOP
chairman who reportedly told the 165-member Republican National
Committee that the Democrats are feeding Americans "a steady
diet of protest and pessimism" in absence of real solutions
to the economy and Iraq, according to Reuters. If you're the
parents of a U.S. soldier who was killed in Iraq or one of
the over 3,000,000 people who've lost their jobs in the 919
days of the Bush reign, perhaps you are getting a little pessimistic.
This brings us to Admiral John M. Poindexter, Ronald Reagan's
former national security adviser, a principal in the Iran-Contra
Affair, and the resurrected head of something called the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is reportedly
setting up an online futures trading market, where speculators
could bet on forecasting terrorist attacks, assassinations
and coups. In response to growing howls of laughter, the White
House has since apparently altered the Web site at http://www.policyanalysismarket.org.
Mr. Bush sought $8 million through 2005 for the project. This
is a real story, although we must admit that the Admiral's
adventures always sound like something written for 'The Onion,'
or 'The Daily Show.' [Editor's note: the Pentagon announced
yesterday that the plan for a "terror futures market"
has now been scrapped.]
Finally, there are press reports today that indicate Al-Qaeda,
those same great folks who helped bring you 9/11, and whom
Mr. Bush never quite found time to actually defeat on his
way to Iraq, are openly planning more high flying mischief.
Maybe they have the WMD.
Let's face it. It's becoming very clear that Dick Cheney
and his ilk are really running the show. To be charitable,
Mr. Bush, were he the son of anyone other than George Herbert
Walker Bush of Midland, Texas, who got him a legacy admission
to Yale, would be lucky to rise to middle management at Wal-Mart.
As more of the blood of our brave, believing, faithful kids
irrigates the fields of Babylon, a lot of folks are starting
to ask some very untidy questions. We've sent our best young
people to fight and die for oil in Iraq, while many of their
young families at home subsisted on food stamps, and got screwed
out of a child income tax credit that Mr. Bush gladly gave
We now have the best Government corporate money can buy,
and that's the problem. The people behind Enron and WorldCom
and Halliburton are encamped along the Potomac and fully in
charge. It's good the folks who fought for and set up this
country are all dead. An hour watching America today as reported
by Fox News would kill them anyhow.
If any of this bothers you, the solution is available 66
weeks from now. Get organized. The people who don't care and
never bother to vote must be motivated to go to the polls.
If we give the neo-cons four more years, the Canadians will
have to fortify the border to keep all of the impoverished
This is no longer about liberal or conservative, or party,
or ideology. If the American people want a country to come
home to, they'd better take it back for themselves.
Our favorite observer of the Bush Imperial Presidency is
the great Roman Historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus (55-120
AD). He had an eye for this sort of thing and two thousand
years hasn't dimmed his vision. He said, "In stirring up tumult
and strife, the worst men can do the most, but peace and quiet
cannot be established without virtue."
If you think the search for the WMD is tough, try finding
virtue in any of this.
B. Rehak is a writer in California, and can be reached