By Trevor Seigler
Every week seems to promise something new in the story of
how George W. Bush is screwing America and leading her down
a dangerous path of pre-emptive wars based on shady intelligence,
while also finding time to send a windy chill through the
land over any dissenters to his "Everything's alright on my
Civil liberties are up for grabs, the state of the economy
is more unstable than Charles Manson, and there are more lies
coming out of the White House than during the Jayson Blair-era
New York Times. So why don't Americans care?
It's shocking to think that, with all the Gang That Couldn't
Shoot Straight has done since taking office in '01, voters
this year will most likely base their vote on the simple prospect
of how they're doing financially. It's not shocking that people
would do that, so much as they would do so while ignoring
the Teflon President's record of shady Halliburton deals and
the thousands of innocent American soldiers that are coming
back in coffins from Iraq.
What can be done? The fact is (and let's not kid ourselves
here) there is no such thing as an organized "liberal media".
The Right has been beating that horse for well over a decade
now as far as I can remember (any apologies if the actual
record is much longer), while ignoring the fact that big-time
corporations are in the news business. Big-time conservative
corporations, who run such empires as Fox News, The Weekly
Standard, National Review, and various other garbage-digging
Right now, if you're conservative and "politically incorrect,"
you have a free ticket to ride the media rocket to fame and
fortune. Just play the liberal card every chance you get,
and you too can join the ranks of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh,
and countless other bottom-feeders.
With the slant in the media swinging back to a sentiment
best described as "Nixonian" in terms of how they view the
opposition, the news media has further facilitated Dubya's
invinvibility. No amount of exposes at this late a date will
redeem the free pass that they (as well as a lot of Americans)
gave the current administration after 9/11.
And the abuse that is heaped on those who do speak out of
turn is tantamount to a betrayal of everything our Founding
Fathers aspired to. If you talk bad 'bout Bush, be prepared
to have everyone from your grade-school prinicipal to your
in-laws, law partners, one-night stands, and babysitters come
forward and demonize you all for a quick minute of fame. Who
needs reality shows? If you ever farted in the presence of
Michael Moore and he cussed you out about it, expect Bill
O'Reilly to ask you on his show.
But the media is only to blame in part, and a very small
part at that. It is the attitude of the Bush Administration,
the "how dare you question us" that was best exemplified in
departed Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, that has caused the
most criminal presidency since, well, Nixon, to get off scot-free.
If you listen to Dubya and his henchmen long enough, you
get a sense that they have an almost manical distance from
the reality of the times. They don't allow the fact that they
could be wrong (or violating the law) to enter their thinking.
If it is in line with their preconcieved notions, nothing
can sway them.
For better or worse (much, much worse), this attitude has
characterized the way the criminals in charge of the jail
have behaved, and the public latches onto this. They mistake
Bush's stubborness for toughness when it's really just meanness.
Bush's inability to see the world in terms of al Qaeda and
not Iraq (the post-Cold War instead of Cold War terms) is
misrepresented as a forceful decision to "go after terrorists".
His willingness to lead our troops into a war that has no
merit, and let them die daily in the stalemate that follows,
is "dynamic leadership after the malaise of Clinton."
It's all a matter of the public's perception, but recently
that perception has been tested by the ongoing slaughter of
US servicemen while nothing is done to get Bin Laden. Bush
might be vulnerable, but he's not going down without a fight.
No one could pin blame for the failure to stop 9/11 on him,
and no one could do the same with the information that said
Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
But he's running scared, he's lashing out, and his true nature
will reveal itself if those of us who believe him to be scum
continue to expose his lies. The madness of King George can't
be allowed to continue, future generations depend on how America
votes this year. The Teflon President shouldn't be allowed
to go into history spotless.
Trevor Seigler is an independent-minded Democrat who has
been published online at the Neurotic Eclectic, Nothing Sacred,
and Yankee Pot Roast.