on the Concept
I didn't think that the Bushies could get much dumber, but
Condoleezza Rice's testimony last Thursday, and its Saturday
aftermath, have proved that these people are simply orbiting
way farther out than beyond the planet Clueless.
These are the adults? These are the people who were to bring
responsibility back to Washington, DC? Not only does the best
and the brightest of the White House (and does that moniker
ever reflect on Bush) blurt out the name of a classified memo
refuting everything she's said about 9/11 heretofore, but
the daily briefing memo is released on Saturday night, only
to name the plotters, the means by which they intend to attack
U.S. interests and which cities are in their targets.
The White House has become famous for releasing news on
weekend nights which distracts from its main goal - re-election
of Cheney, er, Bush. They outdid themselves this time, timing
the release of the memo for fifteen minutes before the nightly
news on a Saturday before Easter Sunday, when both Bush and
Blair are out of town on vacation, and then shooting a copy
to Fox News a bit before they got it to everyone else. Reagan
had jellybeans on his desk. These guys must have jars of Prozac
and gel-coated pond scum on theirs.
Now, who's unclear on the concept? Not the White House.
They have dissembling by press conference, prevarication through
misinformation, subterfuge by photo-op and purely partisan
lying down to a fine science. They think that works - and
it does, on the part of the population that simply won't think
The Bush administration counts on both the press and their
ardent supporters to spread the word for them. They have lots
of help from a menagerie of think tanks, PR agencies and sympathetic
When the hated liberals complain of the destruction of the
environment, the right haw-haws about the idiocy of protecting
the spotted owl and laughs. When the analysts say that 43%
of Bush's 2001 tax cut will go to the top 1% of the population
and progressives decry this inequity, the minions of the right
shout, "Don't vote for Kerry - he'll raise your taxes by $800
billion." When the left marches in the streets against an
unjustified and thoroughly stupid war, the media declaims
them as "unpatriotic."
When the evidence is near-overwhelming that the Bushies dropped
the ball on the worst domestic terrorist attack in the nation's
history, the right dredges up everyone they can to sit in
front of the television cameras and repeat the White House
line. When the administration outs a CIA agent to strike back
at a former ambassador perceived as disloyal to their goal
(re-electing Cheney, er, Bush), the White House political
affairs officer, Karl Rove, says, "his wife is fair game."
As if it were a game.
And a certain portion of the public listens to this and
thinks of it all as right and proper. Who's unclear on the
Not since the days of Tailgunner Joe McCarthy has the epithet,
"communist," been bandied about so freely. Not since the right
wing has gotten their butts in the saddle of the media hobby
horse has the term, "liberal," been conceived of as an epithet.
Even the very notion of conservatism has been perverted by
years of Republican pandering to the worst in society.
Not since the days of Nixon has a group of people so consistently
lied to obtain the goal of re-election, so twisted the government
to its own ends, in this case, to further the aims of wealthy
contributors of all stripes. And roughly half the people,
if the polls are any indication, still think Bush is doing
a good job. They are demonstrably hurt by his practices -
they drink the water in this country, they breathe the air,
they often go without affordable health care, they live in
communities where young men and women who have left for Iraq,
intact, have not come back that way, where gas prices are
going up and their salaries are not, where their jobs have
dissolved or departed for shores known and unknown, where
they, often unbeknownst to them, support organizations which
have only the interests of the rich at heart.
Unclear on the concept? Yes. But they are, often, because
they've been deluded by the wealthy right's onslaught on common
sense, decency and the country's ingrained sense of fair play.
The country is divided, now, because this administration and
its right-wing funders have understood a basic principle of
politics - divide and conquer. Shout that dissent is unpatriotic,
environmentalism is stupid and frivolous, that failure to
support Bush in time of war is traitorous, and the timid and
the unthinking will agree. But, it's not entirely their fault.
They may be sheep, but, their shepherd is the wolf.
The Bush administration had a choice. They could have led
this nation honestly and honorably. They did not. They chose
to use government for private interests - their own and those
of their wealthy friends and constituents. Condoleezza Rice
proved that this past Thursday. BBC cameras were in the hearing
room on Thursday, and when they zoomed in, her hands shook
continuously as she testified. Her voice quavered, possibly
in anger, possibly with guilt. Nevertheless, she seems to
be not a particularly accomplished liar.
Condoleeza Rice, perhaps more definitively than any other
official appearing publicly in the last three years, had the
opportunity to defend the Constitution and the welfare of
all the people of the country whom she was obligated by oath
to serve, by telling the unreserved truth. She chose not to.
She chose instead to defend the people who have brought us
to this sad state - her bosses. Who's unclear on the concept?
punpirate is a New Mexico writer who believes it's one
thing to have your head up your ass, but that it's quite another
to admire the view.