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Like Spinning Plates
April 16, 2004
By Jack Frost

"Anyone who makes those kind of accusations should have some proof to back 'em up." - George W. Bush responding to a reporter who'd asked about John Kerry's recent criticisms of the Administration

"He must have a specially fitted uniform to hide balls of that magnitude." - Bill Hicks

Lately it seems that every time we hear about a scandal in the Bush Administration, we've barely had an opportunity to inspect, much less digest, the one before it. The Administration passes every one off blithely, usually maintaining a condescending 'deny everything' stance, liberally invoking the 'playing politics in an election year' defense when questions and criticisms become sticky. Character assassination has become par for the course in attempting to undermine the validity of any accusation.

It's been amusing to watch White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan sweat his way through press briefings, lamely trying to stick to the talking points while very obviously dodging direct and important questions. Whether or not he knows this, he really gives the impression that he's hiding something. Colin Powell never gives a press briefing, instead leaving it to the arrogant Richard Boucher to do Powell's deflecting and condescending for him. Rumsfeld's briefings have dropped off to almost none and it's clear he's uncomfortable having what he said prior to the war quoted and thrown in his face. And he never goes out to the podium alone, usually relying on generals Dick Meyers or Peter Pace to hold his hand and to cover for him after he throws a tantrum.

And what a juggling act that must be, trying to deflect criticisms and pointed inquiries into a growing list of known BushCrimes, including but not limited to:

  • Being installed by a compliant Supreme Court after a shady election in 2000;

  • Cheney's refusal to release the names of the members of his 'Energy Task Force' and what they discussed

  • The financial collapse of Enron and that company's status as a top contributor to the Bush campaign

  • The fact that the Administration had been warned about 9/11 and could've possibly prevented it (not to mention several other strange things that occurred that day)

  • The Administration's subsequent stonewalling and underfunding of the commission to investigate 9/11

  • The speed at which Osama bin Laden evaporated as an issue after he 'slipped through our fingers' in Afghanistan while the volume was turned up on Saddam Hussein

  • Bush Family business dealings with the Saudi Royal Family, the bin Ladens and Saddam Hussein

  • The half-truths, exaggerations and outright lies told to Congress and the American people that have mired us in an expensive invasion and occupation of Iraq, a country that has since turned out to have been a threat to no one (and so by extension, all deaths that have occurred as a result are the indirect fault of the Administration)

  • The corporations that have current and former ties to several Bush Administration officials that have been making hefty profits from the war, as well as overcharging for services rendered (or not rendered, as certain cases may be)

  • The Geneva-convention-shirking, no-outside-contact, indefinite incarceration of 'enemy combatants' in Guantanamo Bay

  • The Administration's obsession with Iraq before 9/11 and manipulations to make Iraq a priority afterward, as documented by former Bush Administration officials such as Karen Kwiatkowski, Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke, among others

  • The outing of Joe Wilson's wife (who was an undercover CIA agent working to impede the proliferation of WMD, no less) in retaliation for his debunking the Administration's claims that Saddam had nuclear capability

  • Passing a Medicare bill touted as benefiting seniors, but which actually favors HMOs and pharmaceutical corporations, after strongarming several Republican members to change their vote and, intimidating an Administration official to prevent him from revealing the bill's true cost

  • The signed-by-the-Preznit release of a color-photo laden, FY2005 Budget, which has been described by some members on both sides of the aisle as the most fraudulent document released since the FY2004 Budget. A budget that doesn't even factor in the mounting costs of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, for starters - not to mention the misleading statements made about the state of the economy

  • Redacting 28 pages from a recent 9/11 Commission report that could possibly illustrate the links between the Bush Administration and the Saudi Royal Family (after all it was Saudis, not Iraqis that pulled off 9/11) and severe limitations placed on how long key Administration officials will spend in front of the 9/11 Commission

  • The Administration's involvement with the coup against democratically elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, and the aid it gave to his being ousted

The Administration is perpetrating so many things at so many levels, all at one time, what concerned politician or citizen could possibly keep up with it all? Could that be part of the plan? To create so much static from so many nefarious acts that not one can be focused on long enough to hold anyone's interest, nor hold anyone accountable? Is it being done to overwhelm the mind so it recoils from the idea that they're really doing these things?

Whatever the answer, one thing is clear: the Bush Administration is riding on suspension of disbelief.

How many more obscenity scandals, high-profile murders, snipers or bigoted Constitutional amendment suggestions are we going to have to suffer through before the media has to actually give real attention to these issues? And if it finally does, will we vote out the current Administration like they did in Spain, or will we sit and watch another four years of Bush like the spectators we've been trained to be?

How much longer are we going to endure the spinning plates of this juggling act?

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