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All hail the king by Sidney Blumenthal

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 08:58 PM
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All hail the king by Sidney Blumenthal
All hail the king
Under Bush, loyalty has reigned supreme. But as his presidency unravels, his obligation to his faithful servants -- from Gonzales to Wolfowitz -- has become perilously relative.

By Sidney Blumenthal

May 17, 2007 | Loyalty has always been the alpha and omega of George W. Bush's presidency. But all the forms of allegiance that have bound together his administration -- political, ideological and personal -- are being shredded, leaving only blind loyalty. Bush has surrounded himself with loyalists, who fervently pledged their fealty, enforced the loyalty of others and sought to make loyal converts. Now Bush's long downfall is descending into a series of revenge tragedies in which the characters are helpless against the furies of their misplaced loyalties and betrayals. The stage is being strewn with hacked corpses -- on Monday, former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty; imminently, World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz; tomorrow, whoever remains trapped on the ghost ship of state. As the individual tragedies unfold, Bush's royal robes unravel.

Loyalty to Bush is the ultimate royal principle of the imperial presidency. The ruler must be unquestioned and those around him unquestioning. Allegiance to Bush's idea of himself as the "war president," "the decider" and "the commander guy" is paramount. But the notion that the ruler is loyal to those loyal to him is no longer necessarily true. While he must be beheld as the absolute incarnation of kingly virtue, his sense of obligation to those paying homage has become perilously relative.

Those who feel compelled to tell the truth rather than stick to the cover story are cast in the dust, like McNulty. Those Bush defends as an extension of his authority but who become too expensive become expendable, like Wolfowitz. And those who exist solely as Bush's creations and whose survival is crucial to his own are shielded, like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.


The root of "loyal" is loi, or French for law. Under Bush, loyalty has become a law unto itself. Bush is loyal to those who break the rules but adhere to him. Avowing loyalty for the administration becomes a substitute for making difficult ethical and moral decisions. Yet the less Bush and his loyalists are willing to engage the harsh realities they have created, the more comfort they draw from loyalty. Once loyalty is no longer reciprocal, as in the McNulty case, the leader becomes more isolated as those beneath him become increasingly insecure and paranoid about their status. Demonstrations of loyalty cease being effective as displays of power and greatness. Instead, they are seen as stonewalling or sandbagging, more like the levees of New Orleans that will be inevitably breached. Loyalty to Bush has become loyalty to his self-image and, in the case of Gonzales, loyalty above the law, betraying the meaning of the word itself.

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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:09 PM
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1. So Gonzalez must be prosecuted for "High Crimes" he wanted
to circumvent the law...well it's time for the law to be his worst enemy.....He needs to see how the courts really work....when he is the suspect...
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:17 PM
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2. Excellent piece
"On Tuesday, James Comey, the former deputy attorney general, disclosed a story that might have been written by Mario Puzo..."

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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 10:05 PM
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4. As I watched the clip of Comey...
I was gradually chilled to the bone. That was stuff out of Tom Clancy.
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lyonn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:44 PM
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3. And Scooter is gone, and Rummy and John Bolton
All left under unfavorable conditions. Sure looks like a house of cards, oh yeah!

Condi and Cheney are running around the world still telling everyone the sky is falling. Also, why did george need a war czar when he has one as brilliant as Condi to help with the political end of this war issue. I'm sure All the Generals in Iraq could give the same info as the Czar??
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