Eegads!…

Ok, it’s not surprising that Dubya keeps an extensive enemies list. Nope, not surprising at all. But it is disturbing.

Will the parallels with the Nixon Administration never end? I still maintain that Dubya fell off the wagon last year prior to the election, thus explaining his feeble performance in the first two debates with Kerry and his continued inability to speak without slurring or stumbling over his words, even in the most controlled and non-stressful environments, such as his little town-hall with the troops last month.

Today’s NY Times posits that the problems being focused on now, Karl Rove, Cheney’s obsession flaunting the Geneva Conventions, the Libby leak, etc. are all just symptoms of the problem. The problem is Bush himself. Cenk Uygur at the Huffington Post claims we’re all in a big heap o’ trouble because there’s 3 years and 2 months left to go on this Administration’s clock and all the gas has been let out of the bag and there’s no way Bush is smart enough to refill the bag.

You’ve got to wonder, as Tim Grieve over at Salon.com has, if Dubya’s approval rating really is down at around 35%, even if you give him a 5% benefit of the doubt on the sample, that means that 60% of folks in this country think he’s doing a dreadful job. Where were these people on election day last year? If they voted, they mostly voted for Dubya. Why is it they thought he was worth re-electing a year ago but today think he’s crap? To my reckoning not a heck of a lot has changed. We’re still hip-deep in mess in Iraq, Osama and Co. are still on the loose, the economy is basically in the same condition it was 12 months ago and Dubya still cannot pronounce the word nuclear correctly (but he’s still apparently certain that we needed to invade Iraq to stop them from lobbing some “nookyooler” bombs they didn’t ever have at us, while simultaneously having no real passion for dealing with North Korea and Iran who almost certainly do have their own WMDs and the will to use them).

Could it be as simple as a few hurricanes? Seems to me that’s really the only thing that’s substantially different 12 months hence. While news junkies and Presidential history buffs like me are all afroth over the Libby indictment and the potential that Rove or even Cheney might get taken down as well, my bet is the average American doesn’t give a shit. Scandals are part of the standard narrative of all Presidencies, especially those that run into overtime. Clinton had it, Reagan had it, Nixon had it, Johnson had it, Kennedy had it, Eisenhower even had it. As a nation we expect our President, or at least some of his underlings, to screw the pooch, ethically speaking, at least once or twice while in office. Big deal. Some people get fired or resign, a few go to jail, and the lawyers get richer.

On the other hand, when a natural disaster hits we expect our government to respond. We expect them to pull out all the stops and show us what we’re all paying for. We expect them to justify the patience and deference we give to our elected officials the rest of the time while they’re lining their pockets, feeding pork to their constiuents at home and screwing an intern here and there. Ultimately we don’t care much what the government does most of the time because, frankly, most of it is too wonkish and difficult to follow and if you’ve been alive for more than a couple of decades you’ve noticed that most of what they do makes fuck-all of a difference from one year to the next. We tolerate their bullshit because we need them when a big ol’ storm flattens a city. We need them to send in the troops, the relief workers and the big buckets of cash to make it all better. This is what we pay them for because it’s one of the few things that we cannot do for ourselves and cannot rely on private entities to take care of either.

Likewise warfare. Regardless of whether you agree of disagree with the choice to go to war in Iraq no one can look at that trainwreck over there and say, “wow, we’re really doing a good job.” This is a big difference between this George Bush and his father. No matter how much you loathed George the First and his policies, no matter how opposed to the first Gulf War you were, when all was said and done you had to look at the execution of that war and say, “holy crap, now that’s what I call a war.” Bush the First knew what he was getting into, he considered his options and he executed a plan. He also knew he couldn’t do it properly without help, so he built a coalition of partners that, again regardless of your opinion of the war itself, has to go down in history as one of the most successful marshallings of allies in the history of the planet.

So I think some of the distaste in the mouths of folks who re-elected this dumbass in-chief to office last year has to be due to things in Iraq not looking a whole lot different from the way they looked a year ago. This along with the constant warnings from the Pentagon that our troops are likely stuck there for at least 10 years has really soured the milk.

The real question then is, now what? Regardless of how incompetant and feeble the Administration is, we’re stuck with them for another 3 years and 2 months. What can possibly be done to mitigate any further damage both domestically and abroad? Lots of Democrat boosters will say we need to turn control over the House and Senate back over to them in 2006. I call massive bullshit on that claim.

At the moment the Democrats are beyond pathetic as a Party. They have no policy vision and no clear idea of what they’d do with the reins if you did hand them over to them. Their only coherent statement is, “we’re not Republicans.” I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough.

That having been said, I do think we need to give our representatives in Congress the bum’s rush. My view is that a campaign must begin to convince the voters to toss out the incumbants, regardless of which party affiliation they have. The folks in the legislature are either unethical crooks, liars or morons. Send ’em all packing and see if a new crop can get a fresh start.

Or maybe a massive tax revolt – we won’t pay you until you get your shit together. They can’t throw us all in jail.

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