Sunday, November 27, 2005
"Who knows just when it began to unravel? One thinks the drowning of New Orleans may have been the tipping point: "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job!" Then Tom Delay got booked. Scooter Lewis got indicted. Now Patrick Fitzgerald wants a second Grand Jury, and everybody I know thinks he's hot on Dick Cheney's trail. Yanking the carpet out from under poor old Harriet Miers to appease the religious nuts didn't help, either. Whenever it began, it's proceeding ever-downward, ever faster. This bunch is disgraced, done, their will denied. Oh, there'll be some bloodshed before it's over, likely some pardons, some deals, further insults to the Constitution and decency. But read the history books a generation from now. Nixon and Haldeman and Erlichman and John Mitchell will look like model government set against the record of this bunch.
But there's really nothing new here. The President is not more ignorant or selfish, nor Dick Cheney more evil today than when they first stood for election. There has been no metamorphosis, no peeling away of some veneer that had hidden the heart of darkness. Most Americans favored the tax cuts, supported the war, no matter its damage to Iraqi society or however many tens of thousands of civilians we'd bomb and burn en route to hustling Saddam out of his hole and into a cell. (The only question remaining now is whether we'll have to kill Saddam before he tells everything he knows about Poppy Bush and Rumsfeld at trial.)
Hell, the country pretty much took the whole Abu Ghraib torture business without losing faith. "America doesn't torture," said our president. OK. Good. Only Muslims, Communists, Terrorists and Enemies of Freedom torture; we know that. The Geneva Conventions are "quaint", maybe "obsolete", said Attorney General Gonzales. Dick Cheney has dedicated himself to defeating any law that would curtail our ability to torture, if we did, which we don't.
I don't know when faith faltered for a majority of Americans, when it no longer seemed reasonable to trust or believe or finally to like or respect George Bush. But it's happened, it's irreversible. He's become a joke. A dangerous joke, to be sure, but to a typical citizen who pays any attention to current events or who has a conscience and an average allotment of skepticism, President Bush is now no more fit to run our country than the privileged frat boy on spring break he's always been."