33 Months

Bush Administration

Bush has 33 more months as President. That’s a long time. Consider that Bush had been president for only 26 months when we invaded Iraq. A lot can happen between now and January 2009.

The Sean Wilentz Rolling Stone article got me thinking. How are we going to get through the next 33 months?

Greg Mitchell writes in Editor & Publisher that we’re in a crisis almost without equal:

No matter which party they generally favor or political stripes they wear, newspapers and other media outlets need to confront the fact that America faces a crisis almost without equal in recent decades.

Our president, in a time of war, terrorism and nuclear intrigue, will likely remain in office for another 33 months, with crushingly low approval ratings that are still inching lower. Facing a similar problem, voters had a chance to quickly toss Jimmy Carter out of office, and did so. With a similar lengthy period left on his White House lease, Richard Nixon quit, facing impeachment. Neither outcome is at hand this time.

The alarm should be bi-partisan. Many Republicans fear their president’s image as a bumbler will hurt their party for years. The rest may fret about the almost certain paralysis within the administration, or a reversal of certain favorite policies. A Gallup poll this week revealed that 44% of Republicans want some or all troops brought home from Iraq. Do they really believe that their president will do that any time soon, if ever?

Democrats, meanwhile, cross their fingers that Bush doesn’t do something really stupid — i.e. nuke Iran — while they try to win control of at least one house in Congress by doing nothing yet somehow earning (they hope) the anti-Bush vote.

Meanwhile, a severely weakened president retains, and has shown he is willing to use, all of his commander-in-chief authority, and then some.

A crisis almost without equal? Where does Mitchell get the almost?

Certainly, the United States has limped along with ineffectual presidents before. If you look at the worst of the bumblers — IMO these were Pierce, Buchanan, and Andrew Johnson — you see three guys who had little control of their own administrations. This is not to say the three of them didn’t do a lot of damage — Pierce and Buchanan allowed extremist factions to run amok, setting the stage for the Civil War, and Johnson screwed up Reconstruction, setting the stage for the Jim Crow era. The three of them would have presided over the longest period of prolonged presidential incompetence in U.S. history had the Lincoln Administration not managed to sandwich itself into the mess.

(Note: Don’t nobody say nothin’ bad about Ulysses Grant, or I will smack you.)

Some other presidents may have been no more competent but managed to get elected during relatively unchallenging times — Chester Arthur and Benjamin Harrison come to mind. The Warren Harding administration was famously corrupt, but the extent of the corruption didn’t become public until after Harding had died of food poisoning. Herbert Hoover was stymied by the Great Depression. Hoover was an intelligent man — many would have done worse as president after 1929 — but he was also rigid and aloof during a crisis that required flexibility and good PR.

In my memory, the two administrations that crashed and burned hardest were LBJ’s and Nixon’s. LBJ realized he had screwed the pooch and announced he would not seek re-election. And Nixon resigned.

But I do believe George W. Bush is unprecedented in that he combines incompetence with a stubborn determination to pursue his agenda with all the power he can muster. And considering he inherited the Reagan coalition and the VRWC — which has worked mightily to polish the Bush Administration’s image so the public doesn’t notice the truth — that’s a lot of power.

When Franklin Pierce’s administration went south (pretty much literally), ol’ Frank crawled into a bottle while a few powerful figures in Congress duked it out over policy. Buchanan flapped about ineffectually and let the southern plantation class shove him around. Andrew Johnson ended his term hiding in the White House (probably in a bottle as well) while Congress governed without him. But not our George. While he vigorously digs the nation into a deeper hole he is surrounded by a protective bubble of secrecy, cockamamie theories of presidential omnipotence, and his own messianic delusions. No matter how unpopular he is, no one can touch him.

E&P’s Mitchell quotes yesterday’s Tom Friedman column:

If these are our only choices, which would you rather have: a nuclear-armed Iran or an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites that is carried out and sold to the world by the Bush national security team, with Don Rumsfeld at the Pentagon’s helm?

I’d rather live with a nuclear Iran.

While I know the right thing is to keep all our options open, I have zero confidence in this administration’s ability to manage a complex military strike against Iran, let alone the military and diplomatic aftershocks.

Friedman was an Iraq War hawk, remember.

I look at the Bush national security officials much the way I look at drunken drivers. I just want to take away their foreign policy driver’s licenses for the next three years. Sorry, boys and girls, you have to stay home now — or take a taxi. Dial 1-800-NATO-CHARGE-A-RIDE. You will not be driving alone. Not with my car.

If ours were a parliamentary democracy, the entire Bush team would be out of office by now, and deservedly so. In Iraq, the president was supposed to lead, manage and hold subordinates accountable, and he did not. Condoleezza Rice was supposed to coordinate, and she did not. Donald Rumsfeld was supposed to listen, and he did not. But ours is not a parliamentary system, and while some may feel as if this administration’s over, it isn’t. So what to do? We can’t just take a foreign policy timeout.

But Friedman doesn’t have a solution; nor does Mitchell. “My point here is simply to start the discussion,” he says.

What are we to do? Let’s think about this.

Although I support impeachment, I’m not sure that’s the way to go. We’d have to impeach Bush and Cheney — a tall order — and if they’re removed from office we’d end up with Dennis Hastert in the White House. I’m not sure the 33 months are lookin’ any smoother under that scenario, although perhaps Hastert will be enough of a wuss to not do much. That may be the best we can hope for. At least he would probably work with Congress to run the country.

Same thing if Bush and Cheney were forced to resign, as Nixon and Agnew were.

If Dems get control of at least one house of Congress next year the subpoenas can begin. Perhaps if Bush is under incessant investigation for his last two years he will be slowed down some. On the other hand, he might start another war just to wag the dog.

And if Republicans keep control of both houses of Congress I don’t see an alternative to limping along as we are.


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  1. uncledad  •  Apr 20, 2006 @6:46 pm


    That’s an awful lot to think about. Do I have to? I’m afraid we are pretty much screwed. I knew we were screwed November 2000. I knew we were really screwed November 2004. I’m not sure impeachment is the answer. The impeachment hearings against Clinton really turned off moderate voters in this country. Baring something really bizarre (like a nuclear attack on Iran) I feel the moderates would be against impeachment of this bunch of incompetents as well. This could open the door for McCain or Gingrich in 2008. Our only hope for a normal government short of democrats winning back the house or senate is that the moderate republicans start doing their job. Bushes policies are so unpopular right now one has to figure moderates from both parties may start working together. Another helpful force would be if the mainstream media starts doing its job. Although yesterday we had a mini shake up in the Whitehouse, the president of China was visiting the country, and still the Duke Rape story, Holloway Aruba, and TomKat child still received alot more coverage than they certainly deserve. I would say limping along as we are might not be as bad as what these morons are really capable of. I’ve been limping for years (bad knees) but I still manage to get to where I want to.

  2. Raenelle  •  Apr 20, 2006 @7:11 pm

    A couple of days ago, someone wrote (Billmon? Arthur Silber?) in this context: If you pray, I suggest you do so now.

    However, as dangerous as this situation is–wounded, aggressive, delusional moron president surrounded by sociopaths–it’s still better than a healthy Bush.

  3. maha  •  Apr 20, 2006 @7:13 pm

    The impeachment hearings against Clinton really turned off moderate voters in this country.

    I think that was in large part because people got disgusted with smarmy Republicans getting excited about sex. People don’t want to hear about the President’s blow jobs from the 6 o’clock news while they’re getting ready to sit down to supper. Independent voters weren’t especially angry with Clinton before they learned about Monica, and on the whole the nation seemed to be clicking along pretty well.

    But now we’re hearing that Americans are really angry at Bush, and if he is impeached the nation won’t be subjected to smutty talk about sexual acts but to substantive charges involving fundamental constitutional issues. Serious stuff, in other words.

  4. lurker  •  Apr 20, 2006 @7:20 pm

    I think, as usual, you hit the nail on the head.

    Now, do you mind if I use a bad word? I think we are fucked. The only way we can (possibly) avoid absolute meltdown as a nation is if the Democrats can get their heads on straight and win a majority in November. If that happens I predict Bush will be impeached and Cheney will resign for “health reasons” (heh.)

    Really, where are we going and why are we in this handbasket? For those of you who are older than I am (30ish) is this truly the worst it’s ever been?

  5. uncledad  •  Apr 20, 2006 @7:37 pm


    I agree “serious stuff” but it is a matter of perception. I’m not a moderate; I’m a liberal and I feel he should be impeached. But I’m afraid the moderate’s perception of impeachment is generally negative. Ours is not a parliamentary system (as your post noted) and Joe six-pack (moderate) generally feels impeachment is wrong. I remember the talk of impeachment for Nixon (I was only a kid at the time) but my parents (left leaning moderates) said things like “All politicians are crooks, Nixon just got caught”.

    Do you really think the mainstream media is capable of projecting “substantive charges involving fundamental constitutional issues”? Hell no. It would be turned into a circus of “angry democrats” who can’t win elections so they enter articles of impeachment. I can see it now. Maybe I’m wrong; I hope I get to find out.

  6. No More Mr. Nice Guy!  •  Apr 20, 2006 @7:39 pm

    A majority of people in the US believe Bush should be impeached if he was found to have lied us into war against Iraq. If the Dems gain control of one or both branches of Congress in November – and thus acquire subpoena power – I predict the floodgates will open on the criminality and corruption of the Junior regime. It’s not out of the question that Bush and Cheney will both be forced to resign. Of course they won’t resign at the same time, because then we’d have President Pelosi. But at this stage you can pretty much stick a fork in the junta. The only thing we have to fear is the Dems’ infinite capacity for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  7. alyosha  •  Apr 20, 2006 @7:43 pm

    IMO the magnitude of the problem is worse than you paint here.

    – We have madmen in power who think World War 3, fought with nuclear weapons wouldn’t be a bad idea. They’ve openly stated their ambition to dominate the world, militarily.
    – They seized control of the entire government and most of the media. A large segment of the population believes the fables and distractions they’re fed on TV, and is in the dark or doesn’t care about, or actively enables what their government is doing.
    – The people in power really have no use for government, except as a means to further their own position and agendas, which include the subjugation of the rest of us. This is Bush’s role, to play the figurehead and to sucker the dupes who enable his messianic pretentions, and who are necessary, for now, for the cabal’s survival. The German people likewise saw Adolf as the savior of their nation. Bush’s role is to buy time, to distract, so that the cabal’s plans – for domination abroad, and domination at home – can be effected.

    I think it’s safe to say that at no other time in the history of our country has the future of our nation, indeed our world, been so perilously in doubt. Even if we manage to get good people back in power, the seeds for our own destruction have been sown.

    There is a spiritual crisis that is really behind all of this. I’ve been thinking a lot about:

    – The deep denial that’s taken place over most of this country, a denial which is actively encouraged by the government.
    – The naive belief in America as always good, and always the best in the world – the America of my youth – and by extension a belief in the innate perfectness and righteousness of ourselves, as Americans.
    – The conviction that we need that oil no matter what – as Bush Sr put it, “the American lifestyle is non-negotiable”, and we’re so good and righteous that we are perfectly entitled to take it, by whatever means necessary, from the frightening, brown people who live over it.
    – The denial that God cares about Iraqi children as much as she cares about American babies.
    – The failure to see that we’re all in this together.
    – Finally, the complete ignorance of the law of karma, that what we sow, we will most certainly reap, manyfold.
    – As Thomas Jefferson put it, “I tremble for the future of my country when I reflect that God is just”.

    Answers? In the short term, we need to kick these criminals out of power. The 2006 election is our next best chance, and we have to do all we can to make sure Karl Rove fails. Impeachment should follow.

    Beyond this, we have to grow leaders commensurate to the challenge. I think the beltway Democrats are hopelessly moribund – if I had the time I’d link to Molly Ivins’ terrific exhortation from a few months ago. IMO our best hope is the grassroots.

    I’m encouraged by the fighting Dems – the returning soldiers from the Iraq debacle who are entering politics, and by activist sites like DailyKos. But because this is foremost a spiritual crisis – and this will become more evident as our country’s depredations become more evident – we need spiritual giants, who have the courage to speak truth to power, effectively. It’s precisely because we lack spiritual giants, that spiritual people have turned to the Christian right for direction and sustenance.

    I’m very discouraged by the entropy that is being actively fomented by the cabal, both in our system of government and media, but also by the financial chickens that are coming home to roost. If the cabal is successful at emasculating the middle class, then it really is all over, or at least we’re out of luck for decades or generations. No one will have time to blog or be politically involved, we’ll all be out scratching for food and shelter. And that is their goal.

  8. maha  •  Apr 20, 2006 @7:54 pm

    remember the talk of impeachment for Nixon (I was only a kid at the time) but my parents (left leaning moderates) said things like “All politicians are crooks, Nixon just got caught”.

    Hmm, I was 20-something then … I certainly don’t remember any voter backlash against the senators and congressmen involved in the hearings. The congressional hearings in particular were, I thought, inspiring. Congress critters of both parties clearly took the evidence against Nixon very seriously. Barbara Jordan became a star, as did Sam Ervin on the Senate side.

    Do you really think the mainstream media is capable of projecting “substantive charges involving fundamental constitutional issues”?

    That is a problem, I admit. At least they won’t be talking about blow jobs while people are trying to eat supper.

  9. uncledad  •  Apr 20, 2006 @8:07 pm


    I hope your right, “voter backlash”, but that leads to point #2. We had a real mainstream media back in the 70’s. No Faux news, no Scarabough Country, no “Hardball”, no “No Spin”. You know, unfortunately for democrats (and the rest of us) I believe a majority them voted for the “neoconsuperfratboy’s” blank check use of force. I believe that would be the right wing argument. Maybe we would be better served with angry voters, than with an angry vindictive right wing corporate mongering media. Like you said it’s only 33 months, and he is certainly an ineffective president now. Hopefully he won’t start another “War” for us to rally around, or worse yet invent another act of terrorism.

  10. Linkmeister  •  Apr 20, 2006 @8:12 pm

    Regarding a voter backlash post-Nixon, the Democrats picked up 49 seats in the 1974 election, 3 months after Nixon quit. You could call that a backlash against “politics as usual,” I suppose, but certainly not against the party which brought the impeachment threat to the fore.

  11. Swami  •  Apr 20, 2006 @8:46 pm

    I guess I’m a dreamer, but my fantasy is that America gets honest with herself and works to restore her moral foundation. Bush’s dragging America into the gutter has divided our nation and cheapened us as a people who can claim decency as a national attribute. How can anybody raise their heads with pride in America knowing that our government is kidnapping,torturing and killing innocent human beings in our name. A government that denies basic human rights and the protection of law to some,in effect denies them to all. I’m not talking about petty individual morality that distracts from the issue, I’m talking about our nations responsibility to the family of man and the progress made over centuries towards the betterment of civilization.

    I say, Impeach Bush’s ass big time…He’s a rustic in the realm of enlightened thought.. Yeah, pre-emptive war?,,Bulid a wall between the US and Mexico to stop illegal immigration?…Yeah. that’ll work! Let’s get rid of him, he’s an experiment in marketing gone bad. Look at his Quantanamo venture,now he’s like a dog who chased a car tire and caught it, but doesn’t know what to do with it.

  12. Sam  •  Apr 20, 2006 @9:05 pm

    I am so glad you are putting this out for us. We need to start thinking about, and visualizing, the future of our nation, our planet and all its residents (man and animal). We’ve been allowing the “highjackers” to drive the car for too long, as Friedman points out. The question is, how can we have the vision to come together on what’s not only right, but vital?
    Compromise has always been the American Way and this crowd has kept the ball from us for much too long. (To mix metaphors)

    I particularly agree with your last two paragraphs, Comment #7. Our citizens lack direction – overwhelmed with all our “stuff” and getting our “stuff.” We’ve been fortunate in our history to have had spiritual advisors to help shine a light at crucial times, but I don’t know if we can wait for them while the stage continues to be set for future misery for our descendents. I think we need to take it on ourselves, each of us, one by one. Otherwise, how will history judge us?

    Some might not like to look at the dark, depressing side of where we’re stuck now, but I say look the monster in the face and deal with it with honor. Setting forth the worst case scenario, as Steve M. did in the last post is not fulfilling a self-defeating prophecy, or a confidence trick – it’s looking at the potential reality, if all things go as they have been. The reality on the ground. (Similar to what Murtha and those brave generals have been doing lately.) If his post sounded a little “factual” I think that was simply fatigue, to which he’s probably entitled after the fight he’s been waging. Sorry, but everything isn’t rosy right now. That’s what Bush and Co want us think, damn it. And it isn’t likely to be rosy for awhile, either. Not unless we do more than just complain.

  13. maha  •  Apr 20, 2006 @9:10 pm

    is this truly the worst it’s ever been?

    Contrary to rumor, I am not old enough to remember the 1850s, which I’m sure was worse. I was born during the Truman Administration. My earliest memories of politics were of Eisenhower.

    I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. People were frightened, but as time when on they developed a trust that Kennedy knew what he was doing. The Vietnam era was frightening, but I don’t remember anyone thinking that Johnson or Nixon was putting the nation itself in danger.

    What’s disturbing here is that we seem to be heading for a complex constitutional crisis, and I don’t know how we’re going to resolve it.

  14. Sam  •  Apr 20, 2006 @9:14 pm

    I think what is worse now, more than ever, is that there is more at stake than ever before. This is a global community, connected like never before. We happen to be the nation more at the helm than any other at the moment and we’ve got Mr. Toad in the driver’s seat.

  15. Sam  •  Apr 20, 2006 @9:27 pm

    I get the feeling that the public hardly understands the Constitution anymore. Maybe we need Public Service segments done in an entertaining way. Since this administration wouldn’t care, maybe we should enlist the help of some of our media powers that be. I don’t know… A bipartisan, collaborative effort? Something entertaining but above reproach as far as content. Someone with money who understands the urgency needed to remind the public what is at state here.

  16. uncledad  •  Apr 20, 2006 @10:48 pm


    That used to be called public broadcasting?

  17. Swami  •  Apr 20, 2006 @11:10 pm

    is this truly the worst it’s ever been?

    Without a doubt!!!! Bush in his newly invigorated Commander-in-Chief status has become a despot. And Congress has been neutered like my pet cat. They’re just purring away at their masters feet looking for a little treat and a little affection.

    In theory the situation is not good.

  18. Donna  •  Apr 20, 2006 @11:25 pm

    #7, Alyosha, your comments are so comprehensive and so appreciated. And, when you said, ‘The failure to see that we are all in this together’, I so much agree with that point.

    I would like to see a leader emerge who can first of all unite the citizens of America and then nations of the world in positive ways to stand side by side to look at common needs of all. Contrast that action with sitting ‘across the table’, pressing for advantage over others, which is rooted in a dismissive denial of human potential en masse.

    In this context, I believe the Republicans have hijacked the language of human needs [faith in a higher power, good trade, secure families, freedom and self-determination……] to serve a narrow humanity-debilitating idea of ‘us vs them’ domestically and internationally—an idea that someone always has to ‘lose’, as though life is a game of cards.

    Spiritually, I believe that none of us are going to get where we want to go until we all get there. I suspect that the ‘spiritual giant’ we cannot yet see on the horizon is one who will appeal to both the majority of Republicans and Democrats, because that person will, like Barack Obama, speak ‘to the angels within us all’.

    We face such a crisis because Bush and team used and abused the unity we felt at the horror of 9/11 in order to pursue unAmerican actions of preemptive war, torture, and denial of basic human rights, spitting on our very Constitution. An increasing majority of Americans are waking up to being used and abused.

    Peter Yarrow wrote some song lyrics that went, ” I’m lost on a dark road, will I ever get home…..I’m turned to the dark side, I’m all alone…..well, the oldest shoes I have will always fit me and commit me, to a life I’ve known……..” We need to remember to walk again in ‘our oldest comfortable shoes’ as a nation, and re-connect to the basic values which founded America and promised hope for humankind. [Sam is so right that we need to re-read the Constitution]

    Americans do not want to continue the course Bush has set, and will weather the crises he has created.

  19. A. Citizen  •  Apr 21, 2006 @12:30 am

    OK….here is the plan. Help enough “Fightin Dems” get elected to the House.

    Impeach Bush.

    Fitz gets Cheney.


    Nancy Pelosi is the first woman President of the United States of America.

    Got it?

    Let’s make it happen

    Hit ACT!Blue.

    Support Dems who have the right perspective for the House even if they are not running in your district.

    As an example I personally handed Ned Lamont some cash, properly registered of course, last night. I put it in his hand and I live in Oakland, California.

    Get with the program folks.

    The Republicans can be driven into the sea. Indeed it’s your duty as a citizen to see that this happens.

  20. atablarasa  •  Apr 21, 2006 @12:44 am

    The administration *may* be no worse than whatever else is competing for the “honor,” but since this administration has driven us over a cliff, or into a nose dive, the situation is as bad as it was in 1861, and there’s not a Lincoln in sight. The fact that they don’t seem to even recognize that we’re vectoring into the ground doesn’t bode well for their pulling us up, either. And the Democrats don’t seem to be able to (sorry about stretching the metaphor) get it together and storm the cockpit.

    It’s like Ishmael says – we’re all still saying “looks good so far” as the ground rushes up to meet us.

  21. Pierce Presley  •  Apr 21, 2006 @12:55 am

    My two cents:
    Cent one: the midterms are probably our last chance to grind this to a halt. We’re going to have to get subpoena power in congress and a set of juevos for pushing the subpoenas in the face of withering fire from the VRWC and corporate media. And don’t doubt this: even if Bush’s numbers drop to the single digits, it’s going to be a fight to win those seats, thanks to the trifecta of gerrymandered safe seats, years of GOP institutionalized leftist voter repression and the VWRC working the refs and corporate media bending over and taking it.
    Cent two: I’m sorry, but _start_ thinking about what we should do to halt this maladministration from hell? The unwillingness of most of the left, not to mention the DLC, centrist weenies currently keeping almost all of the Dems out of the pool in re Iran, warrantless wiretapping, etc., is exactly why we’re in this situation. The unwillingness to discuss impeachment, censure, threatening armed rebellion, hell, any substantive action in response to the rape of America, her ideals and her reputation has done, I think, more harm than the Bush administration. This is the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, but the unwillingness to call them on it, to hound them into the impotence of the above-mentioned failed administrations has allowed them to shoot again and again and again. Why should they change tactics? No one has forced their hand. If we get congress, we’re going to have to beat on this adminstration like it’s a turtle we’ve mistaken for a steel drum while in the midst of a Jamaican revelry on speed, or they’ll come out and screw something up. It’s like fluorescence or something.
    Bonus third cent: Some have made mention of the populace’s (notice I didn’t say “voter’s”) disaffection with politics. Part of that is the constant refrain from ethically challenged politicians and their allies that “everyone’s doing it”; part is the parties’ unwillingness to purge their ranks of these people; part is the VRWC’s insistance that “real people” lie outside of the political process–all fine and true. But I hold that a large part is the lack of any pushback. What does it avail a person to become disenchanted with crooked politicians if all that is ever offered to them is another politician with a different letter by his or her name on the ballot. Dems have got to stop cutting off the Paul Hacketts of the world in favor of career politicians. Make the slogan “We’re going to change more than the names on the office door; we’re going to change more than the ‘culture’; we’re going to change more than the window dressing. Politics as usual, meet politics for the people.” Throw some (verbal) bombs, hoist some petards, burn some effigies, relentlessly call out the transgressions of the powerful and, for the sake of all that is good about this country, offer a real alternative.

  22. John Palcewski  •  Apr 21, 2006 @2:27 am

    One fantasy solution: Cheney resigns, and Bush is forced (by some means) to pick some “moderate” Republican as Cheney’s replacement. Then Bush resigns or is impeached. VP takes over, serves out rest of term before the overwhelming Democratic landslide in ’08.

    Dream on! Ain’t gonna happen. And what bothers me about this is that I have virtually no tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainity. Therefore I’m in perpetual torment!

  23. Marva  •  Apr 21, 2006 @2:53 am

    What happens if republicans keep control over both the Senate and the House in this November’s election?

    It’s hard enough thinking about how much more of a mess they can make in the next 8 months, much less what happens if we’re not able to at least block the worst of what Bush can do by 2009 with the coming mid-term election.

    Are you thinking about that? Are you thinking about the worthless democrats in office currently, who give no thought or credence to the well-established claims of republican voter machine fraud in the recent past elections?

    If republicans prevail again in November, will democrats still chase their tails and say “We just didn’t get enough of our people to the polls”?

  24. Avedon  •  Apr 21, 2006 @8:37 am

    1. Keep the drum for impeachment beating, keep the reasons why in the headlines.

    2. If Bush can be impeached, so can Cheney, who has incredibly low popularity ratings and no one who is likely to take a risk for him. Hell, the Republicans might try to impeach him themselves just to make themselves look good.

    3. The idea of changing the guard from the top could very well help us in the elections and give us a majority, assuming Diebold doesn’t screw us.

    4. If we can get a Dem majority in the House, impeach Bush and Cheney and you get President Pelosi.

    Yes, I know it seems too good to be true, but it’s less unrealistic than it was when I first used the phrase “President Pelosi” a few months back. That was before Bush was down to 33% in a FOX poll.

  25. Edward Deevy  •  Apr 21, 2006 @9:38 am

    While the country faces really serious problems the mainstream media is focused on celebrity babies…


  26. Ian  •  Apr 21, 2006 @11:59 am


    Ulysses Grant’s mama dresses him funny. And he smells.



  27. Anonymous  •  Apr 21, 2006 @12:08 pm

    Well for once I am more optimistic then most on this issue.,It is my understanding that fitzgearld has been laying out a case to grand jurors against Rove for the past few days.

    Watching, as an outsider, I think scott stepping down was a nice way to divert attention off of roves “changing roll”…I think perhaps they are trying to distance rove from the president before he is in legal hot water.I think this is a good sign.

    A lot of camps view Cheney as the evil one behind all the destruction, and that could be true, HOWEVER I see rove as the great enabler.Rove holds the media in check by fear.Whatever mess the king and gun happy cheney make, rove cleans it up.You wanna bomb a country for no reason?Your gonna need rove, he has more excuses then bill bennett caught in a casino with a hooker.No one can threaten people like Karl.People are terrified of him..

    Maybe I am stupid(keep it to yourself) But I think of this white house like a rabid pit bull on the loose…but pull that dogs teeth and you don’t have much to worry about… sure the dog is still rabid,,and it still needs to be put to sleep(08 elections), but with no teeth it’s a lot easier to control.

    I don’t fear the next 33 months as much as bush and pals should be, however I am not foolish enough to be without fear. My big worry is that we will nuke Iran.They say truth is the first to die in a war, but I think REASON is.Peoples ability to reason seems to fly out the window at the mention of war. The nuke factor aside…..I think the other problem for Dems is , as someone pointed out yesterday, congress has a very low rating, until you ask people what they think of their local congressmen/senators, then they think their own is doing great.State by state, on a local level DEMS need to do a better job of explaining how EACH senator/congressmens vote has drained our budget.Dems need to explain that it was the job of each of those senators and congressmen to babysit the president , to keep him in check and playing by the rules, and then show all they ways congress has fallen short.It is time for the dems to get busy at a state level…

    Over all I think that the bush house of cards is held together with roves spit ….I swear once that factor is removed , the house of cards will fall…..How will we get by for the next 33 months?By knowing in our hearts that the things we believe in will stand longer then this house of cards.By not being ready to give up before we fight.Some have said that we can’t retake the house/senate…. to you I say BULLSHIT….What reason do we have to quit BEFORE we even fight?

    I think the dems need to introduce a new plan called “RESTORING AMERICA” and I think they should ask the American people to get on board ….everytime they say “restoring” they plant the seed in peoples minds that the country has become run down in the last 5 years and it needs fixing…most of us middle Americans can relate to restoring….America is a great fixer-upper ..lets invest in her and restore her to her former glory..I read a headline yesterday that declared, basically,that Americans were READY for this concept.. they are ready to focus on domestic issues.. all they need are leaders.IF the dems on a state level go to the people with that message they are ready to be lead… people have had enough smoke blown up their asses, they need to be told what the problem is(too many DON’T EVEN KNOW) then they need to know there is a plan to restore it, but that we all have to invest in it.Right now we are going backwards,, or standing still on our best days.. we can’t afford not to be going forward anymore, the right has had control for 5 years and look where we are, now lets clean the mess they made up!!

  28. justme  •  Apr 21, 2006 @12:14 pm

    OOPS , That was not “anonymous” that was just me

  29. maha  •  Apr 21, 2006 @12:16 pm

    Ian: Watch it. I know where you live

  30. justme  •  Apr 21, 2006 @12:23 pm

    WOW Alyosha,, what an outstanding post!!!!,,, Well said!!!!!!

  31. merciless  •  Apr 21, 2006 @12:47 pm

    My fear is that we may not even have until November. Bush is currently President of the United States, he currently has a majority in both houses and the judiciary, and the msm (owned by the military-industrial complex) is still behind him.

    Screw the people, says he, they don’t understand that I am the annointed one. And to prove it, I’ll nuke Iran and then declare martial law to protect the country from terrorist incursions.

    A couple of years ago I would have said, “no, not even Bush is that stupid.” I don’t say that any more.

  32. xpara  •  Apr 21, 2006 @2:47 pm

    A corrupt coward cringing in the White House may prove more dangerous than the same oafish bully who was riding high when he began to bring ruin to a once proud nation.

    Bush the Lesser did not burke at committing his country to a fecklessly catastrophic war in Iraq for a slew of ignoble motives, not the least among them to gather the votes to ensure his re-election. And he did that when he was riding high in the polls and America still had her honor intact.

    Imagine how he will howl in fearful rage, this preposterously overmatched preppy, and how he will lash out at the ungrateful masses, if he comes to realize they have rejected him for the prancing phony he is. Wagging the dog does not begin to describe it. Nukes will fly, if these criminals deem it necessary for their survival.

    So I say leave Bush alone, leave Cheney dozing, snooze along with the somnolent media, do not dispute with the paid prophets of the right, lest this oedipal wreck of a president go truly mad, and the truly screwed pooch end up glowing in the dark.

    After all, god will pull us through. Won’t she?

  33. Sam  •  Apr 21, 2006 @4:21 pm

    Your comment #7 was even better when I read it again today. (Did your essay get switched around somehow, or is that my imagination? The last two paragraphs I pointed to in my comments have migrated up to the top!) Anyway, well done!

  34. Sam  •  Apr 21, 2006 @5:02 pm

    justme –

    Great points and suggestions! I feel like I’ve been living in Alice’s Wonderland for the last few years – exposed to the Caterpillar’s smoke, ya know… But we can do it – we have to do it.

    Do you remember during the Reagan election years, when the Republicans would drone on about the huge NATIONAL DEBT. And now, it’s “heh. So what?” ??

  35. Donna  •  Apr 21, 2006 @11:46 pm

    John Palcewski said in comment #22: “I have virtually no tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. Therefore I am in perpetual torment.”

    Here’s a gentle, maybe strange suggestion. Welcome confusion and appreciate that a state of confusion is often the only place from which we can learn something new….. this is because the not-confused mind usually puts new data in already established mental categories, reinforcing what is already ‘known’.

    Within the theories of gestalt, it is the impasse [like a dead-end alley] which births creative answers to problems. A willingness to abide the tension and unpleasantness of uncertainty and ambiguity
    evokes something within the self to stretch beyond its old ways of thinking and doing.

    I often think that these dynamics are in play when folks do super-human responding in the midst of sudden disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes.

    With the sheer size of the disasters created by the Bush administration, I believe we need to center ourselves in our deepest values [which are so well expressed by Maha and her fans], let ourselves be buffeted by all the confusion and angst, and open ourselves to allow in absolutely new notions about how to counter-vail those Bush messes.

  36. Bruce Baugh  •  Apr 22, 2006 @5:27 am

    I think there’s a difference between uncertainty and confusion. Uncertainty is a fact about a situation: there are multiple possibilities, and you don’t know which of them is truest or most desirable (or even if just one is, or if any are, and so on). Confusion is a fact about your response to it: you are unsettled, anxious, and like that. But you don’t have to be confused when you’re uncertain; you can just realize, “I’m uncertain,” and go calmly about the business of learning the extra stuff you need to make wise decisions.

    That said, I see no reason to be confident or even hopeful about the midterm elections. The 2000 election was stolen. The 2004 election was stolen. The tools the thieves used are still there, and so’s the lack of media interest that made it easy. All the good that people like Dr. Dean are doing now can be undone with a few flips of switches and swipes of memory cards, and it’s not like the Bush/Cheney cabal has gotten any less fond of power.

  37. Donna  •  Apr 22, 2006 @9:38 am

    Bruce, thanks for your delineations of ‘uncertainty’ and ‘confusion’. You have a certain meaning of confusion. My use of the term is a bit different.

    When I think of uncertainty, I think of it as a place from which one can only guess, where no clear response comes to the foreground. Yes, realizing, “I am uncertain” is the correct first step to learning extra stuff to cure the uncertainty.

    When I think of confusion, I think of a state of many things jumbled together, which is, of course, a very unsettled place. But too, realizing, “this is confusing” can be a correct step to allowing new ways of responding to emerge.

    If I am canoeing a new river, and I stop along the bank to preview how to navigate a particularly challenging set of rapids, I can stand there and be uncertain of how to do so. But it is only when I am actually in the confusing swirl of those rapids that I can allow timely ‘in the instant’ responses that meet the challenge.

    In my lifetime, I have never witnessed such consistently human-ugly behavior as that of the greed-head power-maniac sorts who have hijacked elections, the Republican party and our nation. But, I am also watching that immoral power edifice crumble under its own sheer incompetence and hubris.

    Karl Rove has only one ploy in terms of the upcoming elections and that is to somehow stonewall full awareness of the crumbling of the edifice, and to try to steal once more.. The edifice is nevertheless crumbling, and the public is increasingly in no mood to ignore what would be an even bigger [than last time] discrepancy between exit polls and ‘official vote tallies’.

    Look at what is happening in Florida at this moment. Governor Bush was hoping to stonewall about the truth of the teen’s death at the boot camp, stonewalling being a corporate-tested strategy to thwart the sustained passion for truth and justice. Instead, the stonewalling has energized passions, and thousands of college students and others are marching in Leon County, Florida as I write this.

    I suppose I am trying to say that we all should be alert to swirling waters and tipping points and be open to heretofore unexpected, even magnificent responses arising out of our sustained passions.

  38. Bruce Baugh  •  Apr 22, 2006 @10:38 am

    Donna, that’s also a sensible take on uncertainty vs. confusion. It’s not like my favored definitions are branded into the universe. 🙂

    I do agree that being alert to opportunity is crucial, and I also believe in doing some things that I think unlikely to make a difference right now just because they’re good things in themselves, and I might be wrong in my pessimism. I would hope that things don’t fail because I failed to act.

  39. Donna  •  Apr 22, 2006 @12:24 pm

    Bruce, I agree with you that doing some things that may be unlikely to make a difference is important because failure to act creates implosive frustration. [I demonstrated in February of ’01 against the Iraq invasion idea because to fail to take act would have split me internally. My demonstrating did not ‘make a difference’ but it did support internal congruence.]

    Doing what we can, while being alert to opportunity. Yes.

    Your responses have helped me fine-tune my thoughts. I realize that I tried to write about ‘allowing confusion’ because I have been a bit alarmed at folks sort of bottoming out in pessimism, or worse, proffering ideas ‘borrowed’ from rovian tactics [like smearing whole groups of people], or even worse…giving up ahead of the unfolding future.

    Gandhi understood that the means we choose form us in the end.
    So, I don’t want to fight terror with terror, or abuse with abuse, and otherwise slip unwarily into becoming what I fight.

    In a mayoral election in my own small town, I really was upset with the thought that one candidate with a slick campaign might ‘snow’ the citizens, many of whom were recent transplants to a growing community. He had earlier been our mayor then had been defeated after abusing democratic principles of governance.
    For the two days before the election, I followed through on a creative idea. I walked my town and hung onto doorbells a one-page ‘essay’ I had written [ and copied in a bright color]about why I loved my town and what I saw as our community spirit…..embedding within that essay a soft chastisement of this candidate for his failure to apologize for earlier actions, but also giving him credit for some good he did. The only part of town in which he won was the section I did not get to, having run out of hours in the day. He lost the election, and a few days later, told a local service club that what I had done had made the difference.

    If I had not acted on my novel idea [and I surely did struggle to overcome a fear of being subject to embarrassment], this guy might be my mayor today……leaving me very sorry to have not done the unusual.

  40. alyosha  •  Apr 22, 2006 @4:31 pm

    Beautiful story, Donna. I’ve been following the last few comments with interest.

    A few years ago, I was part of a Toastmasters club for progressives (yes there are such things, and they’re badly needed), and I gave a speech about how we progressives need to watch Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and other Asian martial arts movies.

    My point was, that although Lee was frequently outnumbered in his fights, he constantly looked for openings, for tipping-points in his confrontations, that he skillfully leveraged to his advantage.

    The right is like a brutal beast, that really only understands thuggery and lying and power politics. They completely embody the saying that might makes right. For years we’ve stood by, with jaws dropped, dumbfounded by each new level of depravity these people display. They don’t know how to respond to creative, deft, sincere, truthful actions such as your leafleting, which was novel and inspired.

    In my Bruce Lee speech, I brought up people like Elvis Presley, and the Beatles, who changed the entire world, because the world was ready for them, and yet no one, even themselves, could ever have predicted this. That’s the power of leveraging tipping points, and using creativity to change things. We should never be intimidated by the size of our opponents.

    Related note, I’m waiting with baited breath on the impact of Neil Youngs’ new album, which is unabashedly anti-Bush.

  41. Donna  •  Apr 22, 2006 @6:27 pm

    Alyosha, I often think in images instead of words. I have an image of the brutal beast terrorizing decent folks. Crouching behind the beast are the Bush diehards like Malkin….and the caption that comes is,
    ‘Hiding out on the safe side of evil’

    I too am waiting for Neil Youngs’ new album!

  42. erinyes  •  Apr 22, 2006 @7:12 pm

    Good work girls!

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