Before the Fall

Keith Olbermann called out President Bush for his dishonest and divisive rhetoric in another special comment on Countdown. Here’s a small quote:

Why has the ferocity of your venom against the Democrats, now exceeded the ferocity of your venom against the terrorists?

Why have you chosen to go down in history as the President who made things up?

In less than one month you have gone from a flawed call to unity, to this clarion call to hatred of Americans, by Americans.

If this is not simply the most shameless example of the rhetoric of political hackery, then it would have to be the cry of a leader crumbling under the weight of his own lies.

I’m sure it’ll be up at Crooks & Liars soon. [Update: Here’s the link.] In a nutshell, Olbermann called Bush “unbowed, undeterred, and unconnected to reality.” Bush is playing the straw man game — lying about what Democrats say so he can bash them. And, says Olbermann, for the sake of power for his political party, he is selling out America.

Dan Froomkin wrote yesterday:

President Bush is careening around the country, feverishly campaigning for Republican congressional candidates and unleashing highly provocative accusations against his Democratic critics.

But nobody really cares.

The only thing anyone wants to hear from the president right now is his reaction to the Congressional page-sex scandal revolving around former representative Mark Foley and rapidly enveloping the GOP House leadership.

On top of that, the public doesn’t trust him. A fresh round of polls shows that most Americans think Bush has been intentionally misleading about the progress in Iraq, they oppose his war there, and they don’t think it’s making them safer. His approval rating is back down to a dismal 39 percent.

And establishment Washington has finally and conclusively written him off as being in a state of denial.

Froomkin quotes Peter Baker from yesterday’s WaPo:

President Bush ratcheted up his campaign offensive against Democrats on Tuesday with perhaps his bluntest rhetoric yet as he accused them of being “softer” on terrorists and willing to allow attacks on Americans rather than interrogate or spy on the nation’s enemies.

With his party in serious trouble five weeks before Election Day, Bush shifted into full campaign mode this week, kicking off a month of frenetic barnstorming aimed at drawing disgruntled Republicans back into the fold. As part of the effort, he has escalated the intensity of his attacks with each passing day, culminating with what aides called a “very aggressive” series of speeches Tuesday.

“Time and time again, the Democrats want to have it both ways,” he told donors here. “They talk tough on terror, but when the votes are counted, their softer side comes out.”

He added: “If you don’t think we should be listening in on the terrorist, then you ought to vote for the Democrats. If you want your government to continue listening in when al-Qaeda planners are making phone calls into the United States, then you vote Republican.”

Bush’s tough talk Tuesday came after he suggested at a Monday night fundraiser in Nevada that Democrats were content to sit back until terrorists strike again. “It sounds like they think the best way to protect the American people is wait until we’re attacked again,” he said.

Of course, no one in the Democratic Party has suggested we shouldn’t listen to “al Qaeda planners” or that we should “wait until we’re attacked again,” but truth never stopped Junior before.

Stephen Walt writes in today’s Boston Globe why the Bush foreign policy is such a disaster:

JUST WHEN YOU think that US foreign policy couldn’t possibly get worse, the Bush administration manages to take it down another notch. Iraq is a debacle; the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan; and Osama bin Laden is still at large. North Korea has become a nuclear weapons state and Iran’s nuclear ambitions remain unchecked. The quixotic campaign to “transform” the Middle East has fueled several violent conflicts and empowered Islamic extremists in Iraq, Iran, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon.

This disastrous record is not just a run of bad luck. These setbacks occurred because the Bush administration’s foreign policy rests on a deep misreading of contemporary world politics. Conducting foreign policy on the basis of flawed premises is like designing an airplane while ignoring gravity: it won’t get off the ground, and if it does, it is bound to crash.

Walt then provides a succinct evaluation of the flawed premises — well worth reading — and concludes,

Fixing our foreign policy would not be that difficult because many states would welcome more enlightened US leadership. To do it, however, Bush will have to ask for a few overdue resignations (such as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld). He will also have to abandon the core beliefs that have guided his entire foreign policy. Bush has thus far shown little capacity to learn from experience, and he continues to maintain that we are on the right course. Americans had better get used to a failed foreign policy, at least until 2008.

If we live that long.

30 thoughts on “Before the Fall

  1. Yeah, attack the dems and blame them for the mess regressives have gotten us into.

    Its amazing how the American media works. We have lost at least eighteen more American service people during the first few days of October and Shiite Iraqi death squads are conducting small scale ethnic cleansing.

    So, what are all the talking heads and politicians focused on? Surprise! Its another sex scandal. And it wasn’t even real sex.

    Florida Republican Rep. Mark Foley’s instant message records indicate he is a dude who gets off on fantasy cyber sex with teenaged boys. I believe this is the first virtual sex scandal in Washington DC political history.

    Back here in the real world, American men and women are killed, maimed and scarred, both physically and emotionally every day. War is hell. Finally, the mainstream media is beginning to support our troops by speaking the truth about their sacrifices. more

  2. “aimed at drawing disgruntled Republicans back into the fold.” I don’t think it works that way. I view this similar to a person who has caught their spouse cheating on them. They never quite ‘trust’ in the same way again. Some sheeple will go back into the fold, but the Repubs have lost a lot of them due to all the bad news at once. But mostly due to Foley.

  3. I love when Olbermann tells it the way it is. My only criticism is that Olbermann doesn’t use profanity…because Bush can’t be accurately described without using it.

  4. One thing about Bush having only the faithful able to come and listen is that he is speaking to the only people who actually support him. So, the message is not exactly getting through to the people he needs to reach.
    The people he really should be speaking to are listening to the sex scandal, watching Bill Moyers expose on the gop lobbying scandal and the republicans pointing fingers at each other and screaming it’s clinton’s fault at the same time.
    But, the day I’m wishing for is the one where Bush does one of his speeches to the faithful and only a few show up.

  5. Olberman goes as far as he can within civilized discourse. I was impressed by the number of times he called Bush a liar, which is years overdue by anyone in the somnolent media. Sadly Keith is only on cable (and for how long?) while fluff-gal Katie Couric gets the major network anchor job.

    Bush is so far gone into arrogance and delusion, that the only thing that would change him is the loss of something he holds dear. He and his gang have no problem destroying the country for their own selfish ambitions. It’s just a goddamn piece of paper, after all.

    Olbermann’s reasoning and erudition, addressed to Bush, go over the boy’s head, and I wish Keith would get that. The situation reminds me of the bumpersticker “My son can beat up your honor student”.

    I love Keith, but think that a slower delivery with some very pregnant Jack Benny like pauses would have more effect, but hey I’ll take what I can. I just hope he can keep his job.

  6. In Oklahoma, Rep Istook has a staffder that was a page and that page is lawyering up- I don’t have cable or follow all the screamers that out people but was wondeering what is the deal here.

  7. Keith makes me feel good again to be an American. He shows what it really means to stand and speak strongly as a true patriot.

  8. In 2000, my mantra was 2004, 2004, 2004…………….

    Then in 2004, my mantra was 2008, 2008, 2008……..

    Now my mantra is November, November, November…..

    and now I know my prayers will be answered!

  9. Olbermann doesn’t use profanity…because Bush can’t be accurately described without using it.

    He should interview Sammy sometime.

  10. Keith rules!!!
    Here’s what we should demand if (hopefully, “WHEN”) we win in November (If? Yes, “IF!” Remember, we ALL have to vote because of Diebolt and other electronic voting machines with no paper trail):
    First – IMPEACH!!! Then,we should all demand that Republican’s pay reparations. Anyone who is registered in 2006 as a Republican should be forced to pay double the tax that others do. YOU voted these “people” in, YOU PAY FOR FIXING THE MESS!!! National and international… If you haven’t learned from 2000, 2002 and 2004 – YOU PAY!
    Our formerly great nation is now led by War Criminals and perverts. Iraq is a war crime in action. Consensual sex between adults is no one’s business. IM sexual banter between a 40+ year-old LAWMAKER and a 14 to 17 year-old page is sick. Male or female, it is sick.
    Estate tax? Raise it to 75%. Why should heirs carry on “airs.” Help the nation that made your parents rich.
    It’s amazing how fast a great country can change in 5 1/2 years. Help to change it back. VOTE! And if that doesn’t work? Well, I can’t say for fear of being picked-up, tortured, held forever, and being disappeared.
    But you get the idea…

  11. This is what happens when politics eclipses all. And speaking of foreign threats, don’t forget the activity in Algeria.

  12. All laws enacted while W was President should be rescinded after his impeachment. Making them pay for the fraud, waste, and abuse that occurred since 2000. Keith was great.

  13. “Electing Democrats will get us all killed”
    Well MR. Whatfer you shore’nuff convinced me. Frum now on ,I’ votin Republikan kus they’ll protekt us’un and wont kill no babys or people on no feedin tubes, and they love Jesus and want to kill osama and all Arabs dead. Yessir, you have made me see the light!

  14. Whatfur, did you mention treating somebody like a king? Guess you like your ‘boy king’ who wears no clothes…..

    Erinyes, you made me laugh!

    Maha, thanks for correcting my early a.m. stutter.

  15. Impeachment would be a waste of time.

    Better to use the subpoena power to investigate — spread the pain as far and wide as possible. Kill the administration with the death of a thousand cuts and watch Bush wither away as his base dries up.

  16. Electing Democrats will get us all killed?

    Hmm, say, how’s that little issue in Iran shaping up? Not so good? Oh, I know, North Korea, that must be solved… by… no? They want to test a bomb? Now that is scary.

    Well, we can always count on good news from Iraq, right? 13 US soldiers killed in just three days this week? 2,696 dead as of October 3rd? Sad.

    Half-a-trillion dollars for the war, and counting, fast!

    You link a story about Air America… and we’re nuts?

    Oh, have you seen this:

    That’s it, Whatfur. Keep your eyes on the big prize. While you focus on hating liberal media, the grown-ups will focus on changing the GOP status quo that’s been plaguing all three levels of government the past six years.

  17. Whatfur is still flogging the “Al Franken Stole Money from Little Children” story, which I blogged about over a year ago. I revealed that a story alleging fraud by Air America, which was being promoted by the entire right-wing echo chamber, was what we call “lightly sourced” — the only source at the time was one story in one of those free advertising circulars masquerading as a newspaper. However, I also clearly wrote that I was not claiming the allegations were not true, just that the sourcing was screwy.

    Naturally, since righties can’t read, several rightie bloggers claimed I said the allegations were not true, which is not what I said, and I got slammed with hate email and a couple of obscene phone calls for “lying.”

    The story involved a nonprofit children’s agency in the Bronx and allegations that federal grant money had been diverted to Air America radio, but I don’t remember why. The Air America people said they didn’t know the money had been skimmed from the nonprofit. (The Right Blogosphere at the time was overwhelmed with posts with titles like “Al Franken Steals Money From Kids and Old Folks,” even though there was no evidence whatsoever that Franken was connected.)

    Whatfur links to a story that says two guys from the nonprofit have been indicted, which is no big surprise. He seems to think he has “proved” something. He must be one of the whackjobs who sent me hate email because of something I didn’t write.

  18. It’s good to see that cub reporter Brian Baloney is still hot on the trail…. He’s just like Bulldog Drummond…Colombo?

  19. We all should thank Whatfur “fur” providing an example of the mental capacity of the last dregs still standing by their Chimp. Makes me feel even better about the GOP’s coming debacle.

  20. Actually Maha,

    First, I’m only here because I came across the recent story
    of the perpetrated FRAUD and I remembered getting your little echo chamber here in a frenzy the last time I had the unmitigated gall to show you to be lacking in facts. As “lightly sourced” as you pertend, it seemingly is a bit less than that now, eh? Go figure. Or did you bother reading the story.

    If you read any better now than you did when the story came out, you would realize that no one was including Not-Funny-Franken with the fraud… just found it funny that he was demanding more money from AA at the time they were embezzling money from this childrens charity.

    That’ all…except to say I too had to laugh at the immediate attacks from all the open-minded adults here.

    Kind Regards

  21. Someone want to explain to me the connection between a little fraud among Air America execs (assuming the stories are even true) and the bit about the Democrats getting us all killed? Whatfur, you on that? Or is the implication along the same lines as “Rush Limbaugh illegally acquires and uses narcotics. Therefore all Republicans are illegal drug users”?

  22. Whatfur…How dare you accuse me of being open minded. I pride myself in a mind as dark and as closed to reason as the Black hole of Calcutta.

  23. No connection fish….

    Electing Democrats Will Get Us all Killed was just
    a tag line…one whose truth everyone should heed.

    and concerning “assuming the stories are even true”…
    like maha you might actually try reading the stories.

    But anyway..yall have fun HERE HERE here here here
    (that be an echo Joan)

    Kind Regards

  24. you might actually try reading the stories

    Whatfur might actually try reading one of my posts before commenting, although I ‘spect it would strain his reading comprehension level.

  25. “You might actually try reading the stories”
    Crap, his reading “comprehenshun” is worse than my spelling…
    Just havin’ a little fun y’all…..

  26. I laughed out loud looking at the headlines at memeorandum awhile ago.
    NYT headline: “Rice in Baghdad Insists that Iraqis are ‘Making Progress”‘
    WAPO headline: Warner Downbeat After Iraq Trip

    So, I clicked on and read each. Oops, the Rice article said her plane had to circle the Baghdad airport for 40 minutes because of mortar or rocket fire down below…..then had to be helicoptered to the green zone because of the danger on the airport road,…..then told that while in an evening meeting with Talabani, the lights went out and Rice was forced to continue the meeting in the dark. [Rice ‘being in the dark’ was a nice touch of reality]
    Senator Warner was downbeat enough that he now thinks we should give only a couple of months yet to this ‘stay the course’ stuff and then re-think the whole situation, because the situation has deteriorated so greatly since he was last in Iraq.

  27. Whatfur,
    I’d rather be killed by Democratic’s who try, than slowly bled to death by Republican’s who won’t. Or, can’t…
    Blinder’s ain’t eyeglasses…

  28. Sorry, should read “Democrat’s” who try…

    Erinyes, I have spelling issue’s too, sometimes 🙂

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