A Bush Too Far

Harold Meyerson wants to know what the Bushies were thinking.

The truly astonishing thing about the latest scandals besetting the Bush administration is that they stem from actions the administration took after the November elections, when Democratic control of Congress was a fait accompli.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ hour-long meeting on sacking federal prosecutors took place after the election. The subsequent sacking took place after the election. The videoconference between leaders of the General Services Administration and Karl Rove’s deputy about how to help Republican candidates in 2008, according to people who attended the meeting, took place Jan. 26 this year.

During last year’s congressional campaigns, Republicans spent a good deal of time and money predicting that if the Democrats won, Congress would become one big partisan fishing expedition led by zealots such as Henry Waxman. The Republicans’ message didn’t really impress the public, and apparently it didn’t reach the president and his underlings, either. Since the election, they have continued merrily along with their mission to politicize every governmental function and agency as if their allies still controlled Congress, as if the election hadn’t happened.

Last week Wayne Slater was on one of the politics talk shows opining that Karl Rover was convinced the GOP lost the midterm elections because of the corruption scandals, e.g. Duke Cunningham. D. Kyle Sampson and Harriet Miers began drawing up a list of attorneys to be purged in 2005, but most of the purging occurred in December 2006, after the midterm. So, yes, one does wonder what they were thinking.

Democrats such as Waxman clearly had planned to hold hearings on the administration’s hitherto-unexamined follies of the past six years. Instead, the most high-profile investigations they’re conducting concern administration follies of the past five months, since they won the election.

And then there’s Iraq. In spite of overwhelming public opposition to the war and an overwhelming lack of confidence in Bush to make something good out of it, Republicans in Congress continue to support the war and the President. I admit, I expected a lot more rats to desert the sinking ship by now. Meyerson provides four possible answers to this mystery.

  • They still think they can win in 2008.
  • They want to block the Dems from doing anything so they can run against “do-nothing Democrats” in 2008.
  • “The alternative reality conveyed by the Republican media — Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk — has created a Republican activist base that is genuinely not reality-based, and from which the current generation of Republican pols is disproportionately drawn.”
  • “…good government is just not in their DNA. Bush and Rove are no more inclined to create a government based on such impartial values as law and science than they are to set up collective farms.”
  • Bush and Rove are a symbiotic creature. They were both problem children; Bush was the screwup son of a prominent family; Rove attended nearly half a dozen colleges without getting a degree. They both took an interest in politics, and found each other, and out of that symbiosis came a Formula for gaining and keeping political power. And that formula served them well for a long time. Neither was interested in government, but while Bush was governor of Texas that didn’t matter much. He went through the motions well.

    Once in Washington, BushRove finessed the September 11 attacks to maximum political advantage. But the creature was also being protected by a Republican Congress and the Noise Machine — the media-think tank infrastructure that wealthy conservatives began building in the 1970s, about the time Karl Rove dropped out of his last college. With the full force of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy enabling it, The Formula worked just fine.

    The big flaw in the BushRovian Formula was the governing thing. Even when government business is conducted in maximum secrecy, the results of incompetence and corruption can only be kept hidden for so long. Chickens do come home to roost.

    No matter how much trouble it gets into, the creature is not going to change. It won’t try to work with Congress; it won’t stop trying to get by on spin and bluster. When backed into a corner, the creature will fall back on The Formula, because that’s all it knows.

    As to why the rest of the Republicans are still carrying water for the creature — hell if I know.

    7 thoughts on “A Bush Too Far

    1. All you have to do is look at the YouTube clip of oday’s testimony of General Services Administration head Lurita Doan before the House Oversight Committee. You can find it on the Talking Points Memo website. Doan attempts to explain why, in violation of the Hatch Act, she had Karl Rove’s Chief of Staff, Scott Jennings, give a Powerpoint presentation to the GSA staff on how to displace Democrats and secure Republican Congressional seats. The clip tells it all, as does her full testimony before the Committee, on how the administration does not understand the laws, governance, or loyalty to the US and its citizens above all else.

    2. it is soooooo disapointing that this is what this once great nation has come to. This pair of malcontents destroy whatever they touch. One can only shake their head and wonder what will come of mankind if this is what rises to the top. Fraud, thats what gwbushit represents. Fraud and rampant greed along with the ability to crush others, what else could you want running this country.

    3. “As to why the rest of the Republicans are still carrying water for the creature — hell if I know.”

      The answer is that they do not know how to change and believe they are fighting the good fight. Another part of the answer is because there is money in it for them. Its their paycheck.

    4. As to why the rest of the Republicans are still carrying water for the creature — hell if I know.

      It’s an interesting question, and I’d vote for this hypothesis put forth by Meyerson:

      ..The alternative reality conveyed by the Republican media — Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk — has created a Republican activist base that is genuinely not reality-based, and from which the current generation of Republican pols is disproportionately drawn.

      What’s interesting about this is watching the various Republicans in Congress struggle between reality and fantasy. There are probably phases of waking up from the effects of the brain-washing that I wish someone would elucidate. Senator Hagel is one to watch.

      From what I know of authoritarianism, true authoritarians never wake up, they simply dig their heels in deeper, and I suspect that’s a lot of what’s going on.

      I’m reminded of the Clinton impeachment. Despite overwhelming public support for Clinton, the witchhunt continued, unabated. I was tempted to write letters of encouragement to the Republican leadership of the time, calling them to continue digging, continue going after the man. Keep digging your own graves politically, in other words. Sure enough, the public saw through what was happenning and tossed many of these idiots out of power with the next election. I’m sure these True Believers never knew what hit them.

      What’s amazing to me is how the set of Republican presidential candidates for 2008 are offering themselves up as no real alternative to the failure of the last six years. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on a Democratic landslide in 2008, simply because the Republicans, for the most part, are steadfastly unwilling to recognize reality. Maybe we should start a letter writing campaign along the lines of what I described above, to make sure these idiots run off the cliff.

    5. I have worked for the Federal Government since 1973. My first job was with the FAA, Northwest Regional office on Boeing Field. One morning in 1974 my supervisor pointed out a man who had just gotten off the FAA plane and was coming towards the building. He was the FAA Administrator, Alexander Butterfield. My supervisor told me how he was the guy who spilled the beans about the White House tapes and rumor had it that he would not be Administrator for very much longer. Oh, that Alexander Butterfield! What an introduction to the Fed. Govt.

      Now, just today I was thinking that I may have stayed too long at the fair. I work for a whole bunch of GS-13s and above and the majority (90 %) cannot tell good work from bad work. If a stay a couple more years, I will have a nice retirement. But, it is really hard to work for these nincompoops. Earlier (but even as late as the 1990s) the worker bees (career) such as myself were able to get our work done while maintaining a high quality in spite of the idiots who got the political jobs. But, it is harder and harder to do quality work with all the obstacles put in front of us by the “stupidvisors” that have arrived in the last six years. I may fill out those retirement papers tomorrow to retire on Friday. If they try to make me feel guilty for leaving them in the lurch, I will just ask them, “What have they done for me lately.” This inhumane, soulless man who is President and started this illegal and immoral war, murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis . . . is my boss . . .

      What kind of example is being set for the children????!!!!!

    6. They thought they would win in 06. They thought good Bushies would bring meritless voter fraud indictments against Dems. They thought purging the attorneys before the election would look bad (same with Rumsfeld). And then when it turned out some attorneys valued integrity over loyalty, they changed the list. No, they didn’t change their behavior with Dems around, they felt getting sneakier would suffice.

      Back in the 50s or early 60s there was a study done on UFO cults, and what happens when the predicted day passes without the UFOs landing and carting off the faithful. Well, for those who are home caring for mom or whatever, they wake up and say “Wow, I wasted years on those idiots”. But for those waiting together with other believers, they come out believing even more strongly. (The politically immature might see echos of this in the diaspora.)

      Bush surrounds himself with true believers, and while some of them may occaisionally exhibit a kind of feral canniness, they are universally dumb as a waterlogged post. So dumb, they think they’re smart.

    Comments are closed.