"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The wheels are coming off the trolley

Reaction to the "Scooter" Libby indictment from conservatives has been predictable. They’re either dismissing the charge as politically-motivated hypocrisy (tell me what in Washington isn’t) or too "minor" to bother with (I’ll have to try that defense if I’m ever in court charged with a crime), relieved that Rove and Cheney got off the hook (it ain’t over yet, folks), or claiming that old shop-worn standby of the right, "liberal media bias".

They still don’t get it.

What this clearly reveals is an administration determined to justify a war with Iraq at any cost. You’ve heard the cliché before: "my mind’s made up, don’t confuse me with the facts". Read this Newsweek article for a brief yet informative run-up to how we got to where we are today.

It’s my personal belief that Dubya decided to invade Iraq as a personal vendetta against Saddam for the attempted assassination of George Bush Sr. some years earlier. He was willing to stop at nothing to get the man who tried to kill his daddy. Of course he needed a plausible excuse for this, so a number of ever-changing reasons were cobbled together including the now infamous "Weapons of Mass Destruction". The outing of Joe Wilson’s wife Valerie was a ham-handed attempt to punish a critic who knew the truth and spoke publicly about it.

Besides this explanation, there is a darker theory as to our current sad state of affairs. It holds that Bush is simply too dim-witted to be the leader of a complicated conspiracy, and that our nation is being secretly run by a cabal of neo-conservatives headed by Dick Cheney. Some might find this a little far-fetched, but no political intrigue at this level of government is out of the realm of possibility. In any case, the American public has a growing sense that something in Washington is fundamentally broken and can’t be fixed. In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan writes:

In the past I have been impatient with the idea that it's impossible now to be president, that it is impossible to run the government of the United States successfully or even competently. I always thought that was an excuse of losers. I'd seen a successful presidency up close. It can be done. But since 9/11, in the four years after that catastrophe, I have wondered if it hasn't all gotten too big, too complicated, too crucial, too many-fronted, too impossible. It's beyond, "The president is overwhelmed." The presidency is overwhelmed. The whole government is. And people sense when an institution is overwhelmed. Citizens know. If we had a major terrorist event tomorrow half the country--more than half--would not trust the federal government to do what it has to do, would not trust it to tell the truth, would not trust it, period”.

I feel it too. Do you?

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