Tuesday, June 19

I Suppose It's Fortunate He Died, Since He'd Have Choked To Death By Now Anyway

I'm the last man on earth,
That's what the matter is with me.

-Loudon Wainwright III

DECEMBER, 2000. Installed as President of the United States in what the clinically, if not pathologically, detached would describe as the most scandalous national election in a century, George W. Bush faced the public he'd been hiding from for most of the previous five weeks (two sightings, if memory serves; was that boil not enough, America? Did it need to grow eyes and teeth and start snarling before you got the message?) and said--again, if memory serves--that the millions of Americans who had voted for his opponent--more than had voted for him, even allowing for massive disenfranchisement--"could suck his dick".

Okay, that's wrong. He didn't say that. His ventriloquists did.

It was clear that his handlers had no intention of being conciliatory beyond what their marginal interest in propriety demanded. Within a week someone on the inside had used the M word--mandate--and two more things became clear: that they were sticking with the pre-election playbook in spite of what had occurred in "reality", and that "I didn't say it--he said it" was to be a sort of trademark (within a couple years this would be officially shortened to "I didn't say it," whether or not the speaker had been caught on tape doing precisely that). I suppose the actual count was three things becoming clear if you count the Free Press signaling its willingness to eat any plate of shit set before them.

And all this was perfectly clear. I don't think I'm speaking as a partisan here. I think I'm speaking as someone who's spent fifteen minutes talking to a car salesman. Their first fucking order of business was to spread the White House Vandalism story, something that, once again, had been decided on earlier and made to fit. They didn't even bother looking for evidence. Their talking weasel--later to shit himself when he learned he might face jail time--promised the ladies and gentlemen of the Free Press, on the first full day of the administration, that he'd provide evidence of something he knew didn't happen. Mike Allen knew it was concocted. Tony Snow knew. So did Andrea Mitchell. They knew.

A week or so ago there was a Daily Show bit that revolved around Jon ticking off a litany of Bush administration crimes. Just the major ones. And I sat there thinking, "Gee, I forgot about that one...oh, that's right, they did that...those phone company records sorta slipped my memory, somehow...Wow, I..."

Isn't it obvious to everyone, now, that from Day One this was such a thoroughly criminal enterprise that swiping a candy bar at the convenience store counter while the clerk's back was turned was not beneath them? Isn't it clear that matters like the Hatch Act or the Presidential Records Act were less objects in their path than objects beneath their contempt? That the Attorney General's three-card monte spiel about presidents deciding which laws to obey was in fact a confession of a criminality so profound it beggars belief? If you cannot impeach George W. Bush at this point, tell me what the impeachment clause is for, aside from ginning up outrage over a blowjob. It is clear--it should be clear to diehard Republicans, let alone timid Congressional Democrats--that there was an intention to violate the laws of the United States from the earliest minutes of this administration. It's not only clear that the President has committed what qualify as High Crimes; it's clear that the phrase describes his administration in a nutshell. If George W. Bush is not impeached we owe the Past an apology and the Future a good reason not to defile all our graves. And we owe ourselves an Amendment: " 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors' shall not be construed to constitute impeachable acts unless it can be demonstrated beyond any possible doubt that such greatly exceed the typical daily outrages of the 43rd President.

Turns out it was lucky for you that Outrage died, eh Mr. Bennett? Funny how things work out. And by the way, however excruciating it's been, and however devastating to families across America, all to no purpose, still, I have to say thanks for giving us a close-up look at your real Virtues.


BeginningToWonder said...

Thank you, Doghouse. Again!

Thomas Nephew said...

Great post. So much that I hate to break it to you, but William Bennett is still alive.

Houston said...

He may get impeached yet. If he isn't impeached, then you are so right: We the present owe the future a huge apology.

D. Sidhe said...

Thanks, Doghouse.

The biggest problem, though, is that most Americans are convinced all politicians do this stuff anyway, or at least that Clinton did it too and got away with it.

I like to argue that we're not really a nation of unconcerned idiots, that we're just exhausted and distracted enough by the effort at day to day survival, an effort made harder in every possible way by the assholes who like us that way.

But sometimes I think we probably are.

poicephalus said...

This rises so far above Constitutional grievances, that I am almost underwhelmed (excellent post, and I did say almost).
The only place for these criminals (my apologies to the run-o'-the-mill criminals) is the International Criminal Court, or a duly impaneled War Crimes Tribunal.
As you say, their crimes against this nation are staggering. However, their crimes against humanity are what must be addressed (pardon the passive). History, and all the future Charles Taylors and Slobodan Milosevices and Tony Blairs will be watching.
I remember Watergate. I remember where I was when Dick gave the resignation speech. It pales. It truly fucking pales.

Vicki said...

To follow up on poicephalus ("It pales"): But nobody seems to care! At least, many of the nobodies in my extended family seem not to care what this administration does. They still argue (using whole phrases thoughtfully supplied by the Fox & Friends team) that Libby was railroaded by a partisan, overzealous prosecutor; torture is justified in extreme circumstances; habeas corpus is, like the Geneva Conventions, old-timey and slightly embarrassing; and the US Attorney "scandal" is a lot of fuss about something Bill Clinton did, too, and that Hillary would do even more.

It makes me so tired. And that's why I come here, and read Doghouse and the comforting comments. Because you guys never fail me. There are none of those bad people here. This is my sanctuary. Now I'm going to burst into tears.

blognoscenti said...

I like to argue that we're not really a nation of unconcerned idiots, that we're just exhausted and distracted enough by the effort at day to day survival

Eh, I don't know, d. A friend of mine was dumped in a trash can by her birth mother and left for dead on her first day in this world. Got married at 19 to a sociopathic prick whose father, a judge, is a good buddy of Antonin Scalia (seriously), and has paid a severe financial and emotional price for it, even though the marriage didn't last two years. During all the years I've known her, she's had to work as many as three jobs at once to take care of both her daughter and elderly mother. Yet, she's a sweet, helpful person and dedicated liberal.

Whereas many of my relatives, who fit Vicki's description above, who haven't had to work any harder than anyone else for their well-off lifestyle, who have the time and ability and disposable income to do more than scan the newspaper and glance at the shouting head news shows, are so amazingly cold hearted and willfully dense and fatuous that it frequently leaves me silent and staring into space just trying to comprehend it.

I guess what I'm saying is that I have to agree with your reluctant conclusion. I don't think we can blame our stupidity on overwork and stress, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Phoning in from the dark side here: I have given up shouting and am considering which caliber to select for certain politicians.

not seriously, of course

of course not...