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.