Friday, May 20, 2005

Bush Floats Above the Fray

This column was originally published in the Kentucky section of

By Rich Miles

May 20, 2005

President Bush is on the 78th day of a 60-day nationwide roadshow to promote his Social Security plan, but other political issues and stories seem to have stolen the spotlight.”

So began an article in the May 20th issue of the New York Times – an article that raises the question, “What the hell is he thinking?”. Consider the following:

The National Review, in its May 22 issue, goes all the way over the line from denial into delusion with its cover story, “We’re Winning”, about how America has finally learned the “art of counterinsurgency” in Iraq. Meanwhile, the death toll of civilians, Iraqi government members, police and security forces, not to mention U.S troops, in the past 30 days approaches 500.

The generals in charge in Iraq are on the verge of having to defy their SecDef and C-in-C about the possibility of troop drawdowns, because we simply cannot do it without major bloodshed, much of it American blood.

Genuine loonies in the radical religious Right, like James Dobson, Frank Pavone, Randall Terry et al., continue to scream for the quid pro quo they think is theirs because of the electoral victory they “gave” Bush back in November, and are the prime movers in keeping the nuclear fires burning in the U.S. Senate.

Despite repeated warnings from virtually every reputable scientist in the country, Bush continues to ignore the dangers of global warming, and stands by his position that “there’s not enough proof that global warming exists”.

Despite repeated warnings from virtually every reputable economist in the WORLD that our huge federal deficits are almost certain to cause a major economic catastrophe for the U.S. in the not-too-distant future, Bush continues to insist that his tax cuts and budget priorities are the right way for us to go, and that if we’ll all just be patient, the deficits will go away all by themselves.

Tom DeLay gives delusional behavior a bad name almost every time he opens his mouth, and still refuses to see that there are a lot of Republicans in the “liberal” conspiracy that is trying to call him to task for his arrogance and misfeasance (and perhaps malfeasance).

China, which owns a lot of our debt paper, is about to eat our lunch in oh, so many ways, and North Korea is on the verge of telling us, in a big way, that we can stick our self-righteous attitudes about who can have nuclear weapons where the sun don’t shine.

Here in Kentucky, the Belly of the Right-Wing Christian beast, our governor, Ernie “I can be just as arrogant as the President” Fletcher, the one who campaigned (and apparently won) on the promise to “clean up the mess” in our Capital, is daily becoming more embroiled in a case that, if it goes as it appears to be going, will lead to his indictment, along with that of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of state workers and political hangers-on.

And the Senate (remember the Senate?), in a controversy publicly all but ignored by the president, but privately encouraged by him and his imp of Satan Karl Rove, is about to implode over 7 people – 7 judges, out of more than 200, who are so far out of the mainstream that they look left to see Attila the Hun.

But rather than address any of these deeply troubling issues in any serious way, rather than even stay in Washington long enough to try to address them, our beloved leader continues his barnstorming tour to convince Americans of the need to dismantle – yes, that’s the right word – virtually the only government program EVER in our history to work almost precisely as planned, despite ample and repeated polling numbers showing that, the more he tells us about his plan, the less we support it. And he continues to blame the Democrats for their refusal to play his game.

A mental image comes to me….of Bush floating above us, fluffy clouds all around, looking down at what he has wrought, very pleased with himself, because he is working so hard to “fix” Social Security. And right there beside him, slightly smaller wings and a few feet below him for appearances, Karl Rove takes notes on how he can consolidate his power, reward some more campaign contributors and corporate CEO’s, and keep the clouds in place so Bush can’t see the real damage. Not that he’s shown any evidence he would alter his actions if he did see it.

I don’t know how much more of Bush’s leadership we can stand. Please, Mr. President, don’t help us any more, OK? Leave government to the professionals, and go chainsaw something at the ranch.

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