05 July, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Apart from a few firmly-deluded nutbags, Bush is popular with no one. He's not one of the "in-crowd." He's a ginormous, abject embarrassment to every single person in this country that has two brain cells to rub together. Alas, we shall now have to include the very worst of the idiotic Republicons in the "has two brain cells" category:

The Republicans are planning to throw quite a party in Minnesota in a couple of months. They’re just not quite sure what to do with the President of the United States.

Convention planners, the White House and the McCain campaign are wrestling with how to choreograph a proper send-off for Mr. Bush — sure, his poll numbers are in the tank, but he is still the party leader and president of the United States — while hustling him out the door in time for Mr. McCain to look like his own man.

“It’s a very delicate situation,” said Brian Jones, a former communications director for Mr. McCain’s campaign who also was a top communications strategist during Mr. Bush’s 2004 run for re-election. “Even though the president is the president, this is going to be John McCain’s convention, and you want it to be about John McCain and what his presidency
would be.”


Funny, the Republicans weren’t worried about all of this in 1988, when they made sure to have Reagan “give oomph to the Bush candidacy,” including a choreographed embrace between the then-president and his Republican successor.

Yes, well, the difference was, Reagan could fake power, prestige, and charisma quite adeptly, and Bush... um, y'know, can't. There are few people in the world who can make bigger assclowns of themselves than Bush. There's just one thing that Bush does tremendously well: give repeated demonstrations of just what an incompetent fuckwit he is.

I'd go so far as to say that the only reason he's made it this far is because smarter, more powerful people have worked to keep him in power, simply because he's a useful idiot. Now he's no longer useful, and they're looking for a way to dispose of him discreetly. Their problem is, they can't just toss him like an overused snot rag, because that would give their game away. They have to make it look like they still support, respect and admire him, even though he's no more respected and admired than the chunk of toilet paper that just got used to clean up the damage after an episode of bad food.

Their other problem is that Americans in general have an opinion of Bush that's only slightly more favorable than their opinion of cholera, aside from the raving stupid fools who'd believe anything the power brokers tell them.

They've created themselves quite the dilemma.

How bad is it? One Republican lawmaker was willing to concede, on the record, that he didn’t want the president to appear at the convention at all.

This year, of course, Mr. McCain is trying to escape from Mr. Bush’s shadow. Most Republicans say Mr. Bush should play whatever role Mr. McCain wants him to. Some, like Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, simply wish Mr. Bush would keep out of it, though few would say so openly.

“I don’t think there are a lot of people who want to see him at the convention,” said Mr. Rohrabacher, who is especially irked with Mr. Bush for his stance on immigration. He said the president “should stay home from the Republican convention, and everybody would be better off.”

Let’s not brush past the context of this too quickly: Rohrabacher is a scandal-plagued Republican incumbent, caught up in the Abramoff fiasco. And even he is worried about Bush showing up at the Republican convention.

It’s quite a conundrum. As the NYT reported, “If the imagery coming out of St. Paul looks like a McCain-Bush hug fest, the Arizona senator will turn off voters who are through with Mr. Bush and want to move past him. If the imagery looks like Mr. McCain is trying to file for some kind of Republican divorce, it will turn off party conservatives who are already skeptical of Mr. McCain.”

This is what comes of basing your entire party strategy on an assclown from Crawford and a base that will cling to the idea you painstakingly installed in their single functioning brain cell and now cannot extract without damaging that base's ability to vote for the next assclown you foist upon them.

Delicious, isn't it?

They'll turn now to the tired old tactic that's served them so well in the past: blind, naked fear:

The line between Republican rhetoric and parodies of Republican rhetoric seems to blur more and more all the time.

The White House said Thursday that dangerous detainees at Guantanamo Bay could end up walking Main Street U.S.A. as a result of last month’s Supreme Court ruling about detainees’ legal rights. Federal appeals courts, however, have indicated they have no intention of letting that happen.

The high court ruling, which gave all detainees the right to petition federal judges for immediate release, has intensified discussions within the Bush administration about what to do with the roughly 270 detainees held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“I’m sure that none of us want Khalid Sheikh Mohammed walking around our neighborhoods,” White House press
secretary Dana Perino said about al-Qaida’s former third in command.

Yes, unless we reject habeas corpus and embrace the notion of indefinite detention, KSM will move in next door to you. He’ll also probably get a job at your local school. Maybe become a soccer coach. I hear he’s been eyeing PTA membership.

Look, I know the White House and its allies want us to be afraid. If we’re scared, and our judgment is blurred, their prospects of political success increase considerably. If the president’s spokesperson can convince people that habeas will lead Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to roam Main Street freely, then maybe, the Bush gang hopes, the public will endorse their indefinite-detention policies.

This is of a piece with the fuckwitted comments about a terrorist attack being good for McCain. All these people have is fear and loathing. That's it, the sum total of what they have to offer the American people. It's all they can rely on to win, because as far as actual sensible ideas go, they're worse than bankrupt.

Oh, wait, I forgot the lies:

This AP piece, written by Jennifer Loven, argues that Obama has “shifted to the center” on Iraq. That, of course, isn’t true. In fact, I know this with some certainly in large part because Jennifer Loven went on to tell me that Obama hasn’t changed his position on Iraq. How does one shift and not shift at the same time on the same issue? It’s apparently a mystery that only the AP knows.

Loven went on to say that Obama’s “recent position” is a 16-month withdrawal timeline. Except, it’s not “recent” at all — that’s been Obama’s position all along. (Note to the AP: Google is your friend. You can even use it for free.)


As a rule, there’s very little point in critiquing Charles Krauthammer columns. It’s a bit like correcting George W. Bush’s grammar — the
errors are obvious, but a little too easy.

But Krauthammer’s
latest column, a semi-coherent anti-Obama rant published yesterday, was an embarrassment to himself and the publication that ran it (the Washington Post). By any reasonable measure, the man has the intellectual seriousness of a house-plant.

Most of the initial attacks are just trite. Obama “disdained” flag lapel pins. He “seduc[ed] the hard-core MoveOn Democrats.” He had “last year’s most liberal voting record in the Senate” (which is still
a ridiculous claim, by the way). He’s guilty of “brazen reversals of position and abandonment of principles,” an attack I continue to find bewildering in light of John McCain’s dozens of high-profile flip-flops.

But Krauthammer soon shifted from pedantic hackery to outright deception by attacking Obama for reversing course on Iraq.
The right, knowing that the Iraq War and withdrawl from same is a super-hot topic among the vast majority of American voters, needs to destroy Obama on that front. They have to paint him as reversing course on withdrawl, because otherwise, he's going to hand McCain's teeth to him in a hat this November. They're desperate to defeat Obama on this point, so they're making shit up about a reversal that never happened, and then sending out their faithful little media attack dogs to savage the dangerous Dem.

If that stupid Republicon trick works this time, that's it. I'll have completely lost faith in the majority of my countrymen. I'll know the average American is so outrageously stupid, so unbelievably gulliable, that there's no point in bludgeoning them with the truth anymore. And that will free me to start my career as a channeller.

Who could possibly feel bad about fleecing such willing sheep?

Well, me, but as my dear friend NP said to me recently in another context, at least I'd have enough money to buy new morals...


george.w said...

The Economist, on McCain's alignment with Bush (imagine a goofy British narrator):

"WHEN more than 80% of Americans tell pollsters that they think the country is on the wrong track, and when only 28% of them believe that the president is doing a good job, you don’t need a Karl Rove or a Dick Morris to tell you that the road to the White House involves steering well clear of the incumbent’s policies. So why is John McCain not doing it?

The Republican candidate has always been close to George Bush when it comes to defending two fundamental, if unpopular, points of principle—the Iraq war and free trade. But in recent months Mr McCain has slid to the right on a series of other issues, including tax cuts, offshore drilling, immigration and even torture. This manoeuvring seems insincere and short-sighted..."

/goofy Brit

Anonymous said...

I kind of feel sorry for Bush. His attempt to make the world better is actually making it worse. Not only that, everyone doesn't like him for his foolish policies. I would rather never to have been known.

Anonymous said...

I, on the other hand, don't feel sorry for Dubya at all. I feel a little bit sorry for his parents, who managed to produce such an idiot, and seem to know it.

Reagan wasn't a rocket scientist either, but he managed to acquire some clever advisers who kept the public presidential persona from becoming an embarrassment. At least most of the time.

I think that racism in this country is far more deeply embedded than people want to admit, and a Republicrat McCain could take the presidency. He's doing himself no favors by pandering to the Conservative Far Wrong.

I hope.

Mechalith said...

All I can say is that if McCain somehow wins the election, the last thing I do before I emigrate to Canada is going to be trying to track down a Lewis Black show. I saw him the night of Bush's second inauguration, and he was pissed. I can only imagine he'll set the place afire with barely contained fury before literally exploding onstage.