Thursday, September 08, 2005
They look just like little bugs...
...and I am their King
"Character," goes the proverb, "is what you are in the dark."
"I hope people don't play politics during this period of time," Bush said on ABC's Good Morning America in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
Funny how the party of Terry Schiavo, “liberal judges are worse than terrorists”, ruthlessly pimping post-9/11 grief to create an unnecessary and disastrous war, the Seven Year Seek and Destroy mission against Bill Clinton -- people that only exist and maintain power by perverting every tragedy and playing every bigotry like a harp -– funny how they suddenly don’t want to play politics when the consequences of their hateful and reckless stupidity comes crashing down on our heads.
Funny how the party who came to office on the “Let’s All Hate Government” platform suddenly get all tender-skinned and flinchy about holding the government to account for it’s lethal failure…now that they run the government.
Funny how the people who make a fine, fat living off of pandering to the wealthy and fucking over everyone else and trot out terms like “class warfare” as pejoratives when their victims hit back...funny how they only plead for “no finger pointing” when the body count from their ruinous ideology start showing up in the headlines.
Funny how, when the Party of God gets caught in the headlights, pants down, fucking the family poodle, the best they can come up with was, “Hey, She came on to Me!”
Some years ago, when I was dating a woman who lived in the what you might say were the exurbs of Tornado Alley, we were awakened during one awful night of storms by what sounded like the Gabriel warming up on the horn for the Final Trump. Afterwards, when we were all safe, it turned out that wind or lightening had snapped a pretty big tree behind her house in half, and had walked the now-liberate lumber across the roof, where it had perforated a line from front-to-back, like an awl going through leather.
Then it has mashed a couple of cars in the parking lot.
We knew none of this at the time: all we knew was that it was dark and what sounded like the End of Days was pounding on the door.
Which is when I heroically threw myself across my lady-fair to protect her. It was a well-intentioned and exactly wrong reflex, and in the gentling haze of memory, I now recall her “Get. Off. Me. NOW.” as being full of loving kindness.
Her cat -- being MUCH smarter than me -- had instinctively taken exactly the right action and had bolted down the stairs, nine at a time, without so much as a backwards glance.
The damned thing was already making coffee and looking both bored and condescending by the time we descended the same stairs at the stately pace of six at a time and got our asses out of there.
This is the same impulse that still makes my Mom snap her arm out and across the chest of anyone in the front passenger seat of her car if she’s driving and has to slam on the brakes to keep from killing some idiot. If it were a real crash, her arm would probably do nothing except break as the airbags deployed. She’s got a few years on her, and her frail guardianship certainly wouldn’t keep anyone from flying through the windshield if that’s where physics ordered them to go.
But she still does it, out of habit, because character is what you are in the dark. It’s what you are and what you do automatically, and while no one is looking.
Throughout his entire adult life, George W. Bush has shown himself to be a remarkably reckless, foolish and craven man. Of that there is no question. But in addition to being buffered against the consequences of his own stupidity and arrogance by virtue of the wealth and position of his family, he has the singular advantage of being able to surround himself with an army of Orcs. A willfully blind retinue of degenerates who are drawn to this hollow, inept creature the for the same reason alligators are drawn to a drowning man.
Hunger: primal and ruthless. What I might have once called a bottomless hunger for power merely for the narcotic pleasure of power itself...except that in Iraq and New Orleans we can now begin to make out the bottom of the moral abyss into which the Republican Party has led us.
The leaders of the Party of Personal Responsibility now lay bare-assed in the bright sun, shown to be exactly what we have always known they were: spoiled children who want to play at being President while thrashing like a beaver in a bear-trap to avoid actually being responsible. People who want to have a dress-up slumber party with a trunk full of vintage clothes and powdered wigs left in the White House attic by our Founding Fathers. Who sit behind the desk in the Oval Office and spin ‘round and ‘round in Lincoln’s Grown-up Chair and cry “wheeeeee!” and play at governance and leadership.
While real people die.
9/11 handed the profligate and incompetent George Bush a blank check that he thought he could go on cashing for ever and ever, into history and glory that would paint over his complete ineptitude and raise him up to Olympus, or at least Rushmore. It magically suffocated all debate. Snuffed out all opposition. Marginalized all opposition to his war, even long after it became painfully obvious that the Bush War was based entirely on lies, lies and more lies.
But George Bush’s Magic 9/11 line of infinite credit and infinite forgiveness came with a price tag.
You must keep us safe. Period.
No excuses. No nonsense. No bullshit.
And Bush failed – catastrophically and unforgivably -- and people died who didn’t have to die.
The FEMA – the Federal Emergency Management Agency failed – catastrophically and unforgivably -- and people died who didn’t have to die.
And when George Bush decide to make National Security his only platform... spend tens of billions of your dollars on getting us prepared for disaster... bind FEMA into the Fedland national security empire...and then run for re-election on the basis that he and ONLY he could be trusted to keep the nation secure...he fucking well bought his own ticket for this ride.
2004 was an acid test for Republican voters. A cleansing fire that burned away all of the lying Republican prattle about opportunity and tax cuts and children being left behind – the code the GOP has always used to strip the national larder down to the studs to enrich their cronies while paying lip service to “Compassion”.
Well, Mr. President, an awful lot of children got Left Behind in New Orleans, didn’t they? But they were poor and black and so what were they really worth to you?
A nauseating number of Americans were and are willing to gouge out their own eyes rather than face the basic moral degeneracy of the Party of God for one reason and one reason only: Fear
Fear of attack, and fear of being wrong.
I have relatives who Dubya beats metaphorically bloody and on whose arms and legs this Administration economically stubs out cigarettes. And yet every morning, through split-lips and swollen eyes, they defend him. Ferociously. It wasn't his fault...or he did the best anyone could...or Liberals would be worse...or it never really happened at all.
Because to allow even a little bit of doubt to seep in, would be to admit that they have made one HUGE fucking mistake. That virtually everything they believe is a massive lie perpetrated on them by monsters who secretly despise them for their weakness and cowardice.
Their whole identity would implode and frankly Republicans would rather die (and take everyone else with them) that ever admit they were wrong.
There is parity between Katrina and Bush in that the Republicans were given ample warning of what a disaster Bush would be. Flare were fired off. Klaxons sounded. Criers ran though the streets and the firebell rang in the night.
And still, the Republican Faithful did nothing. While the hellstorm of consequences that electing criminals and incompetents and bastards to office was bearing down on this country in full fucking view, the Freepers and the Neocons and the Christopaths picked their toes, called us traitors, whined about gays and got positively nutty insisting that their comic book superstitions be taught as Science.
This is the Party that preened and prattled about their “Mandate” being the trump card over every issue. That voting for a stupid thing somehow made it smart, and voting against Science and Reality made those things go away. And that no day of reckoning would every come as long as they voted to keep hitting the Snooze Button.
OK fuckers, go ahead. Vote Katrina away. Vote NOLA back to vitality and beauty and charm. Vote the dead back to life.
In the end what you got for your vote wasn’t a Messiah, or a Moses or a Solomon.
In the end all you got was what you were AMPLY warned you would get. George W. Bush. A hollow idiot. The Bicycle Chief. The Vacationer-in-Chief. A dry-drunk, half-wit coward. A Potempkin President who would fall apart if the stink of the Real World every made it past his retinue. A prop levee that would fail when the wind started blowing.
In the end, Bush failed the only test of leadership that matters, on the only platform he every really ran on.
But Character is what you are in the dark.
And it was awfully dark in New Orleans last week.