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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Caveat Emptor

Paul O'Neill once said that ideology is a blinder -- helping you see only what you want while blocking out all else. O'Neill should know, as he was one of the few free-thinkers to manage a job early on in GWB's administration. He quickly proved himself capable, thus ensuring his departure from Treasury. Same for Richard Clarke, the former White House terrorism chief to then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. Same for John Dilulio, former White House head of faith-based initiatives. And let's not forget former GOP Rep. Michael Parker, who led the Army Corps of Engineers until 2002, when he made the fatal mistake of disagreeing with cuts to flood control programs in Louisiana.

Well, the blinders are still firmly in place for the GOP leadership in Washington -- with Speaker Hastert thundering about congress having real work to do and not having time to play the blame game over who f'd up the Katrina situation. The Bushies are saying the same thing across the board. Heck, we all know the GOP talking points have been spread so far and so wide that even Bernie Kerik is getting back into the act, appearing most recently on MSNBC to ape the commander in chimp's defense.

But the blinders have fallen off for a growing majority of the public. The curtain around the wizard has dropped, and the same old lines no longer work the magic they once did to cow the citizenry. Slowly, but surely, it seems the electorate is relearning ``buyer beware.''

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You can't cut taxes for the richest, while waging a global war, while pumping out a major US city, while righting an economy wheezing from a record deficit and trade imbalance. You can't invade one country unilaterally and preemptively and not make folks mad. You can't say ``bring 'em on'' and wish for the safety of your troops at the same time. You can't solve an energy crisis by pumping more taxpayer dollars into the already bloated accounts of the Oilocracy. You can't spit on science and expect to manage your backyard, let alone the nation's parks, atmosphere and oceans.

If you think you can, i've got a bridge to sell you that spans the Platte River. The government has been staffed with unqualified cronies who believe in killing the beast of federal government and we are supposed to expect them to wield their government power effectively?

It's not the blame game CHB is defending. It's the notion of accountability. It was Karl Rove who trumpeted, in the shadow of the smashed Twin Towers, that the terrorist attacks would be the perfect cudgel with which to club Democrats in the 2002 midterms. It was the White House smear-squad that was blaming local officials for the inept Katrina response even while Commander in Cheat was still clearing brush in Crawford. He's styled himself in the past as a Harry Truman type, but the buck never seems to stop at, let alone pass over, Bush's desk.

Cornhuskerblogger has been optimistic about the political future, because he's long understood that even a polished turd is still a turd. And now the polish is peeling off fast. Can you smell the stink?

(CHB note: We here at CCM never bought what Bush was selling. But now we'd like to encourage him to do some selling of a different kind...)


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