Guess what conspicuous, repulsive fly just landed on the surging GOP ointment minutes after claiming a midterm mandate? No, not weak-kneed B. Obama, vamoosing for Asia. Not Sarah Palin, though rancor and disruption are middle names. Not Tea Party growling from the likes of Rand Paul, nor which conservative wins the Alaska Senate seat.
Further, let’s dismiss the Smirking Chump’s memoir carries any historical weight — highly defensive, banal distortions add nothing new or substantial to W.’s sequestered presidency. The real news is what he never admitted, like why really he invaded Iraq, but that’s another topic. Sadly, his fantasy for children Bush didn’t quite write discloses not one juicy scandal. And then, shock and awe, reports Friday show extensive passages were stolen, word for word, from other books. As W.’s entire reign reeked of obeying other peoples’ ideas, so much for staying the course.
Idiotically, Bush interviews convey his impression of deftly sidestepping hard questions when, repeatedly, even the softballs unravel the same unapologetic, shameless liar. Takeaway — Bush’s incredible passivity (trusting everything advisers told him about WMDs, Saddam, 9/11, taxes, banksters, emergencies) aligned with criminality (okaying torture to save lives a claim never, ever proved because Cheney hustled up one shyster who nodded, “No Problem”). What comes across is scarily, depressingly exactly like the president we scorn: clueless, unreflective, inarticulate, condescending, uncurious, and in full denial. No Decider, no escape, no awareness of impact. Just richer, now immune from truth and justice.
Indeed, there remains the arrogance that nearly taunts indictment, bragging about violating laws and treaties. Tellingly, this petty tyrant whined his worst moment was being called a “racist” so much for body bags, quagmires, trillions squandered, a planet abused, topped of by what rightfully should be called for all time, the Great Bush Recession. I wonder if his hurt feelings matched what Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame felt, pulverized for being good citizens, or that myriad of correct critics impugned as traitors.
First Joke, at GOP’s Expense
And yet, by my take, there’s a terrific joke underway, as his ill-timed entrance stings his own party bosses who, at great expense, just bought House control. Barely beyond gloating and dreams of Republican redemption, in marches the world’s major nemesis, arguably the prime reason Democrats hold the power they still do. And the Smirker had to be dissuaded NOT to start hawking BEFORE the election. Perfect timing for a brain that doesn’t sweat the small stuff, or the big stuff, or anyone else’s stuff.
So, eager, post-election Republicans elbowed each other to the microphone, saying, “Aren’t we now the reliable ones, principled, trustworthy, and ready for primetime leadership? Especially vs. that failed liberal-social — hell, no — socialist “experiment” defiling the White House.” Moments after crawling from their premature grave, think how Bush diluted the GOP message, boasting they bring what Obama lacks: 1) backbone (thus, no compromise), 2) clear agendas (cut taxes, spending, health care), and 3) unshakeable principles (that government is best which obeys least, except for rightwing demands).
Heeee’s Back, Smirking & Unruffled
For a few weeks anyway, that suggests big drama isn’t between Tea Party fundamentalists vs. entrenched Republicans (re: earmarks, trademarks, or Karl Marx in the White House), but offsetting the pushy Bush nightmare. Of course, this addicted lefty is confident, as W. destroys whatever he touches, damage control must be front and center — and expensive. Interviews reveal all too well who he is (and manifestly, isn’t), and only a phrase recalls a repulsion so great one understands the Obama moment, with mixed results, I hear. We’re still waiting for the real anti-Bush to stand up, even fight twice a year.
Imagine our grim national nostalgia emanating from these W. gems, “I felt like the captain of a sinking ship” and “This was one ugly way to end a presidency.” No doubt, like Obama, GOP top brass are desperate only to look forward. I don’t blame them as Bush drags in the past corpses. W.’s smirking makes Republicans have to clarify, again, why they aren’t Bush or Cheney, let alone not Obama. For Democrats, Bush magnifies its permanent campaign motto: we’re not Bush, nor fringe types slicing Social Security: they are extremists and we’re caring Democrats, who in good time will end their bad wars (if re-elected). Wars are so pragmatic, getting Bush and Obama re-elected.
Second Joke: Democrats Get Ambushed
What outrages this leftwing columnist isn’t W.’s counterproductive, tiresome counterattack: 90% of the time he looks the same schlemiel as ever. No, what his odious demeanor dramatizes is that Democrats totally wimped out, not only taking impeachment off the table, but essential investigations. Is blatant denial of inquiry not contempt for the law and our shredded balance of powers? Is not the chosen administration, right after America’s most pernicious junta, legally- and honor-bound at a minimum to clear the air? My stewing resentment isn’t over what Bush-Cheney did for eight years, but what Democrats didn’t for four provide a detailed record, and some closure, for our virtual national torture.
It’s not like Democrats had to reinvent the wheel: the world knows the tested process as “national reconciliation.” However hard or painful, how long can any culture endure such mendacity or letting miscreants walk free without figuring out what they did and why? Either waterboarding is a crime here, or it isn’t; ditto for WH assassination programs of untried citizens, for Obama’s extension of Bush-think. To allow an ex-president to soil American prestige, shooting off his mouth to sell a book, reneges a century of progress. W. hasn’t just avoided facing the music, he stole the instruments and is now getting rich hocking them on the street, smirking all the way home.
So, the same clueless, blindsided, figurehead represents now a double-edged political sword writ large. Further, as the GOP noise machine successfully preys on Democrats, isn’t unearthing the truth about Bush-Cheney good, pragmatic politics? Senate investigations count, too, and scrutiny should extend beyond torture but into violations of banking, mortgage and security laws plus BP and negligent miners. We aren’t failing at “reconciliation;” we remain locked in denial, refusing to face what happened, which champion of rights this country re-elected, even why our system is breaking down, year after year.
Way to go, Obama’s Dept. of Justice
Finally, there’s one more joke on the horizon. High-level investigations ARE coming and may for appearances skim the Bush years. But when crusaders Daryl Issa or Michelle Bachmann, and their McCarthyte cronies, get fully installed in January, scrutiny won’t be about Bush torture or Katrina or craven deregulation that caused economic collapse — or the worst oil spill in history. Water under the damn, remote, ancient history. Think fresher fish, starting with “illegal” Obama Stimulus funding, un-American health care, and where exactly in Kenya was that socialist born. Trying to prove a negative can take months and months, as endless as endless wars. Bravo, Democrats!
The only ones chuckling about this upcoming farce may be historians in 50 years who understand the moral of this story: if your well-meaning party is too timid to investigate odious evil-doers, then brace for persecution from empowered, self-righteous smirkers who calculate their power expands by bringing down “traitorous enemies.” If my fears bear out, what the Democratic House and the Obama administration didn’t do in the last two years will overwhelm what they did accomplish. Too bad, but hardly unpredictable, even two years ago, long before this deluge loomed.