Don’t Relax – Open Your Eyes

Jim Rutenberg reports in the NY Times today that Democrats and “war critics” don’t see much real change in Bush’s attitude despite the results of the election and his conciliatory words afterward.

Immediately after the beating his party took in November, President Bush indicated that he had received the message that voters wanted change, and that he would serve some up fast. He ousted his defense secretary, announced a full-scale review of his war plan and contritely agreed with critics that progress in Iraq was not happening “well enough, fast enough.”But in the last two weeks, the critics and even some allies say, they have seen a reversal. Mr. Bush has shrugged off suggestions by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that he enlist the help of Iran and Syria in the effort to stabilize Iraq. Countering suggestions that he begin thinking of bringing troops home, he has engaged in deliberations over whether to send more. And he has adjusted the voters’ message away from Iraq, saying on Wednesday, “I thought the election said they want to see more bipartisan cooperation.”


“I’ve seen very few tea leaves in the mix that would give you any sense of hope or confidence that he is getting it so far,” said Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who supports the study group’s advice that the administration seek help from Iran and Syria in Iraq. “The bottom line is this president can’t afford not to change course. The time is up.”

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a former Army ranger who is a member of the Armed Services Committee, said, “I don’t think he’s given up the sort of sloganizing and the simplistic view of what’s happening there.”

Evidently these Dems – and and many others besides, no doubt – believe that Junior is going back to his old position.

Bullshit. He isn’t “reversing” himself; he never versed.

It constantly amazes me that no matter how often Bush lies to them, most people listen to what he says and seem to think, “This time he’s telling the truth” and when it turns out he wasn’t, they’re surprised. I remember listening to his press conference after the election and thinking, “What crap. And he really thinks after all these years anybody’s going to fall for that?” But in the days immediately following, it became clear (with a few cautious exceptions – Nancy Pelosi, for one) that yes, many people believed he meant it, even scads of people who should have known better. They think reality has popped his little bubble and that he will now be forced to acknowledge it whether he likes it or not. Listen to Leon Panetta:

“What always happens with an election in which you lose badly or your party loses badly is that you spend a little time in shock,” Mr. Panetta said. “And then you reach out with the words of cooperation, and then you go into a period where you start to basically spin things in a way that says, ‘Whatever happened is really not our fault.’ And you use that to rationalize that what you’re doing is right.”But, he said, “at some point you move into a different phase: the harsh realities come home.”

Wanna bet?

Bush is stupid, ignorant, arrogant, and convinced that God made him president just so he could prosecute this particular war against the Islamic heathen. The seemingly-chastened Bush who appeared at the press conference was just telling people what they wanted to hear, which is what he usually does in public. Either that or he avoids telling them what he knows they don’t want to hear. In other words, it’s an act. It isn’t real. I watched that appearance and it was perfectly obvious that he was lying through his clenched teeth – again. Why didn’t other people see that?

Ironically, Joe Scarborough is the only one who seems to be picking up on just how far gone Georgie is.

“I’m growing more disturbed every night by how isolated George W. Bush has become,” the former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough said on his MSNBC program last week. “Shouldn’t more Americans be disturbed at this unprecedented example of a White House that’s in — and you can only call it this — a bunker mentality?” The screen below him read, “Bush: Determined or Delusional?”

It’s nice that Joe’s catching on – that somebody is – but it’s important to remember that Bush has been like this since he was a kid. There’s nothing new about it. He’s been lying and conniving to cover his ass since he was old enough to cheat on his first test – and getting away with it. He’s been living in a protective plastic bubble since the day he was born. He believes in that bubble; what he doesn’t believe in is everything outside it. That’s the illusion as far as he’s concerned.

There are two great dangers here:

  1. Our continued naivete in the face of a pathological liar and spoiled brat disconnected from anything that approaches reality;
  2. The idea that he’s a lame duck who will be a) controllable and b) forced to acknowledge the truth at some point.

We’ve got 2 years left with this asshole and he’s given every sign in the last few weeks that he plans to go right on doing what he has been doing, behind everybody’s back if necessary. He’s already using executive fiats to relax the regulations on corporations busily trying to steal everything that isn’t nailed down, and executive orders to by-pass the new Congress before it’s even sworn in. He’s preparing for a major battle while most of his opposition thinks he’s going to have to fade away into irrelevance.

This president-who-thinks-he’s-an-emperor believes he has – or should have – the power to do anything he wants. More important, he thinks he has – and he may be right – the legal backing from a right-leaning SCOTUS to get away with it.

We have to get our sketicism in gear. We have to be ready to fight every war he wants to start. We have to be on our guard constantly. We’re going to be attacked from a thousand different directions in a thousand different ways over a thousand different objectives, and if we’re not ready for that, he’s going to make the mess we’re in now look stable and orderly by comparison.

This is no time to relax. November wasn’t the end of the War Against the Constitution, it was just the beginning.

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