Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Loneliest Man in Washington, Indeed!

This week's Boston Phoenix, the alternative newspaper in Boston (you know, the one that would like to be the Village Voice but doesn't have anywhere near as good sex ads) has a masterful article by Mark Jurkowitz on the current disaster that is the Bush Whitehouse. I recommend slogging through the entire article, but I'll give you some excerpts to whet your appetite.

...While Republican pragmatists are increasingly in open revolt against his policies, the hawkish neo-cons who provided the intellectual and ideological backbone to the war in Iraq are scattered and mute. Or, in the case of former chief of staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, under indictment.

Hard-line social conservatives and the Christian right have just led a stunning and successful no-holds-barred revolt against Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, wounding Bush's presidency at a time of serious vulnerability and sending a clear message from the right side of the spectrum about who calls the shots.

Some among Bush's inner circle and palace guard such as top advisor Karl Rove and former House majority leader Tom DeLay are bogged down and distracted by their own scandals, while others have moved on or assumed less influential posts. Even Bush's penchant for filling important jobs with under-qualified cronies has recently come home to roost, as evidenced by both the disastrous Miers nomination and the post-Katrina departure of disgraced FEMA director Mike ("Heckuva Job") Brown....

...Meanwhile, Republican foreign-policy pragmatists have been finding their voices; however belatedly, a number of key figures have recently sounded alarm bells about US policy in Iraq. In an eye-catching piece in the October 31 issue of the New Yorker, Brent Scowcroft, natural-security advisor for president George H.W. Bush and an architect of the 1991 war against Saddam Hussein, was openly critical of the neo-cons, arguing that the 2003 war against Saddam "was said to be part of the war on terror, but Iraq feeds terrorism."

"The real anomaly in the Administration is Cheney," said Scowcroft. "I consider Cheney a good friend - I've known him for thirty years. But Dick Cheney, I don�t know anymore."....

....In a recent piece in the Los Angeles Times, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to departed secretary of state Colin Powell, wrote disdainfully of a "secretive, little-known cabal" led by Cheney and Rumsfeld that made key national-security decisions in a process "one would associate more with a dictatorship than a democracy."

During a September interview on ABC, Powell himself, long viewed as the voice of reason within the Bush administration by mainstream America, acknowledged that he had "never seen a connection" between Hussein and the 9/11 attacks, and "never seen evidence to suggest there was one." He called the current situation inside Iraq a "mess" and said he considered his famous speech before the United Nations making the case that Iraq had WMD to be "a blot" on his record....

....But make no mistake: the now-smiling social conservatives have sent a clear message to the White House that they are in control of the agenda and that the president crosses them at his political peril. And for that bit of blatant disloyalty and aggressive arm-twisting, Bush has only himself to blame. By governing from the far right from day one and showing no interest in bipartisan consensus, he gave social conservatives every reason to believe he would be the faithful vehicle for their quasi-theocratic wish list. Hence their surprise, anger, and mobilization after the unexpected Miers pick.

To some Beltway observers, the sloppy Miers mess was also symptomatic of a distracted, disoriented, disorganized White House, a direct result of the dark cloud hanging over Karl Rove. Rove was not indicted last week. But by speaking the words "it's not over" last Friday, prosecutor Fitzgerald has kept the Sword of Damocles hanging over the head of the man sometimes known as "Bush's Brain."....

...Former Clinton chief of staff Leon Panetta, warning of the dangers of "arrogance" and "isolation," said Bush needed to apologize for the leak problem. And historian Michael Beschloss echoed those sentiments, declaring that "he's got to let Americans know what he thinks about Scooter Libby's offense."

But introspection, confession, and course correction are simply not in George W. Bush�s repertoire. This is, after all, a man who was unable to come up with a single mistake he had made when asked during one of his rare press conferences. And most reports on Bush�s comeback strategy indicate that he will eschew any major changes or shake-ups. Expect instead a "three yards and cloud of dust" strategy of boring straight ahead with his threadbare agenda, in the hopes that a new Supreme Court nominee, a speech on bird flu, and more words of optimism about Iraq will somehow reverse his fortunes....

...And even if the Libby case, which raises the deeply disturbing issue of how this administration attempted to quash dissent and stifle debate on a crucial public-policy matter, ends up ensnaring Cheney, Rove, and other administration officials, Bush seems preordained to stay in deep denial, a lonely, intransigent figure convinced of his infallibility in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

For the rest of us, it will be a miserable three years....

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Blogger utenzi said...

This is a nice article, Margalit, but it clashes with your banner logo above. "Impeach Bush"

You do realize, don't you, that if we impeach George W that we'll have Chaney in charge? Now isn't that a scary thought? LOL

I'll have to send the link that the banner logo connects to to my girlfriend--she'll love it. Thanks!

8/11/05 6:56 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

That's what I've been saying all along about impeaching Bush--the alternative is terrifying.

And I missed Fitty. Dang it all.

8/11/05 10:36 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

What you guys are both forgetting is that a president can be impeached and censured but still continue as President. We just saw that with the Clinton administration. I'd like to see the Bush clan tarnished forever so we don't have to endure 8 more years with Jeb as president. You DO know that's what's being planned next. Great to see NJ and VA elections for governor go to Dems. Yeah... another red state sees the light!

8/11/05 11:20 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

I remember the Phoenix. Is WBCN still a good radio station? If so what number. Everytime I go home to visit, I can't find it.

I saw a sign recently: Somebody please give GW a b---job so we can impeach him.

I agree...I want him to go down in history without the whitewash gloss.

12/11/05 7:12 PM  

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