President Bush and the Department of New Lows
It's been another stellar week for President Bush's Department of New Lows. I hesitate to say this but one recent Bush quote could have hit the absolute bottom on the scale of human decency. Yes, I've been hurt before. No sooner have I said, "There it is. President Bush can't possibly do any worse", than the Boy King has opened up his mouth again and unleashed another new low. If FEMA worked as well as this Department, New Orleans would be the shining city on a hill that George's Daddy used to talk about.
This latest new low hurt more, because it followed a nice, almost hilarious stretch. Things have gotten so desperate for this administration, that recent spin has come off as great comedy. I loved it when Dick Cheney said it was great news that the British had set a timetable to leave Iraq. This followed months of saying how defeatist and wrong that sort of thing would be, but once it was presented to the VP as a done deal, he did what he always does: He opened his mouth and let the B.S. ooze out. Apparently, this was good news because it meant Basra was ready to go it alone. Not yet, actually, but the Brits could see a point next year when they could take off and go home. This was wonderful.
I'm not a military expert but you would think if Basra was secure, the Brits could help us in other parts of the country, especially since we're searching high and low for more bodies to send in. After all, the famous tide of victory is about to turn, so why not give us a hand? We're in this together, right?
What the British are doing is exactly what Cheney has called a strategy of cut and run. And yet, when faced with the exact situation he had been deriding, Cheney now loves it. Worse yet, his robot-like supporters nodded faithfully and bought it.
Oh well, at least we're only torturing logic this time. The Portland Freelancer has since given Cheney the coveted Iraqi Minister of Information Award, also given to John McCain for saying the market in Baghdad was safe. No word yet if the Vice President has been invited to host Saturday Night Live.
But wait, there's more: When huge crowds recently gathered in Iraq to protest America's presence there and to reaffirm a desire to see us harmed, Americans sort of knew what to expect from Bush Speak. The White House issued another statement about how this was more good news, because hating us meant they were starting to feel free. I actually anticipated something along these lines, but it's like sensing a punchline on a joke - it's still fun when it arrives.
Oh, I get it. Of course! The fact that they hate us, just means they're starting to love our way of life. Too bad they didn't want to kill us even more - that would make freedom and democracy a sure thing.
So we were sailing along on a wave of good fortune and everywhere things were rosy. When the cafeteria blew up in the Green Zone, I half expected Cheney to say it was just a bad batch of tuna casserole, and the fact that they're eating tuna casserole in Iraq was good news. Forget about winning their hearts and minds. We were winning their stomachs.
Of course, this group can't keep it up forever without doing something truly hideous. The other day, President Bush said a delay in passing another bill with more money for the war, "will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines, and others could see their loved ones headed back to the war sooner than they need to." Never mind that funding is available well into July, and President Bush is hyping the spending crunch. Never mind that this is a manpower shortage - not a money shortage. Never mind that there are no front lines - just a mess. Never mind that they never needed to go, and that the whole war was unnecessary.
To try and exert pressure on Congress by toying with the emotions of families with soldiers in Iraq is criminally cold. Of course, the Bush administration immediately followed these remarks by extending the tours 3 more months for everybody.
I just imagined a mother of a soldier listening to the President. How her heart must soar when someone mentions bringing her son home. Instead, President Bush was just using that tantalizing prospect as a cheap political stunt to try and get a bill passed that will only extend the conflict. There is no connection at all - it was the most cynical spin yet. It was just plain sick, and I can't imagine President Bush going much lower. Of course, I've been wrong before. With this administration, the Department of New Lows never rests.