Belaboring the Obvious

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Something Happened Last Night....

Every time Bush gives a prime-time speech, the media clowns do their best to find some tidbit in it that is either uplifting or imbued with even the shading of truth.

They usually come up pretty much empty-handed.

But, they do a great job of trying to invest Bush's speechwriters' words with some sort of meaning which doesn't exist in the original.

It's been almost four years, and "victory," despite plan after plan to achieve it, has never been satisfactorily defined. It wasn't last night, either.

Bush can say this is the "new way forward," but that is, after nearly four years of carnage, starting to sound like the Politburo's announcement of a new, new, new improved Five-Year Plan.

Even the saber-rattling in the directions of Iran and Syria isn't new news (remember the Axis of Evil announced in 2002?). The Bush-Cheney lust for Iran's oil is no more or less apparent now than it has been all along. The only thing that's interfered with attempted regime change there is the ongoing difficulty with, ahem, regime change in Iraq. And, um, in Afghanistan.

But, the one thing most of the pundits have seized upon is the mere mention of mistakes, as if Bush were admitting one or two. Did Dear Leader actually do that? Nope. The salient line was: "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me."

Ah, the passive voice is modern American politics' wax of choice when turd-polishing, and Bush--more than any other modern president--thinks that spit-shining a nice fat brown one is as good as the truth. As The Rude Pundit puts it, this isn't an admission of error, it's the Decider-In-Chief's job description. In case All the President's Pundits have forgotten over the past six years, when someone admits a mistake, they will say, "I made a mistake," or something pretty damned close to that. In Bush's case, nothing less than, "Y'know, I really fucked up with this stupid war and it's time to let Iraqis be Iraqis" will satisfy the hard-core disbelievers. He's done so much weaseling around the truth that even "I screwed up" will end up sounding insincere coming from him, not that anyone should hold their breath waiting for him to utter something as plain and straightforward as that.

Just like Bush's forlorn, misbegotten war, this latest exercise in monotonal meretriciousness is, quite literally, even more of the same. More death, more failure, more attempts to justify the unjustifiable, and an evasion of the simple truth equal to the attempt to broaden the war. Fred Barnes can deceive himself and a few straggling others into believing this performance and so-called plan were Lincolnesque in character. If it was an indication of Bush's intentions for the region (and Chuck Hagel thinks it might be), it would more precisely be Nixonian, Johnsonian.

But, something important did happen last night, although it went mostly unreported. While this was always Bush's war, from the moment God or good meds or one of The Voices whispered in his ear to "smite Saddam," he could always fall back on the AUMF and the cooperation of Congress. He had others propping him up who had to share the blame. Now, as of last night, he owns this war, all by his lonesome. By ignoring the sentiments of the majority public, willfully downplaying the ire implicit in the November election results, along with failing to acknowledge the growing unhappiness in Congress with a lack of results and hundreds of billions gone down a rathole in the sand, Bush's determination to expand a failing enterprise is his bill of sale. He wanted it, he screwed it up and now, finally, it's all his.

Bush is now the proud owner of this busted jalopy of a war. I hope he and that Dick guy ridin' shotgun with him enjoy the ride, while it lasts....


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