Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Our National Embarrassment: Young Mr. Bush and the Neocons

Also at DKos.

I'm still recovering from young Mr. Bush's Presidents' Day speech at Mount Vernon.
Thank you all for coming. Laura and I are honored to be with you in this historic place, on this special anniversary. I feel right at home here. After all, this is the home of the first George W. (Laughter.) I thank President Washington for welcoming us today. He doesn't look a day over 275 years old. (Laughter.)

The bad jokes at the opening were bad enough. The following allusive comparisons Mr. Bush made between himself and George Washington were, in my estimation, a national embarrassment. The more Bush referred to Washington's vision and accomplishments, the more obvious everyone could see that this president doesn’t amount to a speck of mud on that president's boot.

Comparing himself to great leaders of the past is nothing new for Mr. Bush. He and/or his echo chamberlains have likened him to Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. We hear that as of late Mr. Bush has been reading about Harry Truman. You have to wonder: is he actually reading, or is he listening to audio books while he works out?

If Mr. Bush really wants a preview of what his legacy will be, he should start reading up on U.S. Grant and Warren G. Harding. And if the Republican Party ever hopes to recover from its November spanking, it needs to repudiate George W. Bush.

GOPers and Neocons

Majority leader Harry Reid's Saturday Senate show may have been a piece of political theater, but it served its purpose. The House's version of a non-binding resolution was never going to come up for a vote, but it didn’t need to. The debate on whether to debate the bill was, in fact, the debate on the bill. And the vote rejecting debate on the bill was indeed a vote in which an overwhelming majority of the Senators who voted (56 to 34) rebuked Mr. Bush's proposed Iraq escalation strategy.

The vote also revealed which 34 Republicans in the Senate are still in lockstep with the Bush administration's neoconservative agenda.

Make no mistake, polls or no polls, elections or no elections, and through failure after failure after failure, the agenda is the same as it was from the moment the neoconservative cabal chose Bush as its figurehead: global domination through military force, turning the presidency into a Republican monarchy, crushing Congress and the courts, subjugating the middle class, polluting the information environment, erasing history and shredding the Constitution.

I don't want to see the GOP collapse. Prior to November, we saw six years of what one-party rule is like. We don't want to see it again. But as long as the Republican Party is still dominated by the neoconservatives, it cannot be trusted.

It's a good sign that senior Senate Republicans like John Warner and Arlen Specter broke with the White House on the non-binding resolution vote. But that 34 Senators voted with the administration bodes ill for hopes that the GOP can shed itself of its neoconservative parasites any time soon. That's a shame. This is a perfect moment for rank and file Republicans to stand up to Dick Cheney and his leg breakers. It's too bad they can't muster the gumption to do it.

And then there's the "maverick" John McCain. He decided not to show up for the vote, opting instead to campaign in Iowa. Go ahead, GOP. Nominate McCain. Make my day.

I was never much into party politics until the present administration came into power. The first Democrat I ever voted for was John Kerry, and that was mostly a vote against Bush. The first Democratic Senate candidate I ever voted for was Jim Webb, and that was for the sake of driving the final nail into the political coffin of Bush's potty room pal George Allen. I don't like the idea of voting "against" candidates, or voting for candidates based solely on their party affiliations. But I won't vote for a Republican again until I'm convinced the party has purged itself of the neoconservative movement, and no longer supports party leaders like that natural disaster Dick Cheney and our national disgrace, George W. Bush.

I don't know how the Democrats will undo the damage wrought over the past six years of Republican rule, and I'm apprehensive of how much further mayhem Uncle Dick and Dubya will perpetrate over the next two years. But I'm willing to give the Dems a long time and a lot of rope to do the best they can.

And I'd actively campaign for Brittney Spears if I thought it would keep John McCain out of the White House.


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.


  1. "I don't want to see the GOP collapse. Prior to November, we saw six years of what one-party rule is like. We don't want to see it again."

    This probably best defines what's wrong with the republicans. Their lack of ability to say something like that. IOKIYAR.

    "Go ahead, GOP. Nominate McCain. Make my day."

    Watch the "bring it on" talk. I have great faith in the Dems to nominate hillary.

  2. We'll see, William. We'll see what happens.

  3. It WILL be interesting to see what the Republicans do. Will they go for Giuliani with more marital/moral baggage than Clinton I, or will they go for McCain who's hired some of the spinners who trashed him in '00 and who married money a la Kerry. And the Dems: Hilary the consummate Feminazi egomaniacal trial lawyer, or the new and untested Obama. Could be interesting; will be ugly.

  4. Hillary had little or no chance of winning many white Southern male votes, anyway. But stirring up the Confed. flag thing in SC again was a poor choice.

    Hill's great at the fundraising, though; she outbid Obama for the endorsement of Darrell Jackson. The story I got is that he kept Obama on the line til Hillary came through with more money.

    Meanwhile, watch out for the trial balloons about to go up: "Mitt Romney/Jeb Bush ticket? Is McCain too big a flip-flopper?"

    Or maybe even Gov. Bob (I can ward off hurricanes with my magical powers!) Riley (AL).

  5. Anonymous3:13 PM

    " Prior to November, we saw six years of what one-party rule is like. We don't want to see it again."

    It wasn't always this way. FDR in the 30's and 40's was overwhelmingly one-party rule. All we got out of that was a social safety net, the world's strongest middle class, victory in WW2... and then Johnson in the 60's with Medicare and the Great Society.

    While I like these results I do see some valid criticism by conservatives of too much social spending.

    However my question is: are the neocons an aberration of one-party Republican rule? When was the last time they had it? What did they endorse then? Was it the 20's with extreme excess that led to great wealth and then the bust? Is that so different from now, but we might only be halfway through the cycle? Or was is the robber baron era of the late 1800's?

  6. Don't forget things like Roosevelt's attempts to pack the Supreme Court. One party rule is never good. Power corrupts...

  7. Anonymous6:11 PM

    Our choices from which to select the next president seem to be just another assortment of weasels, frauds, political whores, mental midgets and megalomaniacs. That is to say that the aspirants for the Oval Office are about the sort of professional politicians that we usually see posturing and pandering about in the hope that their team will be able to maneuver things so that they and their contributors can wallow at the public trough.

    Perhaps it would be more realistic if we should simply allowed ourselves to be ruled directly by a board of governors from the major international corporations and did away with the fiction that we actually have any meaningful input into whom the next titular head of government will be. I'm afraid that the Republic is long gone and has been replaced by the global corporate state without borders. Sadly, through ignorance, stupidity, greed and indifference the country has finally gotten the form of government that it deserves. It is enough to make you wish for the return of old Governor Berkeley and his claque.

  8. Great discussion as always, gang. Thanks.

  9. Anonymous6:38 PM

    This is a little off topic, but somehow all the more topical. The ancient Romans believed that when an emperor died, he automatically became a god. (The five dollar term is apotheosis.)

    When Vespasian, a fairly good emperor with a biting sense of humor, came down with the illness that ultimately did him in, he made a famous comment best translated as "Oh shit! I think I am starting to become a god."

  10. SC,

    Thanks for the Vespian story. I had not heard it.

  11. Anonymous8:59 PM

    I'm Australian - and a great admirer of real American democracy... I'm curious why everyone seems to have already written off John Edwards or the possibility of drafting Gore? I truly can't see Hillary or Obama overcoming the conservative Southern vote demographic that has plagued American politics for years. On the other hand it seems there's a great deal of understandable disillusionment with the Repubs.

  12. I think McCain will probably have a "macaca" moment. Have you read his interview with Arianna Huffington? The man has very poor self-control--he's liable to saying something crazy in front of a video camera.

  13. ozebloke,
    Edwards and Gore are more likely to work for the good of the American people. The Democratic Party prefers DLC corporate sell-outs with ELECTABILITY(r) and no real chance of being elected instead. You can't have a proper circular firing squad if someone with leadership potential gets everybody working on fixing problems instead.

  14. Thanks again for the great discussions.


  15. Jeff,
    Seen this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6428905,00.html

  16. Interesting, William. Thanks for the link.