Friday, April 4, 2008

Back to Disaster: Channeling Hoover at Home, Tet Abroad

Back to Disaster: Channeling Hoover at Home, Tet Abroad is the latest posting of David Michael Green who runs The Regressive Antidote. Green begins with a fact that has often run through my head as well: "One of the most astonishing facts about the Bush presidency is simply that it continues to exist." Ditto. Me too. Go figure. And just who are these 27% who keep giving him high marks during each poll we see on the man?

"Only a combination of certain critical conditions have kept the man and his government from suffering the same fate as Mussolini or Ceaucesceu. A politically naive public, a neutered opposition, a compliant press, a Constitutionally-fixed term of office, a truckload of fear, a moderately sufficient economy and a remotely plausible victory in an unpopular war have all conspired to encourage a surly public to simply wait out the clock for the demise of the Creature from Crawford."

Well, well, that about covers it. Seems to me that I have covered about each of those factors on this blog, but, what the hell, it's a good remedial lesson for those who haven't been paying attention during the past 7 1/2 years. Of course, this begs the question: why HAVEN'T they been paying attention? ADD?

Green goes on: "Now, however, both of those last two factors are imploding. The Bush administration is consistently on the wrong side of (repeated) history, and more pressure is riding on the other remaining factors – especially the knowledge that these fools are required to leave, regardless, in nine months time – to keep the dam from bursting.

"Side-by-side headlines in Thursday’s New York Times more or less say it all. The front-page-above-the-fold article entitled, “In Economic Drama, Bush Is Largely Offstage”, proceeds to tell the story about how the president hadn’t heard that gas prices are approaching four bucks a gallon, and how he was lecturing the public on the dangers of government action while his own Treasury Secretary (a member of the government, last I checked) was in fact acting, cutting a bullshit deal with Congress.

"Next to that article we find this: “U.S. Cites Planning Gaps In Iraqi Assault on Basra: Maliki Underestimated Militias, Officials Say, and Overestimated Iraq Army”. Remember, for those of you whose scorecards are somewhat out of date, said Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is the ‘good guy’ over there, the one we’re pinning our hopes on. And his army is the one that’s supposed to stand up so that ours can stand down. By all accounts, Maliki just woke up one morning and launched. Apparently having little else on his schedule, he decided it would be a good day to invade Basra. No planning, no consultations, no reinforcements. I mean, they had this stuff figured out as far back as the sixth century BCE, didn’t they? Back when Mesopotamians were Mesopotamians!"

I like the no-nonsense style of David Green: hit 'em with the facts and watch what they do.

Here's the ending of the article if you care to jump to the conclusion:

"And so, here we go, back to the future, back to disaster. We just couldn’t hang with all that prosperity and so we trashed the lessons of the Roaring Twenties and brought back Roaring Reaganism. We just couldn’t learn enough from the Vietnam experience to prevent some little embarrassment of a legacy admission to the presidency from taking us into a carbon copy war, even while he and his homies skipped out on the first one.

"It’s bad enough that those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat the past.
Hell, we are the past."

We are the past. Well, they are the past, but it's the future that is important. Has the ordinary American Joe learned anything in these past 7 1/2 years that he can use to guide him through the next? Or, will this history lesson through which we all have lived not have moved the electorate to a new, higher plateau?

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