Revealing Quotes from "Loyal Bushie" Land
By Bernard Weiner, Co-Editor
The Crisis Papers
April 10, 2007
Sometimes the reality behind the spin just pops out at you when
politicians open their mouths. Here are four such quotes on the topics
of democracy, the U.S. Attorneys scandal, global warming, and Iraq.
1. DEMOCRACY & HARD-RIGHTISTS
Take John Bolton (please!), the arch neoconservative who Bush foisted on
the United Nations in a recess appointment when the Senate wouldn't
approve the nomination of Bolton as ambassador. He was on "The Daily
Show" recently, arguing with host Jon Stewart about whether Bush should
pay attention to the American public's overwhelming opposition to the
Iraq War and to the Administration's mishandling of the occupation.
Bolton said Stewart and similar critics didn't understand how
democracies are supposed to work. Bush's responsibility, said Bolton, is
not to the amorphous thing called the "American people" but to be
"true to the people who voted for him. Otherwise, what's the point of
In this, Bolton was restating the philosophy of governance that Cheney
and Rove have utilized for the past six years. Using the logic of
Machiavelli and Leo Strauss, Cheney and Rove believe that the
Administration should move ruthlessly and aggressively on their agenda
as long as they have one more vote than the other guys, with no
concessions made to those who didn't support them. (I won't even go into
the likelihood here that the Bush campaign stole the 2004 election.)
Contrast this with John F. Kennedy's statement when asked why he was not
looking after the interests of those who elected him; he replied: "I was
elected President of all the people."
The Bush Administration believed all attention should be focused on
their rightwing, activist, largely fundamentalist base that put them in
power. They had little need to acknowledge the opposition and instead
should try to marginalize and destroy them in every way they can, in
order to create the conditions for permanent, one-party rule.
In short, the HardRightists do not believe in democracy, compromise,
minority rights, civility, etc. That's "old school" politics --
"quaint," to use Alberto Gonzales' dismissive term. Bush&Co. engage in
smash-mouth politics, grab it while you can take it politics, you're
with us or you're against us politics, join us or get out of our way
politics. It's an authoritarian, good vs. evil way of viewing the world,
and it has stood them in good stead until recently -- aided greatly by
post-9/11 fear and by a compliant, stenographic mass-media.
THE REVERSE-MIDAS TOUCH
So how to explain the grand change? Partly, of course, the shift came
because the constant iteration of this extreme ideological perspective
on the world gets old and boring and, most importantly, doesn't match
reality. Also, there is Bush&Co.'s constant reverse-Midas effect:
whatever they touch turns not to gold but to excrement. It's difficult
to even think of a positive development that has emerged from the Bush
Administration in the past six years. Rather, their list of
accomplishments reveals little more than disaster, disappointment, and
The public eventually has come to discount the Administration's
propaganda efforts, fed by Rove and his minions in the rightwing media
machine, aided by the docile corporate newspapers and TV networks. What
the Bushistas are peddling simply isn't credible anymore, at least to
two thirds of the citizenry.
The HardRightists still depend on the remaining one-third: the
fundamentalist die-hards, more comfortable with authoritarian
leadership. But, at long last, the traditional non-fundamentalist
conservatives, especially in the military, appalled by the extremists in
charge of their party,
abandoned the HardRight Bush Administration.
And why this drastic falloff of Bushist support? Though overly
simplistic, one can offer these explanatory tags: Iraq, Katrina,
Corruption, Incompetence, Valerie Plame, Iraq, Walter Reed, Domestic
Spying, Pat Tillman, U.S. Attorneys, Iraq, and Iraq. Did I mention Iraq?
Simply put -- as verified by the November 2006 election results sweeping
the GOP out of Congressional power, and in all the recent public opinion
polls -- the country has taken a national no-confidence vote on the Bush
Administration. They just want them to leave before more reckless damage
is done. And, as recent polls demonstrate, 50% of Americans are in favor
of impeachment hearings -- even in the face of the agit-prop doled out
by the corporate media.
Finally, the Democrats, in limited areas, are beginning to come alive,
which is another key ingredient for change.
2. THE U.S. ATTORNEYS REPLACEMENTS
So what's the money-quote regarding the U.S. Attorneys scandal? My vote
goes to this one by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who told the
senators at his confirmation hearing that he would
ever" ask U.S. Attorneys to step down for political reasons.
This was a bald-faced lie, and perhaps grounds for a perjury or
contempt-of-Congress charge, as it has been clearly revealed that the
reason for firing the eight U.S. Attorneys was that they weren't
regarded as "loyal Bushies" -- an actual term used in an email to Karl
Rove. The attorneys were, in fact, fired because, among other reasons,
they were not willing to blindly follow the party line by investigating
and indicting Democrats while giving a pass to felonious Republicans.
Once again, an administration in the White House gets itself into legal
hot water not so much for the initial "crime," but because of the lies
and deceits in the coverup. Reportedly, Gonzo has been spending days and
days preparing his story for his appearances next week before the
relevant Congressional committees. Why would he have to strategize with
GOP minders if he has nothing to hide? If he has done nothing wrong, all
he has to do is to tell the truth. Aye, there's the rub.
THE "LOYAL-BUSHIE" U.S. ATTORNEYS
And what of the "loyal-Bushie" U.S. Attorneys, now in charge in their
districts? Here are just three:
A judge ruled that an epic plea-agreement blunder by
recently appointed U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor for the Washington,
D.C. District -- in the largest tax prosecution ever -- means that
the treasury can't recoup at least $100 million in restitution. The
judge, in a notable understatement, said
"This is a
very poorly drafted agreement."
U.S. Attorney J. Timothy Griffin (Eastern District
of Arkansas) -- a protégé of Karl Rove -- made claims about his
experience as an Army lawyer that have been
doubt by military records. The 38-year-old Griffin claims
on his official Web site that he prosecuted 40 criminal cases while
at Ft. Campbell, where he was stationed from September 2005 to May
2006. But Army authorities say Ft. Campbell's records show Griffin
only serving as assistant counsel on three cases, none of which went
Four top staffers under Rachel Paulose (District of
Minneapolis) voluntarily demoted themselves to send a message to
Washington, D.C., that 33-year-old Paulose, who, after just four
months on the job, is
over her head. She has earned a reputation for quoting
Bible verses and dictatorially dressing down underlings. Before
being appointed to the plum U.S. Attorney post, Paulose, a graduate
of Pat Robertson's Regent University Law School was a special
assistant to Alberto Gonzales. DOJ has had to dispatch a
high-ranking minder to Paulose's office to help her out.
And what about those U.S. Attorneys, presumably
certifiable "Bushie loyal," that the Administration permitted to stay on
in their jobs? How are they working out? Here's one notorious example:
Points Memo website, which has been all over the U.S. Attorneys
scandal from the very beginning, reports that in Milwaukee, an appeals
threw out the corruption conviction aimed at a state official close to
the Democratic governor because the evidence supplied by U.S. Attorney
Steve Biskupic was, to quote the judges (both Republican-appointed),
"beyond thin." Bogus, in other words.
Clearly, in this whole U.S. Attorneys story, we probably are viewing
only the tip of the iceberg these days. What's to come from below the
surface is bound to reveal a much wider, even worse scandal, not
surprising given the history of this Administration.
3. GLOBAL WARMING: BUSH'S STATE OF DENIAL
And the tell-tale quote that says it all about Bush and world climate
Asked by an interviewer what he hoped his "legacy" in history would be,
Bush expressed the ultimate solipsism:
"I'll be dead."
In other words, the future we help create for our children and
grandchildren is of no importance, since either the Apocalypse will come
shortly or I'll be dead, so why should I bother my head worrying about
what happens to others after I leave the scene?
That self-involved attitude of denial and ethical narcissism has
resulted in non-action when it comes to global warming/climate change.
The leading industrial country in the world -- responsible for a good
share of the pollution that is speeding up global warming -- could have
led the fight to cut back on CO2 and other pollutants, but
instead did essentially nothing. More than six years of deadly neglect.
Now the world's scientists are telling us -- and we can see with our own
eyes -- that the changes wrought by global warming are happening much
faster than we once thought were possible, and catastrophe looms for
millions around the globe due to rising sea levels, floods, droughts,
shortage of potable water, extraordinary storm systems, starvation,
wipeout of entire species, etc. etc.
But, what the hell? I've got mine, Jack. The rest of you will have to
fend for yourselves. That's Bushism in a very few words.
4. THE UNFOLDING IRAQ CATASTROPHE
I guess this week's money quote on Iraq comes from Sen. John McCain, at
one time a truth-telling maverick, but so desperate to occupy the White
House that he drank the Bush Kool-Aid and became a raving supporter of
all thinks hawkish in Iraq.
Bush's escalation of the war (the so-called "surge") is working so well,
McCain told reporters, that
"There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through
those neighborhoods, today." Since so many reporters and
military officers guffawed loudly when he uttered that whopper, he
thought he'd do a demonstration walk to show how safe it was out there
on the mean streets of inner Baghdad. What was McCain thinking?
He did indeed take a stroll in a local marketplace, which he asserted
was "proof" that one could walk freely in Baghdad. McCain, as photos
revealed, was dressed in body armor and surrounded by 100 U.S. troops,
with American snipers on the rooftops, and at least two Apache
helicopters overhead. That's "walking freely."
The following day, probably as a response to that bit of photo-op
grandstanding, the insurgents turned that marketplace into a bloody
charnel house, bombs and bullets killing 14 Iraqi civilians. The Iraqi
rebels had a point of their own to make. (McCain then tried to back away
from his overstated optimism about the situation in Baghdad.)
THE CONSTANT 6-MONTHS-MORE REFRAIN
The pro-escalation spin is: Just give General Petraeus six months more.
Haven't we seen this movie before in Vietnam and elsewhere? Six months
from now, the White House and its lackeys will claim that "we're just
about to turn the corner" and ask for six more months, and then six
months more and then -- well, lookee here, there's a new Administration
in the White House and it's now their problem. Goodbye.
In the meantime, more U.S. troops will be "surged" into Iraq:
incompletely-trained Army and Marine brigades sent back for yet another
tour of duty, more Reserves, more National Guard units (13,000 are being
activated right now for service in Iraq), etc. etc. Bush, in effect, is
painting targets on their backs and sending them into a civil-war
The ostensible "Opposition Party," the Democrats, can't quite decide how
far and how fast to push for withdrawal from Iraq, and whether now is
the time to initiate impeachment hearings of Bush and Cheney.
So we'll be forced to watch thousands of young American men and women
and Iraqi civilians get slaughtered and maimed until a new President
reverses course and finally brings the troops safely home.
That's America 2007 under CheneyBush and far-too-timid Democrats.
Copyright 2007, by Bernard Weiner
Bernard Weiner, Ph.D., has taught
government & international relations at universities in California and
Washington, worked as a writer/editor at the San Francisco Chronicle for two
decades, and currently serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers (www.crisispapers.org).
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