Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Pussyfooting, Wheedling, Sniveling Approach to Confronting National Shame

Roscoe Born, prior to writing a morally unsupportable editorial in the Sunday Baltimore Sun, was Washington editor of Barron's magazine and a reporter in The Wall Street Journal'swill someone please take George Bush into a quiet, unthreatening environment and talk a little Cheney-sense into him?   


Roscoe Born, prior to writing a morally unsupportable editorial in the Sunday Baltimore Sun, was Washington editor of Barron's magazine and a reporter in The Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau. A money-guy, branching out into political punditry. His pitch is essentially, will someone please take George Bush into a quiet, unthreatening environment and talk a little Cheney-sense into him?

Cheneysnarl In an opinion piece, titled, Nation Needs Intervention to Get Cheney Out of Office, he opens with the daring premise that

“Seriously, now is the time for a real intervention.”

Thus Roscoe chastises us for our six year ignorance, fear and failure to act that characterized

  • the American people,
  • their representatives in Washington,
  • the press,
  • TV and radio (if radio any longer rates as media).

Gently, almost timidly, this ex-shill for the moneyed class has had enough. One wonders when (and how) the epiphany occurred.

“Those close to President Bush, people whose faith and loyalty he cannot doubt - first lady Laura Bush, his parents, perhaps an elder statesman or two, his preacher - need to assemble in his White House quarters one night soon, lock the door and sit the president down for a serious, forever-secret talk . . . the subject would not be the Iraq war, at least not primarily. The focus needs to be on Vice President Dick Cheney.”

Bushlaura Ah, Daddy's knee. The loving wife, taking George's head in her lap. What a breakthrough concept. A president who has unremittingly damaged his nation, domestically and internationally, needs to be coddled and velvet-gloved by a ‘forever secret talk.’  Milk and cookies, then a nap. Roscoe continues;

“Mr. Bush's confidants need to gently but frankly tell him this:
“With the detailed record that The Washington Post has compiled of Mr. Cheney's extremism, his contempt for the law and constitutional democracy, and his thirst for aggression, the nation no longer can run the risk that he could become president. And Mr. Bush, who seems to care about his place in history, no longer can allow his name to be associated with that of Mr. Cheney, who may be the most reviled vice president since Aaron Burr.”

Uh huh. And let me understand this, Roscoe. You just became aware of all this after reading the Washington Post, or is it that you think the public has finally been encouraged to pay attention? Either way, let me whisper in your ear that the press has been complicit in 9-11-fever and insufferably derelict their duty. You, I hasten to remind, are a member of that errant fourth estate.

“The president's interveners might try to impress on him the reality of the situation: According to a consensus of public opinion polls, more than 8 in 10 Americans disapprove of Mr. Cheney. Seven in 10 disapprove of Mr. Bush.”

Lawgavel Good thought, except that we are a nation of laws. True, we are in danger of becoming a nation of polls, but if you’ll stand up there in the bow and get us all rowing in the same direction, we might yet avoid that sorry state. Suggesting Laura cajole her husband into abandoning his alter-ego in order to gain a point (or is it two?) in an approval rate already below the horizon, is not captaining the ship.

“His administration is condemned for the catastrophe in Iraq, for the threat of a new war with Iran, for environmental damage, for wiretaps of American citizens, for their opened mail, for torture and hopeless imprisonment, for assertions of a right to ignore the law. Even stalwart Republican leaders are deserting.”

Davidaddington No, even them? Stalwart Republican leaders? Is that what you call the enablers of the man you would have the president disavow? I would remind you, Roscoe, that no one, Republican or Democrat has been anything even close to ‘stalwart’ in the co-conspiracy that served as surrogate Senate and House. The checkers were mute and the balancers busy packing their pockets, while David Addington whispered in Darth Cheney’s ear. The Dark Side went on to set Bush’s policy table.

You really think “Seriously, now is the time for a real intervention.” Ludicrously is a better adverb—seriously, it’s time for the laws that have been so flagrantly abused to be enforced.

What can be said for a country that supports ‘three-strike’ laws that put shoplifters away for life terms  and pimps for an ‘eight-strike’ (by your own list) president to be sat down for a serious, forever-secret talk.

I'll tell you a serious forever secret. The country has left you apologetic scribblers. The nation is far more incensed than those of you within the beltway even begin to understand. You’ve been talking to each other at this or that cocktail party, tut-tutting and nudging each other while the American public has left you all. Collectively, you are increasingly irrelevant.

“In short, they could tell the president that, justly or not, the Bush-Cheney administration is widely perceived as a disaster. It has zero credibility. No single act by Mr. Bush, no legislative proposal, no earnest plea on television could change all this.

And worst of all, this is not the worst of all. The president's interveners could point out the possibility - tragically, we've learned this must be considered - that within the next 18 months, the unseen engineer of much of Mr. Bush's authoritarian policy, Dick Cheney, could become president of the United States, unfettered. Preventing that possibility could be the salvation of the Bush legacy, the interveners could tell him. Congressional Democrats feel the pressure for a power showdown with the president. The feeling is growing that somebody will have to answer for all this. Therein, the Bush interveners could point out, lies the answer.

With Mr. Bush's nod of assent, agents of the interveners would communicate with Mr. Cheney's people, and two-person teams from each side would arrive separately one night at a home in the Washington exurbs.”

What's the point?

Colinpowell1 Roscoe goes on to expand upon this drivel, picturing Colin Powell replacing a recalcitrant but humbled Cheney, the sun breaking through a cloudy Republican horizon and the president’s legacy is enshrined in a temple of victory. The nation saved, Bush riding a white horse (if he could only learn to ride) off into the sunset of his presidential term and a renewed Republican party safely in the hands of Colin Powell. Presumably, this is the same shamed Colin Powell who slunk off into the shadows of Silicon Valley to join a venture capital firm, taking the title of "strategic limited partner."

Figures. The man Roscoe appoints to save the day was certainly strategically limited in his dust-up with Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Enough of this pussyfooting, wheedling, sniveling approach to confronting the national shame that is the Bush administration. I'm sick of it and so are you.

The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and their big-city ilk are so editorially ignorant of the American public-disgust that one wonders how they retain readership. Roscoe is dead wrong. We are a nation of law.

Time now, in fact way past time, to enforce those laws.
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