Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Can Things Get Any Worse?
by Molly Ivins

AUSTIN, Texas—Looking at the wreckage of the Bush administration leaves one with the depressed query, “Now what?” The only help to the country that can come from this ugly and spectacular crackup is, in theory, things can’t get worse. This administration is so discredited it cannot talk the country into an unnecessary war with Iran as it did with Iraq. In theory, spending is so out of control it cannot cut taxes for the rich again; the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bushies is already among its lasting legacies.

As we all know, things can always get worse, and often do. I rather think it’s going to be up to the Democrats to hold the metaphoric hands of this crippled administration until it limps off stage. The Republican National Committee has a new scare tactic for the faithful: You must give to the party, or else the Democrats will spend the next two years investigating the administration (horror of horrors). Those who recall the insanely trivial investigations of the Clinton years may indeed regard this as the ultimate waste of time and money (as even Ken Starr concluded, there never was anything to Whitewater), but in fact it could be a therapeutic use of the next biennium. In fact, the offenses are not comparable.

Suppose we really did stop to investigate why and how and who is responsible for the lies, the deformed policies and the inability to govern in this administration. There is a wealth of lessons to be learned about the dangers of ideological delusion and of contempt for governance.

Trouble is, the world is not apt to hold still for two years. It seems to me pointless to impeach Bush. In the first place, the Republicans so trivialized impeachment into partisan piffle it would look like little more than payback. In the second place, I believe Dick Cheney is seriously off the rails, apparently deeply paranoid—let’s not put him in charge. The minimum we should expect of Bush in return for dropping any impeachment attempt (or not) is that he cease breaking the law. Despite the opinions of Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, etc., the president of the United States does not have the authority to set aside the law.

(If Bush were impeached, I would use as evidence his astounding statement in March that the matter of getting American troops out of Iraq “will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq.” What a contemptible statement.)

It would be easier to contemplate a two-year holding period if Bush hadn’t already wasted so much time. Of particular note in this department is “the inconvenient truth”—global warming. Wasting eight years in the face of what we already knew when Bush came in is not only insane but also unforgivable. A recent poll showed that the majority of Americans feel the war in Iraq will be the overriding issue of Bush’s presidency. I think that future historians will fixate instead on his global warming record—not only doing nothing to stop it but letting the hole get dug deeper.

Barring emergency, I suspect the wisest thing Democrats can do in the next two years is to begin steadily undoing what Bush hath wrought—on tax and spending, on global warming, and on surveillance and other illegal lunges for power. George W. Bush ran in 2000 as a moderate. He did not bother to inform us at the time that he felt the government of this country needed a much stronger executive, one above the law. Congress has sat by passively while this administration accrued more and more power. If members of Congress think the legislative branch should be equal, it’s time for them to stir their stumps.

Am I jumping to conclusions? Can Karl Rove yet steer his party away from electoral disaster in the fall? I learned long ago never to call elections further out than six weeks, and normally I stick to that rule. But I do not think George W. can be put together again, so Rove’s only option is to go negative against the Democrats—no surprise there. At this point, the Republicans could attack Democrats on almost anything, but that would leave the large question, “Compared to what?” And, we must watch out for those voting machines.

It would be interesting to see an election in which Bush is not a factor and the whole fight is over what Tom DeLay and the K Street Project have made of the Congress. If ever a gang of corrupt jerks deserved to be held accountable, this one does.


Karen Zipdrive said...

I read somewhere that Bush said he "probably wouldn't view Al Gore's film about Global Warming."

Bush's incurious nature indicates a lack of intellect and an overall civic laziness that I find reprehensible.

He truly is the worst president America has ever endured.

larkohio said...

I agree that he is the worst president in my memory, Karen. He has truly done so much harm to the country, and has done everything but unite us. I do not believe a word that comes out of his mouth. I also think that it is amazing how little he pays attention to what is happening even here in this country. (For example, his staff had to make a DVD of what was happening in NO after the levees broke. Great God! Turn on the TV, that's what the rest of us did.) He has now, and always has had, such a life of riches and priviledges, that he has no idea what is going on right here in the good old USA. I will be glad when he is gone, so very glad.

Karen Zipdrive said...

I'll never forget what one of his Yale professors said about him.
He said Bush claimed, during a classroom discussion, that poor people were poor "because they were too lazy to work."
Nevermind that he's always been a lazy bastard who never had the tenacity to work for anyone but himself, he saw plenty of hard working poor people growing up: his mama's maids, the butlers, the gardeners, the drivers and so on.
He just didn't notice they were poor because the noblesse oblige isn't obligated to pay servants any attention at all.

dusty said...

His statement about not seeing the movie is politically motivated, don't kid yourself. He doesn't want to steer anyone towards Al Gore OR the dangers of Global Warming..it smacks of progressive ideals..and we all know how he feels about that subject.

Lulu Maude said...

Interesting, what Molly has to say about impeachment... not that we'd ever have the votes. Then it would have to be a two-for-one special. They'd both have to go.

Ach... and we can't even seem to get Rove indicted. What the hell happened to that, anyway?

larkohio said...

I agree, we cannot impeach him because then we would have "Dr. Doom" for president. No thanks. However, can't they at least censure him, hold him a little bit accountable for his stupid, evil mistakes?

Karen Zipdrive said...

There will be no censure as long as the GOP controls Capitol Hill.
We are ham-stringed for now.

dusty said...

I believe Lulu, that St.Fitz has his own timetable and Jason Leopold got some bum info,regarding the timing. He hasn't been seen or heard of since his last article over 10 days ago. All info coming out is from the main man at ThruthOut, Marc Ash...actually there isn't any info, he just keeps saying "wait and see,we know we got it right".

Karen Zipdrive said...

I think Leopold's story is accurate and he just jumped the gun on publishing what he knew.
My hunch is Rove will take a minor plea in exchange for the head of Dick Cheney.
I think Fitz has been dissed so much by these bunch of lying thugs, he's wanting to go after the Big Number Two.

dusty said...

I hope Dead-eye takes it in the shorts..thats all I am saying :p

Lulu Maude said...

Hooray for Molly. I am reading Shrub, now that I work in a liberry and have access to lots of books. I am also listening to Al's Lying Liars in the car.

I'm glad these folks make a good living writing, but why does no one ever listen when it's time to vote??

Karen Zipdrive said...

Stupid people don't READ Molly Ivins or Al Franken or anyone else, for that matter.
If it's not on Fox News, it never happened.