Ain't That the Truth!
"I do not think Bush is a stupid man, by any stretch of the imagination... However, I'd be the first to tell you that I think he is an ignorant man. I mean he's ignorant by design."
-John W. Dean III, White House counsel for President Richard Nixon, in the Rocky Mountain News.
Ain't THAT the truth! Although I think Dean gives ol' Shrub too much credit. He is a stupid man. Stupid AND ignorant...and, sadly, running the country.
Fusion, Part 2
Another call for a Kerry/McCain ticket. This one from Andrew Sullivan. Some highlights:
"In office, McCain could be given real authority as a war-manager...There's a precedent for such a powerful vice-president who could not credibly be believed to have designs on the Oval Office himself: Dick Cheney...If McCain agreed to run with Kerry, he would also have to agree to support Kerry for possible reelection. There's no way that McCain could credibly run for president in eight years' time--as a Democrat or as a Republican. So he could become for Kerry what Cheney has been for Bush: a confidant, a manager, a strategic mind, a guide through the thicket of war-management. But he could also be more for Kerry: He could be a unifying force in the country in the dark days ahead.Back on April 8, I argued for a Kerry/McCain ticket. As Sully points out in his New Republic essay, the nation truly needs such a team. TRULY.
...McCain represents a real and utterly unrepresented constituency in America: the fiscally conservative, socially tolerant hawks, usually described as "independents." By bringing these people into the Democratic big tent, Kerry could not only win the election, but help position the Democrats to regain majority status. It would be, for the Democrats, a strategic coup de main.
...Their platform? Winning the war, cutting the deficit, reforming corporate excess. A Kerry-McCain ticket, regardless of the many difficulties, would, I think, win in a landslide. Will it happen? Still unlikely. But Abu Ghraib has shortened the odds; and the arguments for such a dramatic innovation just got a lot stronger."
Musings From a Monday In May
I've been "MIA" for a couple of weeks - and it seems Points West has been "dark" during that time. My apologies. Life got away from me a bit. My partner and I just finished a month of moving (not just ourselves but others, too) and last week we added an 8-week old Boston Terrier to our family. Unfortunately she had caught a stomach bug before we picked her up and by her second day with us was on fluid IVs at the vet's office and barely holding on. I am happy to report that she is doing much better and really taking on the "puppy personality." We have named her Chloe and she is a wondrous joy! But needless to say, it was a long and stressful week.
And now, back to the world of news, politics, and views...
Restoring Our Honor:
A great post from Josh Marshall this morning. His thoughts on the Abu Ghraib scandal are right on the money.
"As I think is already becoming clear, the responsibility for all of this goes right to the very top -- to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Vice President and many others.Back in the autumn of 2000, I argued passionately against the election of Governor George W. Bush of Texas in part because I thought his foreign policy proposals (and lack of credentials in that arena) would go a long way toward diminishing the United States' role in global affairs. Last Thursday Tom Friedman argued in his New York Times column that our star may have already fallen.
...going back almost three years these men made very conscious and specific decisions to disregard or opt out of the various international conventions, rules and traditions governing the treatment of prisoners of war and enemy combatants that are intended to prevent such things from happening.
...the embrace of lawlessness, systematic deception and an almost boundless incompetence have all made this possible. These guys created the climate in which this could happen. And then they were either too disorganized or too indifferent to stop it when things got out of hand."
"I have never known a time in my life when America and its president were more hated around the world than today."More highlights from the Friedman column:
"This administration needs to undertake a total overhaul of its Iraq policy; otherwise, it is courting a total disaster for us all.(Note to John Kerry: Put Tom Friedman on your V.P. list! A man with his vision would greatly benefit the ticket, your administration, and the nation. More over, a Kerry/Friedman combination would go a long way toward restoring the United States' role as global leader.)
That overhaul needs to begin with President Bush firing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld today, not tomorrow or next month, today.
...the Secretary of Defense is ultimately responsible, and if we are going to rebuild our credibility as instruments of humanitarian values, the rule of law and democratization, in Iraq or elsewhere, Mr. Bush must hold his own defense secretary accountable. Words matter, but deeds matter more. If the Pentagon leadership ran any U.S. company with the kind of abysmal planning in this war, it would have been fired by shareholders months ago."
It seems that even Andrew Sullivan is beginning to question the President's ability to fight this war. (Mr. President: If you have lost Sullivan on the war issue, then you're in pretty bad shape!)
"To have humiliated the United States by presenting false and misleading intelligence and then to have allowed something like Abu Ghraib to happen - after a year of other, compounded errors - is unforgivable. By refusing to hold anyone accountable, the president has also shown he is not really in control. We are at war; and our war leaders have given the enemy their biggest propaganda coup imaginable, while refusing to acknowledge their own palpable errors and misjudgments. They have, alas, scant credibility left and must be called to account."Losing Lindsey:
It seems that the unwritten Republican rule that says no party member shall publicly criticize their oh-so-precious President is about to unravel.
Of all people, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) - yes, THE Lindsey Graham of the Clinton House impeachment team - is steaming mad at the whole Abu Ghraib mess. In an appearance on Meet the Press yesterday, Graham seemed to be especially steaming mad at Vice-President Cheney's remark that "people ought to get off his (Rumsfeld's) case and let him do his job." Graham is considered one of the most loyal conservatives on the Hill. That Bush has lost both him and Andrew Sullivan is a sign that things are unraveling at a high rate of speed for the administration.
The Arrogance of George W. Bush:
The V.P.'s remarks are another strong case study of the arrogance and pure stupidity of this White House team. It will eventually be their un-doing. Whether the chickens come home to roost before or after the election is hard to predict. One can only hope that the November election removes Bush from the presidency, as a second term could very well be America's un-doing.
And finally, Kevin Drum (or as I like to call him, "The Blogger Formerly Known as CalPundit") attempts to understand how it came to be that someone as unqualified as George W. Bush was nominated by the Republican Party to run for (and "win") the presidency.
"...the question of how George Bush ever managed to become president is one that's gnawed on me for a long time. I still can't figure it out, though. He's such an obvious airhead, so plainly unqualified, that I can't figure out why the Republican party nominated him or why so much of the American public still supports him. I suspect that in the future, when histories of this era are written, historians won't even try. Rather, George Bush's presidency will just be considered some kind of weird, unexplainable aberration."My friends...it's time for this crew to go!