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Friday, December 07, 2007

HOCUS, POCUS; Making the Elephant Vanish!

I would call it the elephant in the middle of the room, but that doesn’t begin to define its impact nor its opaqueness. It has been whispered about, smirked and wise-cracked about on Democratic net sites with increasing frequency and venom and decreasing impact on the mainstream press for seven years now. With 80% of Republicans still claiming to approve of President Shrub (at least until this latest fiasco) the mainstream press, striving for the appearance of neutral reporting, remains transported with their audience to an alternate universe, a sort of “Emperor’s New Clothes” world, where the unstated assumption is always assumed not be assumed, even while its assumption influences every nuance and inflection of political debate. That assumption is that George W. Shrub is the biggest idiot to sit in the oval office since Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke and fell off a White House toilet. But while Wilson struggled to recapture his mind and body, G.W. Shrub has no such expectations or abilities.
The latest fiasco was, of course, the newest National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), the collective work product of 16 separate government intelligence agencies. This collective brain power has decided that not only is Iran not currently building nuclear bombs, they haven’t been building bombs since 2004, despite the repeated doomsday predictions from that Cassandra of the NEOCONs, Dick Cheney. The Iranians retain the capability of restarting a nuclear program but if and when they do, we no longer retain the credibility of being believed when we cry wolf. That loss of credibility is just another legacy of his Shrub-ness. And now, if the press were actually reality based, they would be asking the question posed by a previous generation of Republican statesmen (when the Republicans still had statesmen), “What did the President know and when did he know it?” And the current in vogue unasked question; “Why didn’t Jesus tell him to know it?”
It was almost amusing to watch the Shrub that exists only in the headlines, jumping through hoops of illogic. TIME Magazine found our Great Leader still competent enough to insist “…you can bet that an explosive, 180 degree turn on Iran like this one was greenlighted by the President.” While Michael Hirsh for NEWSWEEK described the “…second, and less noted, effect of the new NIE is that the already tattered credibility of this administration…is shredded – simply gone with the wind.” Less noted by whom? And less noted, why? In what must be the journalistic understatement of a presidency chronicled by journalistic understatements, Jonathan Landay from McCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS observed that, “The President will now find it difficult to persuade Russia and China – and even America’s European allies – to impose new sanctions on Iran.” True, but what would be truly amazing is if some allied nation does not seriously propose sanctions against us!
In the JERSUALEM POST, Calev Ben-David struggled to contain his disgust with Israel’s most dependable friend – Shrub. “Whatever one may think of the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report on Iran’s nuclear intentions and capabilities, there is no doubt it provides some telling and timely insights into a regime whose true direction and condition many analysts here in Jerusalem have been trying to discern for the past year, That regime is the Bush administration.” The allies of Shrub, from Britain to Australia to Israel, have already begun dealing with the Post-Shrub reality based reality, where they didn’t merely back the wrong horse, they backed a dead horse. Domestically,
Shrub’s job approval rating has been virtually unchanged from an abysmal 33% for over a year now, and, in the words of Gallup, “…it is unlikely Bush’s approval rating will get much better between now and the end of his term.”
The Zogby poll found that “Among Republicans, 67% of likely Iowa caucus goers and 68% of likely New Hampshire primary voters said they are angry with the political system… (21% and 26%)…said they are “very angry”…Most of their anger appears directed at Congress…(but)Nearly half – 43% - of likely Republicans voters in New Hampshire said they were angry at President Bush.” As Gallup also noted, “…Bush’s support has eroded most among Republicans.” And yet, if you watch the polical-tainment programs like HARDBALL you would think that the machinations of Republican candidates to replace Shrub should be taken seriously. The best thing that could happen to the GOP in 2008 is if they go down to ignominious and total defeat.
How rare it is to be able, in all honesty and sincerity, to tell Republicans that if they want to save their party, this year they should vote for the elephant in the middle of the room; Vote Democratic.
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