Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Repubs Have a Real Problem Now

And God knows, they deserve it. Their puppet-king has decided to rule, for real. It's classic, of course. A rube is put forward because he is good-looking or has connections or his country boy ignorance appeals to the rabble and then the rube realizes he actually has power. The case of Arthur Godfrey comes to mind. He was a TV icon in the 1950's, who came to a bad end. Budd Schulberg wrote a story, “A Face in the Crowd, which was made into a great movie in 1957 and introduced Andy Griffith. Same story…a rube becomes so popular that he becomes a political juggernaut who is impossible to control. The denouement was classic too. George W. Bush wants to be President. You could see it during his press conference yesterday. When he said he'd been listening to ideas from Senators, it was pure George W. Bush. He looked right into the camera with a sincerity not seen in a press conference in decades. And he divulged a George W. Bush epiphany that was so stunningly stupid it made one gasp. Not that the epiphany didn't occur. It probably did. But only GWB would have used it as a justification for naming an unqualified personal friend to the Supreme Court. He said he'd been listening to Senators and, he said, “One of the most interesting ideas I heard was, 'Why don't you pick somebody who hasn't been a judge? Why don't you reach outside the' -- I think one senator said - 'the judicial monastery?'” In that brief moment, we saw a delusional President who believed he could put forward any off-the-wall brainwave and it would be accepted as words of wisdom. The President was asked, “In your own mind”, how much political capital he had left, And the Prez said “Plenty. Plenty.” He said he was going to spend this political capital on getting a fiscally responsible budget out and decreasing nonsecurity discretionary spending. Nonsecurity discretionary spending is less that one-fifth of the budget and decreasing it will do nothing to decrease the out-of-control spending of the federal government. Nonsecurity discretionary spending includes things like money spent on education. The operative words, of course, in the bit of dialogue in yesterday's press conference were, “in your own mind”. In the President's own mind, he is a leader, and it was clear yesterday, he has decided to lead without interference from his doctors, his minders or his advisors. Well, he's the GOP's problem. They created their monster and they don't want GWB to be President any more than we do. But what are they going to do about it? If I were the Prez, I'd stay out of helicopters. I'd even stay out of Air Force One. Matter of fact, I wouldn't even get on my mountain bike. But there's always the Leave-the-microphone-on-when-he-doesn't-know-it trick. That works well.


Anonymous said...

The wag is dogged for sure!

Barry Schwartz said...

No, it has to be something like the microphone trick, because the other methods bring the Secret Service into the mix, and would require congressional hearings. The microphone trick requires just about nothing.

Slightly OT: Have you noticed that Bush is using the hurricanes as an excuse to put forward the Nazi-style Enabling Act he would so much enjoy? The latest is his suggestion that he deploy the military against Americans who happen to have caught bird flu. Of course one could expect the National Guard to be deployed to help police enforce a quarantine, but that goes without saying. But this is Bush, he's saying it, he doesn't AFAIK mention this as specifically a National Guard mission or that the deployment might be under state rather than federal control, and he has recently also suggested deploying the military against hurricane ravaged American cities. Bush is not our commander in chief—he is the commander in chief of the military, not the people—but he would like to remedy that situation.


Very insightful post. I just found your blog and have added a link to it on mine.I made a prediction to a conservative friend right after the last election that the Bush administration will crash and burn. Let's hope that I was right.

By the way, if you could let me know how you added the word verification feature for posts I would really appreciate it. I have been getting spammed.