|September 12, 2005||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
We have the most partisan, incompetent, elitist, manipulative, sleazy, dishonest, corrupt White House in memory, and the Democrats get scared that they might be called partisan!
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Incompetence, cronyism, accountability, corruption, leveling with the American people, honesty and integrity are all words that we expect get a "hot button" response in political focus groups. In fact, these were words used by Bush in the disputed 2000 race that got him within 540,000 votes of beating Al Gore.
So why then are the Democrats always so timid about using them in relation to Bush? Because he is incompetent; engages in rampant cronyism and corporate campaign contributor profiteering at taxpayer expense; refuses to be accountable for any of his serial failures; allows corruption in government agencies ranging from FEMA to the Pentagon and in lax oversight of corporations; doesn't level with the American people; is chronically dishonest; and has as much integrity as a rattle snake under a rock.
After presiding over the biggest federal government failure in memory, in which American citizens needlessly suffered and died -- the Democrats are backing off because Rove sent the message point down from on high: "It's not time to play the blame game." It's not about blame; it's about competence, accountability, honesty, transparency in government, and the equal treatment of all Americans regardless of race.
If the Democrats can't pummel Bush into a shunned oblivion with this one, they might as well give up as an organized party. As Jon Stewart said (paraphrasing), "If someone says it's not time to play the blame game, they are the ones to blame." And he said this after showing several Bush surrogates repeating this exact same message point, including Poppy Bush.
Our personal safety and the future of the nation are at grave risk. The Republicans are craftily turning this fiasco that may be criminal malfeasance into an example of why big government doesn't work. Well, it doesn't work because we have a man with arrested development, who lives in a bubble, running the government into the ground. Bush has said he's our CEO. Well, any CEO with his record of failure would have been fired long ago.
But Joe Allbaugh, Bush's first head of FEMA and the man who brought Michael Brown (the one fired from the Arabian Horse Association) on board, is now running around New Orleans getting contracts from FEMA for clients that he now represents in the "privatized" relief and reconstruction efforts -- clients who prey on disaster like vultures. Not only did Bush commit unprecedented negligence in failing to protect and rescue Americans, the corrupt Bush crony campaign contributors are now going to feast on the carcass of New Orleans, profiteering on our tax dollars. Halliburton already has a fat contract. At least one private military-style firm is patrolling the New Orleans streets, fresh from sub-contracted "service" in Iraq.
When Enron collapsed and other companies were found to be engaging in an epidemic of corruption that mainly benefited the top executives, as stockholders got ripped off, the Democrats were in temporary control of the Senate. Joe Lieberman headed the committee that was supposed to investigate this corporate corruption, something that resonates strongly with voters. But what did Lieberman do with his subpoena powers? Virtually nothing.
Lieberman, who never met a corporation he didn't sympathize with, lost a golden opportunity to link Bush to his buddy boy, Ken Lay, and expose the entire Bush operation of corrupt corporate cronyism that ripped off taxpayers and let companies who were good Republicans fleece their stockholders. But Lieberman just basically sat on his hands. The Democrats could have caused severe damage to the Republican Party, but, instead, they went on to lose the Senate.
The Republicans -- and Bush in particular -- hand the Democrats GOP political vulnerabilities on a silver platter, day after day. But the Democrats retreat as soon as Rove sends out his message points of the day. "Oh, we don't want to be perceived as blaming the President and appearing partisan." Are they nuts? We have the most partisan, selfish, manipulative, sleazy, dishonest, corrupt White House in memory, and the Democrats get scared that they might be called partisan!
Message to the Democrats: you should be defending the interests of the United States of America and its citizens, not worried about how Karl Rove is going to define you. Define him and Bush first.
While the Busheviks were implanting the "It's not time to play the blame game" mantra in the media (which we can be relatively sure was tested out in an overnight Frank Luntz focus group), the Busheviks were simultaneously blaming local and state officials for the New Orleans recovery disaster. As usual, they took a public "above the fray" posture, while they were knifing people in the back by trying to evade responsibility.
As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune noted in a lacerating editorial about Bush's ignominious behavior, "Incompetence is bad enough; not taking responsibility for it is shameful. Blaming it on others is a national disgrace."
And, in an unprecedented critical analysis of Bush's "boy in the bubble" existence, the normally "don't rock the boat" Newsweek wrote, "How this could be—how the president of the United States could have even less 'situational awareness,' as they say in the military, than the average American about the worst natural disaster in a century—is one of the more perplexing and troubling chapters in a story that, despite moments of heroism and acts of great generosity, ranks as a national disgrace."
The Democrats have to come out fighting for the national security of America. Forget about an investigation. The facts are in, Bush was in Neverland and the Governor of Louisiana couldn't even reach a high official in the White House as New Orleans started to become unglued.
We are long past the value of another commission to whitewash another Bush catastrophic failure that threatens the very safety of the United States of America.
It's time for the Democrats to rise up and stop doing business as usual on the Hill. This is not a time for the hesitant and cautious politicians who consult their high-paid pollsters and image makers before making a move.
It's time to come out fighting and battle back against the spin, the message points, the slander, the treason, the lies, the incompetence, and the complete lack of accountability that is the hallmark of this ill-fated regime.
These are your message points: our lives are in peril with Bush in office; he tries to elude responsibility for his actions by blaming others; there are some things only the federal government can do -- but it needs a competent leader; contracting out America's national security to corrupt campaign contributors of the GOP puts all of us at risk; good government is more than a series of photo-ops; if Bush allowed this to happen to New Orleans, what will happen if a natural disaster occurs in your community?
That's too much for a single message point to be sure. But it's the beginning of a good offense. The Dems always cave too early. They need to keep fighting until they are defining the terms of the political debate. If you tenaciously keep at it, without apologizing and retreating, eventually you will break through to the other side.
Bush gets away with his Potemkin presidency because a good percentage of the American population doesn't know the truth. The Democrats have to stop censoring their comments about Bush. To paraphrase Harry Truman, "Just tell the truth, and they'll think it's hell."
A recent poll discovered that the more Americans were informed about specific provisions of the so-called Patriot Act, the more they opposed it. But Americans will never know the truth, if the Democrats shout once and then back off, or -- worse yet -- don't shout at all.
The Busheviks know this: tell a lie five times and it becomes the truth; barrel ahead and you will eventually ride into another news cycle and the press will ease up and the public will forget about your latest crime against the nation; the party that shouts the loudest and the longest wins; intimidation, bullying, slander, fear and dirty tricks work.
If that's not enough to evoke an unrelenting, unstoppable tidal wave of outrage and exposure of the truth by the Democrats, we are doomed.
Tell the people the truth five times, with passion, and they might learn the truth -- and realize the grave risks that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and Rove pose to the lives of the average American and the lives of their loved ones.
Start screaming at the top of your lungs and don't let up, don't back down, and don't cut and run. If you don't express passionate anger and inform the public at every turn, with every detail of Bush's ongoing betrayal of the nation, they won't be outraged; they will accept it as normalcy.
Worse yet, they won't even know that they are being duped by five years of the "big lie" from the "boy in the bubble" and his handlers. Because the "big lie," absent a sustained onslaught of the truth, becomes the truth.
Pull the fire alarm and keep pulling it.
Because otherwise, Bush will recover and people will forget that the arsonist fringe wing of America is burning down this great nation with its arrogance, ineptitude, dishonesty, cronyism and corruption.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL