Wednesday, April 21, 2004
I've been away from the blog for a bit due to foreseen and unforeseen circumstances, but SD and Kate are carrying on quite nicely in my absence. That's the good news, and I thank them for the support! The bad news is that I feel so out of the loop, when I finally get back on track in a couple of weeks, I fear nothing will have changed in America. I'll still be writing about the same shit on a different day.
First observation...I missed the Bob Woodward interview on 60 Minutes this past Sunday, but I've kind of been following the fallout. While I freely admit I haven't read the book yet (still working on Richard Clarke's, which I'll comment on later), some of the key points are stirring a hornet's nest in the administration. Colin Powell was apparently sitting in the cheap seats when the decision was reached to make war on Saddam (no surprise to me). Your tax dollars, $700 million of them, were misappropriated from the Afghan conflict to support a clandestine runup to Iraq (I'm shocked, shocked...). Dubya apparently has a red phone to God (now that's getting scary...). Then there's the backroom deal with those wonderful folks from the House of Saud (whose country so generously contributed 15 of 19 hijackers on 9/11) to flood the pipeline with oil to drive down gas prices prior to the election. And as I type this, the administration is going full bore on the character assassination route of Woodward (again, I'm shocked). So, we've now got three books from insiders (plus the one from Watergate alum John Dean) who have clearly "left the reservation", with more to come in the next few months. And I'll be completely surprised if even as an aggregate, all the books, the warnings, and the insights into the mind and motivation of George W. Bush will make any difference at all to his core base of supporters.
Second observation...the train wreck that is the middle east is getting worse. The death toll in Iraq continues to mount, and it's moving south. Folks in Fallujah won't give up their guns, and it's just a matter of time before that whole situation boils over again. One of our staunchest allies in the region (King Abdullah of Jordan) disses POTUS by cancelling a meeting. Egypt's Mubarak is getting very antsy about Bush's cowtow to Ariel Sharon. Terrorists have struck once again in Saudi. A Coalition Provisional Authority insider is questioning whether or not Iraq can ever be "democratized". And the Bush administration is still humping hell-bent-for-leather to turn over the asylum to the inmates on June 30th.
Third observation...Nothing matters. Nothing. It's the only way I can rationalize continued support for GWB in the polls. What we need is some good, illicit, pResidential fellatio to focus the electorate on the real issues. The only encouraging note I see is that even though the GOP has outspent the Kerry campaign in advertising by roughly 10:1 over the past two months, all Bush has done is tread water and limited the damage. While I continue to not be the biggest Kerry booster around, folks, he's the only chance we've got. More and more, I really think he needs to make a bold choice for a running mate. There is also one Democratic stalwart that needs to start making some serious policy noise - Bill Clinton. Kerry needs to get Slick Willie front and center in the campaign, and then plug him into a high profile, cabinet-level slot in the Kerry Administration.
Fourth observation...In a few days, I'm heading out of the country for a week of R+R, so I anticipate being even further out of the loop. But I need the time away. I need to step back from the whole political situation in this country, get away from the blogs, papers, and TV, and recharge the batteries. There are times when the macro view of where our country is, and where I think it's heading, moves me into tinfoil hat territory. Folks, I'm worried. The fundamental religious zealotry that's completely overtaken both the domestic and foreign policy agendas of this country should scare the beejesus out of everyone - even the zealots. We're unnecessarily hurrying Armageddon. And the guy with the red phone to God has the noocular button at his disposal.
Posted by Richard Blair at 9:46 AM