Saturday, July 14, 2007

Where to Start ?

I’ll give the Bush Administration credit -- they’re overwhelming. I literally don’t know where to start.

I’ve been on a reading binge since I retired. My wife -- trying to change my how-many-ways-can-Bush-screw-up reading list -- had my son buy me a Tom Clancy book for Father’s Day. I didn’t have the heart to tell her. It was Battle Ready written with Gen. Tony Zinni. The book wasn’t Clancy’s usual (superb) fiction. It was factual. Gen. Zinni didn’t support the Iraq War. He was one of the generals that called for Rumsfeld to resign. In short, Gen. Zinni had the flick before most other people did.

I’m currently reading Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason . The Bush Administration’s supporters will wish he’d stuck with global warming. I’m only halfway through the book and it’s mind-numbing -- the litany of tragic events in this Administration. I’d forgotten all about Jeff Gannon. I guess if I write about these things enough I’ll have to learn to speak more bluntly -- as Mr. Gore does in his book.

Some saw this event as just the ugly face of “politics as usual” in Washington. Some saw this event as a titillating story about an alleged gay prostitute in the midst of the White House Press Corps asking the President of the United States questions broadcast on national TV. My upbringing in the South makes me want to turn away from the embarrassing ugliness of it all and refer to it as just one event in a “litany of tragic events.”

Mr. Gore more appropriately calls it was it is: A calculated assault on the institutions that allow our democracy to function. Without a free press, the citizens of our country lack the information needed to make rational choices about how we govern ourselves. Poor information leads to poor decisions. Garbage in -- garbage out. Mr. Gore, of course, has the inside track when looking at this sordid affair. After all, he was in the White House for eight years. He knows that getting into the White House, getting in the White House Press Room and getting called on by the President of the United States doesn’t just happen all by itself.

It wasn’t happenstance. It wasn’t some sad comedy of errors. It wasn’t luck. It was calculated.

And sadly, it may be the least of our problems. As I said at the beginning of this post, it’s overwhelming -- the sheer volume in this “litany of tragic events.” Torture, the suspension of habeus corpus, bribes to reporters, intimidation of reporters, wiretapping, the Plame affair, the Iraq War, ad nauseam. It makes the shenanigans I write about at the FAA seem like small potatoes (and those can get you killed.)

Mr. Cheney isn’t the only one whose pants are on fire. Find a mirror America. We need to take a long, hard look at ourselves. Make sure it’s a full-length one. I smell something.

Don Brown
July 14, 2007

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