Thursday, June 21, 2007

Useless Rant Number 407

I know enough to realize that incompetence is as natural a human byproduct as carbon dioxide (that means exhaling, for all the anti-scientists out there). But there is a true difference between making mistakes and a consistently incompetent response to the world around you.

And (paranoid me) I'm sensing the rising level of sheer failure, and the dangerously disconnected worldview from the current Bush administration is indeed making things much, much worse. And the future is not bright.

No investigative reporters today can cover the White House as well as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Because no deep digging is needed. The information detailing the Incompetence rolls out for all the world to see and the general public knows stupid when they see it. It's right there. Example: let's say the Leader of the Nation, the Emperor, if you will, steps out butt naked in public heaping praise on his tailor for his new invisible clothes, the public says "Hey! The Emperor has no clothes!" while the major news outlets on TV would cover the story like this - "How will the Emperor's new approach to clothing affect the garment industry and fashion trends and how can your family benefit?"

Over the last week or so, I've been hearing from the White House press folks and spin doctors that no matter what the President does regarding the war in Iraq now, it will be the next President who really has the job of resolving the mess in the middle east. Since when do we give such unfettered power to a sitting president? Just go ahead and do whatever you want and we'll figure it out later??

Even when the president's own party controlled Congress, they could not muster the consensus needed to improve and update the Social Security system or the immigration system. When a natural disaster occurred, Hurricane Katrina, both the president and those he chose to lead the response provided another natural disaster on top of it. As a result, one of our major port cities remains in shambles. While attempting to create a new bajillion dollar federal agency to provide 'homeland security', the debate gets mired in how pay raises and salary negotiations will be handled. Likewise troubling is that nearly six years after the destruction in NYC, a gaping hole remains in that city - unlike say, the damage at the Pentagon, which was addressed with lightning speed.

Circumventing the laws -- whether it's the record-keeping process of e-mails, the appointment of officers in the Justice Department, the nearly 1,000 'signing statements' wherein the president says he will not uphold the laws passed in Congress, or any of losses of liberty enforced by the administration with secret prisons, secret wiretaps, torture of suspects who have not been charged, and on and on -- has been this administration's style. Challenge it, and you are a treasonous, scandalous, immoral, whiny quitter.

As for the idea of 'regime change' in Iraq, what we have is 'regime absence'. Even T.E. Lawrence back in the 1910s warned it would be impossible to pacify and reconstruct that territory (terror-tory?) with less than an army of half a million.

And the future? Well, not bright either. It's no wonder the latest polls in the first of next year's primary battles, in Iowa, released yesterday show that None of the Above (or Undecided) have the majority of votes.

I suppose my rant is over, allowing for the 25 to 28 percent of those who think we're doing jes' fine to vent on my evil ill-informed tirade. Go back to the coverage of Paris Hilton and those outrageous gals in Hollywood, go back to pondering if everyone from American Idol is doing well, go buy an iPod or an iPhone and carry on with your iSelves. Worry about foreigners, about fat content in double-cheeseburgers, about smoking and the official language of America.

We can deal with it all later, when someone takes an elected office in 2009 and we can blame them for not fixing the mess we are in now.

UPDATE: After I wrote this and pondered on it some, weighing its uselessness, I happened upon this post at KnoxViews, which takes you to a post featuring the video and transcript of a speech yesterdday from the blogger known as Digby. I've never read Digby, but sure seems we share some common thoughts on the problems of this administration and the attention that bloggers in general bring to the political debate. In fact, I seldom read the blogs she mentions, other than Crooks and Liars, as I daaily tread through both news and opinions on the Web. I was just sort of amazed that my comments above sort of followed the train of thought from Digby. Still, I think I am far more pessimistic than Digby. And I don't like being pessimistic.

From Digby's speech:

We may argue about tactics and strategy, or the extent to which we are partisans versus ideologues (and believe me, we do), but there is no disagreement among us that the modern conservative movement of Newt and Grover and Karl and Rush has proven to be a dangerous cultural and political cancer on the body politic. You will not find anyone amongst us who believes that the Bush Administration’s executive power grab and flagrant partisan use of the federal government is anything less than an assault on the Constitution. We stand together against the dissolution of habeas corpus and the atrocities of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, and we all agree that Islamic terrorism is a threat, but one which we cannot meet with military power alone. And yes, a vast majority of us were against this mindless invasion of Iraq from the beginning, or at least saw the writing on the wall long before Peggy Noonan discovered that George W. Bush wasn’t the second coming of Winston Churchill."

UPDATE II: Or, as it has been put before:

"So, what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come, can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that count. That's when you find out who you are."

From a previous post.

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