I've always prided myself on being a realist. Oh, I readily admit that I'm far from a perfect one; when a paradigm looks like it's working and entrenched, I'll hitch my tow-line to it, leave the bridge and go down to ten-forward to read a book. I'll also insufferably flog it to death until such time as it fails, and then I re-think things until I settle upon a new paradigm.
That's when other people tell me that I'm being a pessimist.
I suppose I'm feeling pessimistic these days. I must be, since I've said it here repeatedly, sometimes in posts I didn't hijack from Jen. The reasons why I elaborated to windy lengths after the election
, and feel no compulsion to reprise here. Maybe I would if I had the time to blog at all these days, what with my job having become an ever-growing nightmare of eighteen- and twenty-hour days for which I'm given absolutely and utterly no credit or appreciation. I always thought that being dragged into daily high-level meetings was the mark of big-shot-dom; now I know firsthand that true big shots have underlings on whom to slough off the grunt-work so you can spend all day in high-level meetings and still go home at a reasonable hour. Not so, me, which is another reason why I may be typing with my toes at the moment for all I can tell. I do know my eyelids weigh in the neighborhood of forty to fifty pounds each, and are the color and texture of overripe plums.
Distracted from inexorable national peril and ruin by psychopathic overwork. And I thought my life was complicated when I was still a peon, as opposed to a peon with big-shot responsibilities and no big-shot perqs.
Anyway, herewith follows a laundry list of reasons why I'm pessimistic, and would be bordering on clinical depression if I had the time and no life:
***The Bush Administration has surrendered the NSA terrorist surveillance program
The Bush Administration has apparently concluded that fighting to retain the warrantless surveillance program with a Democratic Congress would eventually be unsuccessful, and today announced that the presidential authorization for the program would not be renewed. Instead, the Department of Justice will transfer oversight responsibility to the FISA court, effectively ending the controversy over one of the most contentious counterterrorism projects adopted since 9/11.Mark Levin
understood the handwriting on the wall:
For the Bush Administration to argue for years that this program, as operated, was critical to our national security and fell within the President's Constitutional authority, to then turnaround and surrender presidential authority this way is disgraceful. The Administration is repudiating all the arguments it has made in testimony, legal briefs, and public statements. This goes to the heart of the White House's credibility. How can it cast away such a fundamental position of principle and law like this?
Because the Democrats won the 2006 mid-terms, and to the Bush family that means they get to run the country, and the remainder of Dubya's presidency along with it. Which is why Dafydd
is dreaming when he says that putting the TSP in FISA's feckless clutches will make it "impossible for the Democrats to kill." With Bush's cave-in, it's dead already.
***Before 11/7/06 it was annoying that the Bush Administration was the worst propaganda operation in the history of the human race, but not a fatal debility. Now it's this White House's death knell, as summarized by Hugh Hewitt's synopsis of the big Bush PR campaign for his "surge" strategy in Iraq:
The President gave the Library Room speech on January 10. Tony Snow had briefed some bloggers before the speech, and made a few appearances on talk radio afterwards . The Vice President appeared on Fox News Sunday four days later, and the National Security Advisor made the rounds of the other shows. Senator McCain, Governor Romney and Mayor Giuliani – the big three of the GOP presidential campaign—all endorsed the plan. The President appeared on 60 Minutes.
And that was it.
Media offensive over.
It never stood a chance.
It never stood a chance because it wasn't a campaign
. Campaigns are something you pursue relentlessly until you achieve your objective(s). They're not like New Year's resolutions that are made one day and forgotten the next; they're like diets or exercise regimens, something you stick with for the long term. They're committed relationships, not one-night stands.
That last metaphor looks grotesquely ironic being followed by an allusion to Bill Clinton, but I have to return to that example because he was the innovator of the permanent campaign. We on the center-right would scratch our heads (after we'd pulled all the hair out of them) at how he could be running an ongoing criminal conspiracy from the Oval Office itself and enjoy, absolutely wallow in, sky-high public approval ratings. The answer was in front of us all along: the permanent campaign. He and his machine never
called off the dogs. They never
stopped promoting their talking points. And they never
stopped attacking their enemies. I figured that sooner or later the American public would get tired of it, and him, but to the contrary, they couldn't get enough.
I've long called George W. Bush the "anti-Clinton", most especially in his stubborn refusal to campaign for his issues outside of the two or three months before election days. He shares his father's, and party's, quaint, anachronistic, antique view that campaigning is something nasty you have to do once in awhile (kind of how some wives look at sex) in order to be "part of the club" and "govern" in good-ol' boy "comity" the rest of the time. The people in the other party aren't enemies, or even really opponents, but "colleagues" and "friends" - i.e. fellow members of the club. And if there's absolutely no evidence whatsoever that these "colleagues" and "friends" look at the "club" the same way Pachyderms do, GDub chief among them, well, that doesn't matter because we'll just pretend that they do anyway, and if we do that long enough, why, they'll eventually return the favor.
Insert favorite expletive here
It took six years, but the President's fanatical disinclination to sell his policies, particularly the war, and his equal obsession with "the New Tone," allowed public opinion to drift so far away from him that it handed Congress back to the Democrats. One would have thought that a wake-up call to the snoozing slackers in the White House press shop that they finally needed to shift into maximum overdrive, or at least start earning their paychecks for a change.
Instead we get a few days of interviews and a stiffer-than-a-corpse address to the nation - and then, silence.
Policies do not speak for themselves. Particularly critically necessary ones that propaganda neglect has needlessly allowed to grow manifestly unpopular.
Imagine if Bush tried to sell the invasion of Iran, which is even more imperative. The mind reels.
***He won't be selling a pre-emptive attack on North Korea, at least, since he's evidently decided to cave to their demands instead
***Okay, I've beaten up on Bush the son enough for now. How about the American people
Do you personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to succeed?
Overall: 63% Yes 22% No 15% Don’t Know
Democrats: 51% Yes 34% No 15% Don’t Know
Republicans: 79% Yes 11% No 10% Don’t Know
Independents 63% Yes 19% No 17% Don’t Know
Note my emphasis. The question isn't, "Do you think
the Iraq plan President Bush announced will
succeed?" or "Do you support or oppose the Iraq plan President Bush announced?" but "Do you want it to succeed or fail?" One would think that whether or not Americans think it will work or not they would be united in wanting it to, right?
Well, there's still a majority that hasn't turned traitor. But that it is such a small one is the epitome of cold comfort. This is the kind of question that would never have dared been asked even a couple of years ago, and if it had been the numbers for "No" and "I don't give a shit" would have been in single digits. But almost forty percent
of the country wants us to (or doesn't care if we) lose? A fifth of Republicans
? How bad are these results that about the only solace a patriotic citizen can take from them is that there's actually a majority - barely - of Democrats that aren't jihadi-symps?
The 2006 elections showed the United States as a country with a death wish. Polls like this show just how difficult that will be to shake.
got an email from a traitor who is probably emblematic of the whole rotten bunch, and why they'll one day be hanged en masse from street lamps and Sunoco signs:
It's simple: If the surge succeeds, then the President, the Republicans and the Democratic supporters won't learn any lessons. In the USA victory only makes you more arrogant. Today Iraq, tomorrow Iran, Thursday Dafur, Friday Pakistan, Sunday Beijing, etc... Success would bring us into a state of perpetual war until we make a truly deadly decision. Making the same mistakes each time.
This war has only become "perpetual" because the President refuses to finish it, which has aided the cause of people like this asshole whose turncoat perfidy will only create the very "state of perpetual war" he paranoiacally harbinges. Unless of course he fully gets his way, in which case America will become an irradiated graveyard divied up by "Darfur, Pakistan, Beijing, etc." like the Roman centurions casting lots for Christ's garments.
Just remember, though: the voters put people like him in charge. And that's just the first installment.
To quote the noted philosopher Clubber Lang
, "I got a lotta mo, I got a lotta mo," but I'll save it for later - say, after the Battlestar Galactica review
I want to get written this afternoon before I succumb to narcolepsy.
Hey, even pessimists need a break from the doom & gloom once in a while.