Column for 22 July, 2007
“He changes times and seasons, He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”
The only thing really surprising about President Bush commuting the sentence of Scooter Libby is that anybody who’s been conscious in America over the last six and a half years is surprised by it. Hasn’t this President made it abundantly clear that he believes there are two types of law, one for him and his cronies and another for the rest of us? Like most aristocrats, the new robber barons of America, Bush knows that the law is used as a tool for the powerful and is certainly not for the poor, the unwashed and the powerless to dare threaten their betters. Tort “reform,” secret trials, torture, secret prisons, mass spying on American citizens on American soil: all tools by which those who rule keep those who don’t in line. Bush thought Libby’s sentence was “excessive”? This line was said with a straight face by a man who could not even be bothered to spend five minutes reviewing the three-by-five cards Alberto Gonzales prepared for him on prisoners condemned to death row while he was Governor; the same man who actually mocked Karla Fay Tucker before she was executed, then later hypocritically claimed it was the hardest decision he ever had to make. Please. And I’ll make another prediction for you: January 19, 2009 will see a wave of pardons the likes of which will make Bill Clinton’s shabby departure from the White House look like a prayer breakfast in comparison. Bush will pardon everyone from himself and Cheney down to the guy who empties the trash cans in the Oval Office. Much to the annoyance of liberals everywhere, neither Bush nor Cheney will ever face any of the consequences of their disastrous rule. They’re not going to be impeached; there was never any real chance of that happening and frankly it’s a waste of energy for the Left Wing Blogosphere to be constantly demanding it. What possible good would a failed impeachment accomplish? To shame the Administration? Sorry, but you have to have a conscience in order to feel shame. And right about the time the White House claimed executive privilege on the details of the tawdry cover-up of Pat Tillman’s death by friendly fire, it became painfully apparent that any conscience this Administration might have once had has long since been shipped off to an undisclosed location. Sometimes, of course, losing battles have a point and Harry Reid forcing the heretofore spineless Senate GOP to actually man up and filibuster might be one of those occasions, if it helps the American people to understand that the Democrats simple don’t have enough votes in Congress to overcome Republican intransigence, never mind the threat that President Bush will veto any bill he doesn’t simply ignore. Certainly, there is no chance that Congress can do anything to force an end to Bush’s catastrophic war in Iraq; he has no intention of bringing the troops home, he doesn’t care that he is slowly but surely obliterating his own party, and he will continue to pour blood and treasure into the desert meatgrinder up until the moment he climbs on Marine One for the last time and is whisked away to the ignominious retirement he so richly deserves. The only comfort we can take is the knowledge that given his inability to write or speak coherently, at least we won’t have to endure years of “rehabilitation” of George W. Bush’s image, the way that contemptible, vicious old fraud Nixon, the previous contender for worst President in history, was magically transformed into some sort of revered “elder statesmen,” regularly excreting books detailing how he would have handled current events, when he should have really spent his golden years in Fort Leavenworth making large rocks into small rocks. No, the best we can hope for is a stalemate in the time between now and when a Democrat takes control of the White House and begins the horrific task of cleaning up Bush’s toxic waste dump of a legacy. However, given the GOP’s Congressional record of flagrant corruption, shameless hypocrisy, and obsequious toadying to the Bush agenda of imbuing the Presidency with the Divine Right of Kings, a stalemate wouldn’t be all that bad if not for the hemorrhaging of a generation that will continue in the Middle East. Pity whoever’s hand rests on the Bible the day Bush leaves office; he or she will be handed the keys to a house on fire and when the Iraq War inevitably ends badly, the Right Wing Noise Machine will be sure to deflect the blame onto him or her, using some variant of the slogan “Who lost Iraq?”; already, they are test-driving the “stab in the back” argument, used by defeated dictators to justify their own cupidity since the end of the First World War. More to the point, pity the country. Our prestige abroad is ruined, our military strained to the breaking point, our freedoms trampled at home, and the steady looting of our national economy from the inside out, aided and abetted by both Democrats and Republicans for the last quarter of a century, continues unabated. The Liberal Blogosphere is right in one sense; George W. Bush does have much to answer for. Sadly, he never will.