Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Crisis in Competence

What’s to be our fate
With a gang that can’t shoot straight?
They hire the whores
And jump into wars
While building the debts
And losing the bets
In every national sector
While playing the latest trifecta

The Bush Administration seems unable to win a war but is quick to start them. They have prosecuted the war in Afghanistan as though it did not matter. In fact, it took them over a year to employ artillery. That was Rummy’s idea of a new light offense. Four years later, we are losing to the Taliban there and to the insurgents in Iraq. Could it be that this War President wants to play the Trifecta by opening a new front in Iran? Every indication is that Bush is simply drooling to attack Iran and to fill out his death wish for our fighting men and women. He deliberately outed an undercover agent and likely all her contacts. Valerie Plame was assigned to develop the intelligence on the Iranian nuclear program but that was all thrown away when Bush “declassified” her mission to cover up his lies about the yellowcake in Niger. If it were anybody else on the planet, the offender would be prosecuted for grave security violations if not treason. Instead, we listen to lame excuses by Bush that he was trying to present the truth about the yellowcake nuclear materials. As was said in the movie A Few Good Men, he can’t take the truth, and the truth is that Bush is completely incompetent.

In case you are wondering about the whores in the verse, we now know that professional prostitute Jeff Gannon visited the White House more than 80 (recorded) times while he pretended to be a reporter. Were those social or professional visits? More recently, we learned that “Duke” Cunningham was paid off by Bush Administration military contractors in money and women who serviced him in Watergate, of all places. What kind of vetting process produces whores and losers in position after position? The answer is that cronyism trumps vetting for this gang of losers. Return to the scene of the crime in New Orleans and you will discover incompetence in depth. Sometimes 15 feet under water! “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” The contracts went out to the cronies again without a bidding process and yet their performance was abysmal. The chaos and lack of planning was tied to cronyism could not be repainted by FOX to look pretty. New Orleans is still suffering from presidential incompetence in selecting administrators or personally directing recovery. We will say more about White House imaging, but first let us consider fiscal prowess.

Bush has rung up MORE national debt than ALL preceding presidents COMBINED. He has boasted about making tax cuts for the super wealthy a permanent artifact for his legacy, but what he has done is to put every man, woman and child further in debt than anybody can possibly pay off in a lifetime. That is his inevitable legacy. This is the administration that used Dick Cheney to draft up our energy policy in secret. Now you know why it was a secret set of meetings. You can see the reasons at the gas pump as the dollars spin up like a Las Vegas slot machine, except that sometimes you can win at Las Vegas. This is the Bush that claimed, “Of course, you have to have a court order to wiretap.” He then commanded NSA to wiretap with out court orders. The only thing I can say in his defense is that he might not know the difference. Yes, he could be that incompetent.

As for the Bush penchant to spin the news, events have a way of building up where the truth becomes ever more difficult to hide. How many disasters can be rephrased as successes? Yes, he has fired Scott McClellan, but is it Scott’s fault that lies and failure got to the podium before him? Will Tony Snow and FOX be able to paint Iraq and Afghanistan as wins? Will he be able to continue to speak of the “wild speculation” of our likely attack on Iran? At some point, the pattern that is already identical to the buildup for Iraq will become apparent. “No options are off the table.” I once felt that Bush was misguided but capable, but the evidence is building that incompetence is the root cause of tragedy. Don’t look for Bush to solve his own problem. He can’t. Will people in the streets do it?

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