Friday, October 26, 2007

How Low is the New Low?

There's an expression that a person's so low they have to "look up to look down." And yet, from where the nation's CEO sits, the view is so different. Case in point: Last week's (Oct. 17) presidential grandstand er-press conference. In the aftermath, I have one "press"ing question. Has the ole CEO been hitting the hooch? Seriously, he seemed full of alcoholic bravado.

Additionally, alternately dripping in condescension, bullying, threatening in language, and replete with chin-jutting pushiness, Bush demonstrated that he thinks a lot of himself. And yet, his poll numbers are through the basement. Zogby reports his already historic low of 29 percent approval dipped to a new low of 24 percent. Yet he thinks he's doing a great job just the same. Duh! Nevertheless, there he goes again, thinking he can just keep explaining things to us, and then we'll "get it."

"I've never felt more engaged and more capable of getting the American people to realize there's a lot of unfinished business," said the President. Really? Or was his enactment revealing of a broader loss of touch with reality? The arrogance runneth over. And his authoritarian nature is showing. He has morphed into the national enforcer.

It gets worse. Bush also answered a question concerning Vladimir Putin's thoughts on appointing himself Prime Minister after his term expires.

Reporter: Mr. President, following up on Vladimir Putin for a moment, he said recently that next year, when he has to step down according to the constitution, as the president, he may become prime minister; in effect keeping power and dashing any hopes for a genuine democratic transition there ...
Bush: I've been planning that myself.

Funny! (Not!).

We're (he and the Democratic Congress) finding "common ground," said GWB. Really? I seem to think it's GWB's way, or the highway? And so, as Dan Fromkin has noted (here), Bush's notion of "common ground" is more like the Democrats caving and Bush getting what he wants.

Ignoring the lack of imminence of any imagined threat by Iran (ie, he's talking ill-advised, morally bankrupt, elective preemption again--much more on this later), Bush took his typically ominous tone as he bulldozed the Iran subject.
"I believe that the Iranian -- if Iran had a nuclear weapon, it would be a dangerous threat to world peace. It would -- this is -- we got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. And I take this very -- I take the threat of Iran with a nuclear weapon very seriously."

Ah, yes, WW3, the big one. (Press conference audience: You were supposed to crawl under your desks and beds now). Here we go again with one of the best tricks in the toolbox of warmongers. Be afraid, he suggests, be very afraid.

But what if the ones we most have to fear are in charge in Washington? What if the damage he and his sidekick can unleash far exceeds antyhing a nuclear-wannabe nation, however we disagree with it, could. The question is, do we let Bush's mindless (and it is midless) "fear" of Iran lead to a senseless widening of a Middle East war? Do we personally, by our fear, apathy, or unwillingness to do the work of refuting every single baseless, senseless charge by Bush, passively enable hard of citizenship, neglect refuting this madness? Or, will we knee-jerk in submission to the Bush bomb-em mentality once more? For all of this new century, we've been flunking the citizenship spine test. And our national leaders are flunking it even more than the populace.