Another politics view has come surging forth from my crackling, caffeine-stoked synnapses. How about this one: Bush as a dangerous power-junkie.
The Mother Of All Glass Dicks
Bush had fucked the country. He was a mean enough drunk back when his poison was cocaine and whisky, and now he was born again and raging with the thrill of his own agency. Being a president at war has got to make pure uncut coke look like non-prescription sudafed, and he'd let the buzz get out of hand. He'd started lying to cover for his habit, claiming that we needed this war to protect us from a very bad man who could unleash the worlds worst know poisons and plagues at a moment's notice.
Of course, this was total bullshit.
This was a bad guy who'd tried to kill his dad, who gave money to families who's kids were killed trying to kill jews, who purged and tortured his political opponents and wore a mustache just like Joseph Stalin -- but he was also tired, old and running a third-world country, hemmed in on all sides by superior military numbers and blockaded by layer upon layer of sanctions. He was no threat. Still, he kind of looked scary. He looked like the kind of bastard who would hurt you if they could and all it took was some fudged evidence to put the still-terrorized public into full-bore war mode. Powell stood up and covered for his boss and with that the war was on.
I remember being baffled at the time by the talking-heads and their insistence that Powell's UN presentation was "very persuasive" and "highly professional." It was a second-rate powerpoint show full of hearsay and conjecture. And while these are kinds of evidence, it's not the sort of thing decent people start a war over. It was smoke and mirrors -- something Hans Bliz pointed out a week or so later. Blix was one of the few true professionals in this mostly amateur clusterfuck, but Wolf Blitzer's travel arrangements were already in the works so the event was spun as convincing.
But now the whole web was unravelling. Like most junkies, Bush didn't think much past his fix. He's gotten some bright-looking fast-talking British kid involved in his scam, and it turns out over there they hadn't completely privatized the press and sold all the media off to their cronies. There was some public dissatisfaction. Blair was more or less busted. He might squeal soon, and if he did it would be the turning point for this cheerleading MBA.
All the dots were there to connect. Power-addicts always fall to pride; this tragedy is older than recorded history. He'd said "Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out," in front of a few senators back in March 2002, when the official story was that war wasn't even on the table. He'd pushed obviously fake documents as rock-hard evidence. Whistle blowers were starting to pop up and damage-control meetings were underway as a few journalists with some vestigial alliance with the truth (and one economist who couldn't believe what he was seeing) started ruminating out loud that the emperor had no clothes.
In a fit of hubris, they'd planned their convention right here in New York City, even moved it back closer to the fateful anniversary, forcing three states to change their primary election laws so everything would be procedurally accurate. It was looking more and more like Bush's Waterloo. The freaks would be back out in the street, millions of them from around the world like just before the bombs started dropping -- half a million on the street in New York City; freaks and old people and upper-east-side trixies -- except this time they would know it was war and instead of asking nicely to be heard they'd be calling for the boy king's head. The bigger they are the harder they fall.
I, of course, am watching all this play out with perverse delight. Bush is a crook and a power-junkie and his friends are even worse. It's time for them to go. They're all hitting the empire pipe, sucking the mother of all glass dicks. Once you taste that sweet rush you'll be chasing the dragon one way or another for the rest of your days. They aught to be carted off to some obscure B-minus think tank where they can rave about American military supremacy, world domination, space wars and the potential of the international petro-dollar, just generally detox in a cool dry place mercifully outside the public eye. Decency damn near demands it.
Everyone with brains knows we have to turn around. For a while the more level-headed conservatives were delighted because their team was winning, because their guy was walking tall and kicking ass, but now there was a little sick knot in every thinking man's stomach. This had gone too far.
The whole world was watching, and for some this only stiffened their spine. They wouldn't back down. They would support the leader to the bitter end. They would go out in a blaze of twisted glory like the last waffen SS who kept the swastika flying over the Reichstag for more than a week against the will of more than a million Soviet shock troops.
For most though they knew the folly of empire. They could see the lunacy in the tax cuts. They understood that this man was leading the country into a century of ruination, a bitter dark corporate future ruled by fear and greed and the worst aspects of human nature. They've seen what lies ahead and they know we need to change course. The worm has begun to turn.
I welcome your feedback on anything. My next work of political framing keys off of this phrase: "Invading Iraq is like sleeping with a crazy person. There's potential there, but it's not something you do when you're drunk out of your mind and you don't have any of your friends backing your play." Wow... seems my man Billmon has already felt-out that meme: invasion as sex (and it has Dr. Dean too!). Until next time...