Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Bumbling, incompetent, deeply dishonest asshole AKA President Bush

A Suicider, or "autocider," is just someone who homicides himself.

OK, so we all had a long, uncomfortable, nervous laugh at the president's disgraceful performance at his press conference the other night. I know I did. He is getting exactly what he deserves: a news cycle revealing him to be the bumbling, incompetent, deeply dishonest asshole we all knew he was all along. No surprises there.

Not that I'm totally unsympathetic. The press's performance was equally abysmal -- i mean, you get the rarely-offered chance to ask simple, direct, relevant questions of the President, and instead you blow it by asking him questions he either definitely won't answer or probably can't answer. Something like 4 questions were totally wasted on asking him to admit or apologize for mistakes -- a type of question that no politician in the history of politics, of any party, could possibly be expected to answer. Seriously, I'm all for accountability, I'm all for leaders who have the courage to admit their fallability; but does a White House reporter actually expect the President of the United States to tell us that he "failed as a communicator," or other such garbage?

There were plenty of other shithead questions asked -- some were gotchas (which are pretty unfair, as they don't seek to gain information so much as they seek to produce a week of headlines and op-eds), and others were total marshmallows along the lines of "Mr. President, do you ever hurt from so much freedom-giving?" And where were the follow-ups? There was one straightforward question that the President clumsily and obviously dodged, asking why he will not meet with the 9/11 Commission on his own -- why he has insisted upon meeting with the commission at the same time as Vice President Cheney. That question was a direct challenge to a highly stage-managed, extremely secretive president to show some accountability and competence, and the president dodged it. He dodged it with some nervous bullshit about "I'm looking forward to meeting with the commission," and there was not one follow-up question by any of the journalists in the room.

The press conference felt to me the same way that the 9/11 Commission hearings do, in a way: just a lot of theatre. The 9/11 Commission is a great idea, it's extremely important and I'm glad it's happening. The problem is that it's just coming along 2 years fucking too late; its close proximity to the election has made certain that the Commission's work will be a partisan blame-throwing exercise instead of a "how can we prevent this from happening again" problem-solving exercise. The press loves it because now it's officially OK to throw stones at previously untouchable administration figures like Condoleeza Rice and John Ashcroft, and it's a soap opera that sells newspapers: "Condoleeza is Rubber and Clinton is Glue!!", "Ashcroft Blames Media, Boobies for 9/11!!", "Bi-partisan commission: Totally Partisan, or Just Politically Motivated Based on Party Affiliation?" But after the commission releases its findings, what will be the result? What will we have learned, and what will we have gained? Probably not a whole fucking lot, which is a shame.

I dunno about you, but these past few weeks have left me scared 90% shitless about the next few months (i'm limping along on 10% shitting capacity). Iraq is going badly, much of the world appears to be holding up a collective middle finger to the US's face, and we're looking at an election where the very face of arrogant incompetence is actually close in the polls with his Democratic alternative.

I'm trying so hard not to sound hysterical, but it's impossible not to freak out when envisioning four years under this administration that lets politics alone drive policy; that goes to the extreme right to find its judicial appointees, who are appointed for life; that prefers extreme secrecy and comes from the don't-worry-your-pretty-head-about-it school of governance; that considers any public demand for information on its activities to be walled off behind "national security," unless it's to demolish a dissenter or political opponent.

Do we really want to see what happens to this place, our place, our fucking country, when these assholes are set loose for another four years -- four years in which they don't have to worry about running for re-election?