Friday, June 16, 2006

Karl escapes, Bush in Bagdad, and speculations on the state of mind of the country.

It has been some depressing news of late. Karl Rove apparently escaped the Sword of Damocles that was hanging over his due to his role in the Plamegate affair and subsequent cover-up. I am hoping against hope that many of bloggers that I normally read, such as Christy at FireDogLake and emptywheel at the First Hurrah, are right when they are speculating that this means Karl cut a deal and dumped a load on either Scooter Libby or Darth Cheney himself. That’s a nice thought to use as solace. I was really hoping to see Karl sweating in front of a judge and jury. He deserves it. But I am still pretty bummed, as most of the things that many of us have fervently been hoping would occur have just not panned out. However, if letting Rove off means seeing Cheney would get indicted, well, that would be a nice trade. I’m not holding my breath, though.

It is an interesting thought, however, that Joe Wilson may sue Rove in civil court for damages. His lawyer hinted as much.

So, Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq. I am not sure what that is supposed to accomplish, other than be yet another act in the Political Theater that is the Bush White House. That is so much in character for Bush and his crowd. His administration is run by spectacle. That is, spectacle is his favorite slight-of-the-hand move. Dazzle the audience, including all the members of the press that are supposed to be asking the hard questions, so no one will see what is going on with the other hand. Poof! The day’s bad news, whether it be low polling numbers, New Orleans still not getting any federal help to mention, the debacle of the President’s plan for “cheaper” medicine for seniors, the war in both Iraq and Afghanistan getting worse on a daily basis, it doesn’t matter. Nothing bad thing exists that cannot be made invisible by the grandstanding of Bush and his minions. From “Mission Accomplished!” to the plastic Thanksgiving turkey for the troops to photo ops hugging a black girl in front of the ruins of her house, it doesn’t matter. It always makes for great theater, that just happens to distract the audience from what might just really matter.

And, as always, the press cooperates.

I am just totally baffled by the psyche of this country right now. Yes, I know that talking about anything and pretending that the discussion reflects, somehow, the thoughts and feelings of “this country” is a pretty ridiculous proposition. The country is pretty divided right now. Still, I think generalizations can be made, so long as one admits that they are generalizations up front. Generalizations have some big time limitations. But, on the other hand, they are useful things to start discussions.

This country has lost its’ mind, to put it mildly. We have forgotten every principle that made this nation great. Not only have we forgotten them, in many cases we are trying to actively destroy them. Things that, ten years ago, would have been beyond question are now a matter of proper debate. We are now a nation that argues for legalized torture, is in favor of holding a person indefinitely without charging him or her and without access to a lawyer, demands that the press be cheerleaders for whatever the party in power is pushing and not ask any embarrassing questions at all, argues that the party in power can listen in on all forms of personal communication that exists without any legal constraints, even though the current laws on the books make it possible that such listening in could be done in a legal manner, invading a sovereign country in a supposedly “preemptive” manner whose justification doesn’t even have to turn out to be true, and the de-humanization of any and all opposition.

How is this possible? If you were to read that last paragraph without knowing which country the person was talking about, you might guess the country in question was the Soviet Union, Communist China, per-war Germany, or any two-bit banana republic that has ever existed. How did we ever come to this?

Insanity is one possible answer. I can only hope that it is of the temporary kind.

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