Cleaning Up After The Parade
Dan Froomkin has linked up a number of his columns from the past year, and they chronicle the shifting public perceptions — both in the electorate and also in the media — regarding the Bush Administration. It makes for quite a read. But it is Froomkin's description before the links that I found most compelling, and I wanted to share a little bit with you all:
The year 2006 started with President Bush firmly in denial about how terribly wrong his war in Iraq has gone. It ends that way, too.
But in between, something changed: Bush lost his parade.
Somehow, Bush had managed up until this year to lull voters — and seduce journalists — into complicity with a worldview that was simply not based in reality.
There's been plenty of evidence for years now that Bush was living in a self-imposed bubble of non-reality, particularly when it came to the situation in Iraq.
But it wasn't until Bob Woodward's book "State of Denial," came out in September that it was definitively established, to the full satisfaction of Washington's cocktail-party circles, that the president is not to be taken seriously on Iraq.
It wasn't until November, when the voters resoundingly threw Bush's congressional enablers from power, that it became undeniably clear that Americans reject Bush's leadership.
And Bush's response to this month's report from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group is making it manifestly obvious that, for all the White House's attempts to give the impression that Bush listens to people who disagree with him, he does not.
He appears to still listen pretty much only to two people — Vice President Cheney and political guru Karl Rove — even though both were proven catastrophically wrong in 2006.
And here we are. George Bush and his political cronies are doing whatever tap dance they feel is necessary to save what little political reputation he feels he can salvage as a "legacy." Meanwhile, the rest of us have to come to terms with the fact that he's ruined the nation's reputation for years to come.
Cleaning up after the parade is a bitch. I do not envy the Democratic members of Congress who will now have to wade through all of the oversight on war profiteering, misuse of intelligence, rampant cronyism, no-bid contracts, failure to enforce regulatory requirements, and on and on and on. But is is well past time that someone provided some check, some balance, some means of oversight that stands up for the public's interests. Is it January yet?
PS — We'd really appreciate it if Congress would keep working on net neutrality. Thanks much.