Nothing Succeeds Like Failure
As most of you probably know, yesterday marked the sixth anniversary of the famous “Bin Laden Determined To Strike Inside US” PDB, and Bush’s truly amazing reaction to it. Not “Get me Clarke, Freeh, and Tenet right now – we need to get to work on this ASAP!”, not even “Andy, go delegate this to someone,” but a sneering, dismissive, “All right, you’ve covered your ass.” Can anyone think of another president in American history who would have reacted with such unconcern?
And yet, this spectacular failure, while bad for the country and tragic for the victims and their families, was the best thing that ever happened to Dubya. It allowed him to seize unprecedented executive power, to start a destructive, immoral war (it’s like the world’s biggest frog and the world’s biggest firecracker!), and to get elected to a second term, none of which would have been possible without 9/11.
In fact, his subsequent failures to combat terrorism (no, confiscating nail clippers and invading Iraq do not count) or end the war have served only to tighten his grip on power, as witness the latest rollback of FISA oversight, and the Habeas Corpus Elimination Act before that.
Dubya has transformed failing upward into an art form, first parlaying his business failures into a governorship and the presidency, then parlaying his presidential failures into a near dictatorship. He has got to be the lemonade-makingest man on the planet – but no-one else gets to drink it.
Sure, his popularity is in Nixonland, and Leahy, Waxman, and Conyers are on his case, but none of that really affects him. Thanks to blindly loyal Republicans, clueless Democrats, and co-opted corporate media, he still gets to do whatever he wants. You might even say that this failure thing is working out very well for him.
I wonder where he’d be if he were competent.
(If this post is too depressing, maybe tomorrow’s anniversary will cheer you up…)