Op-Eds Speaking Truth to the Powers-That-Be

Night of the Long Pointing Fingers

Michael Ramirez/U.S. NewsIt is a shame that Jerry Springer is a Democrat. He would be perfect for a show that I want to pitch to Fox News.

We’ll call it The Blame Game, with the a star-studded cast of Republican politicos.

Think about it: A five-evening a week strip-show featuring everyone from George Bush to Karl Rove to Mitt Romney to Mike Huckabee pointing fingers at each other, while desperately clinging on to the sinking ship of Reaganomics weighed down by trillions in losses from 28 years of robbing the corporate cookie jar. I want Sarah Palin and Doris Kearns Goodwin to co-host.

Republican politicians and commentators all seem to be trying their hand at historic re-creationism to transform both the history and future of the Republican party into their own image.

Take a spin of the media wheel, put your hopes and wishes in front of the facts, and maybe what you dreamed, rather than what you did, will come true.

Bush has gone positively Huck Finn in his white-wash of his black record, as Rachel Maddow observed on Wednesday night:

“With a little more than 47 days left in his presidency, one way we know that President Bush is keepingbusy is by him embarking on his exit interviews tour before historians get the chance to define him.

W. — The road tour is not an apology. It is an attempt to put a fresh coat of paint on a steaming pile of anti-constitutional excutive orders, poor judgment, and miserable execution of public policy.

In a hard-hitting interview with his sister, Dora, George W. Bush told her how he would like to be seen:

“I would like to be a president… [who was known] as somebody who liberated fifty million people and achieved peace, that focused on individuals, rather than process, that rallied people to serve their neighbor.”

A viewpoint truly worthy of Ripley’s Believe It (or Not!).

Bush started a war in a country where we had no business being, giving Al Qaeda a recruiting poster with our presence there. He must have been focusing on individuals, because he missed large groups of people, like the victims of hurricane Katrina, and the middle class who got a whole lot poorer in his eight years in office. Okay, I suppose, if you consider all of those people who work at, on, and around those new mansions and boats and cars that the upper class were able to afford with their tax cuts, you could say that Bush rallied people to serve their neighbor.

Bush told ABC’s Charles Gibson, heir-apparent to ancient softball interviewer Larry King: “The biggest regret, of all of the presidency, has to of been the intelligence failure in Iraq.”

Is Bush trying to palm off the arm-twisting that Dick Cheney conducted with the American intelligence community here, or is he speaking to the large failure of his own personal intellect to discern the difference between extinguishing an Al Qaeda that attacked us, hiding in Afghanistan, and a tin-horn dictator in Iraq with a big mouth and no WMDs?

Yep. Tell the big lie, and it becomes truth. So sayeth Rove, who apparently is orchestrating the remodel of Bush’s image for posterity. Stephen Hayes of the conservative publication the Weekly Standard, speaking about the Gibson interview and others on CNN, revealed:

“[T]here’s an ongoing Bush legacy project that’s been meeting in the White House, really, with senior advisers, Karl Rove, Karen Hughes has been involved, current senior Bush administration advisers and they are looking at how to sort of roll out the President’s legacy.”

Darth Rove is taking a final stroll through the halls of power, taking the White House for one last big reality spin.

“In the aftermath of 9/11 the concern was about a tyrant accused of enormous human rights abuses,” but who also possessed weapons of mass destruction, said Rove. “Absent that, I suspect that the administration’s course of action would have been to work to find more creative ways to constrain him like in the 90s.”

Uh, Karl…

We invaded Iraq because the Bush Administration said that there were weapons of mass destruction there. Human rights abuses have never been our thing. Look back to all of the charitable things your party had to say about staying out of Rwanda, East Timor, Somalia, Cambodia, and other places where there were far more gross human rights abuses, sans oil. Your boss also told Brit Hume, as Ms. Maddow pointed out in 2005, that he would make the same call again to go to war.

Perhaps Bush put it best in the ABC interview in his own inelegant way:

“Lot of people put their reputations on the line, and said, you know, eh, the, uh, the, y’know the, the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein… wasn’t just people in my administration, and um, y’know that’s not a do-over I, but y’know, I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess…”

Bush’s historical diversions are just one symptom of a larger melt-down in the Republican Party.

Huckabee is taking shots at Mitt Romney. Romney is taking shots at McCain. And Sarah Palin is firing at-will.

All of them use the same ammo too: “Values.”

Values are the Republican equivalent of magic underwear: The bullet-proof mantra that somehow manages to invoke the second-coming of the Gipper, Ronald Reagan, the G.O.P. Messiah, and cause the faithful to march in lock-step to victory.

Say “values” and put down someone, anyone, for not having them, and, in Right-speak, you are golden. Just ask newly re-elected senator Saxby Chambliss earlier this week.

“This race has been nationalized and people all around the world had their eyes on Georgia,” said Chambliss in one of the most canned Republican speeches that I’ve heard in a long time. “And you delivered tonight a strong message to the world that conservative Georgia values matter.”

Values? Hallelujah!

The suggestion is, of course, that in supporting “values” you are putting down all Democrats and centrists, godless heathens that they are, living in their homosexual love nests while they ply their children with condoms and sterile needles between trips to the abortion clinic and their jobs melting down guns collected by the guys in the black helicopters swooping down on target ranges and NRA meetings.

What the Right keeps missing is that the decades of kow-towing to the Moral Majority and like narrow-minded congregations with this kind of claptrap has alienated them from the very large part of the rest of the country. Throw in an epic financial crisis, and the vast middle wakes up from its 28 year slumber and says it is time for a change.

Wolf Blitzer suggested that the G.O.P. is “off message.” I think that is a bit too attract-the-Fox-News-crowd polite. Republicans would have to find a common message to be off of it.

Neo-Cons are still trying to rationalize their war and their open door policy on Wall Street that deregulated the banks to the point of ruin.

The Religious Right wants its judges, guns and antisocial social policy bringing the 21st century closer to the 13th.

Fiscal conservatives are fuming at the Religious Right for marching in lock-step with the Neo-Cons. They were down with the social policy, as long as they kept their tax breaks and loose fiscal policy.

Mr. Romney, I satirized Mr. Reagan and I can say that you are no Gipper. Mr. Huckabee, you lost the election the minute that you raised your hand to the question to answer “yes” to not believing in evolution. Mrs. Palin… You lost me at “Hello.”

Not that I have much love of helping these hapless half-wits take off the big feet and red noses so they can climb out of the clown car, but here is a hint: find a positive message that reaches out beyond your base.

You must stop threatening or purging your political moderates, and reach out to them. They are your future. You must recognize that the Center and the Left work, pray, shop, eat, sleep and play in the same places that you do, and that, while you may respectfully disagree with either their viewpoint or lifestyles, that you will accord them the same tolerance, respect, and dignity that they should accord to you as well.

Our America is one America. When Republicans can respect that, they will in turn win some respect back from the rest of the country outside the red belt.

My shiny two.

About Brian Ross

Brian Ross is a writer, screenwriter, political satirist, documentarian, filmmaker and chef. Ad hoc, ad loc, quid pro quo... so little time. So much to know!

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