Democrats & Liberals Archives

Meet The New Boss

I have come to the conclusion that if you’re going to be a minority race Republican - specifically a Bush minority Republican – there’s a good chance you’re coming equipped with a self-delusional character flaw. For example, it will manifest itself as a radical political ideology, which goes against your upbringing, culture and heritage. Or, is represented by the bubble of self-denial you’ve created, which allows you to dismiss that your race (and not your abilities and accomplishments), has brought you such success.

Yes, this observation grew from the announcement of Roberto Gonzales to replace the departing John Ashcroft as Attorney General, yet obviously I had Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Secretary of State Colin Powell, also in mind.

When Bush responded to yet another question in the second debate about any mistakes he has so far made, he hinted at some bad appointments, although declining not to name names. With a show hands, how many readers immediately thought of John Ashcroft?

Sorry to all you Kerry Minority members but this is as good as it gets in a Bush second term. Now get back to more of your organizin’ and message tweekin’ - nothing to see here.

Right now, Roy Cohn would be an improvement over John Ashcroft, whom NYTimes’ Paul Krugman dubbed the worst U.S. Attorney General, ever. Thus, it greatly lowers the bar for Mr. Gonzales' term, a level that may soon be surpassed by his boss. As is standard for any Bush appointee, the AG nominee came packing major baggage. Although, it is a stretch to make even a tenuous personal connection by merely working in a powerful Houston law firm, he was immediately dubbed ‘an Enron lawyer’, possibly a parting shot at Ashcroft for not securing the conviction of ‘old Kenny boy’.

But, it was obviously the creative writing skills he learned there, that have been unfortunately highlighted in the news coverage of his appointment. The justified outrage over his interpretation of what aspects of the Geneva Convention are applicable to a U.S. President fighting a new kind of enemy, was loud and injurious to him personally. Be assured, his detractors will use the same emphasis on word ‘quaint’ (his characterization of this international law protecting prisoners of war), as Dick Cheney did with his out of context use of the word ‘sensitive’ on John Kerry.

Reliable sources close to Gonzales have revealed that the White House Council lawyer was very upset over the fallout after the memos he wrote were made public. However, it was not deep regret over such a frightening and unsettling interpretation of a historic document that this country has staunchly adhered to since its creation. He was upset that something he had done would greatly cost President Bush politically, whom he has served since his days in Austin, Texas as Governor.

This makes it quite clear that the future AG knows exactly what is paramount to the George W. Bush he understands, so well. It would’ve been a nice heads up, if he had shared this insight with an incoming Secretary of State back in 2001, who has unfortunately learned it the hard way. Just maybe, there is a chance Colin Powell may change his mind and stay at his post, in the wake of what Arafat’s death could mean to peace in Israel. In this writer’s estimation though, even if Powell sees promise in moving compromise and agreement between Palestinians and Israel forward, he will still walk away from his post.

Why? First, he has no credibility or chips to call in with the Palestinians, in the wake of the administration’s total capitulation to Ariel Sharon’s vision for the region. And, just like the under funding of No Child Left Behind and post invasion Afghanistan, this White House has proven it’s indifference to follow-up and continued committed support. The process would also prove arduous for Powell, stuck on a learning curve he could not have expected to master in one sitting with Madeline Albright.

Yet, even more unfortunate is that an Israeli-Palestinian accord now would fail to have the significant impact it would’ve had before the Iraqi Invasion. It was previously on the Bin Laden’s short list of indignations, which has been lengthened considerably by the inept execution of Bush’s Vietnam. Gone also are the interested parties of previously moderate Arab nations, once willing to strengthen their ties to the U.S., even if clear progress was only being achieved in any Israeli-Palestinian talks.

As baffled as I remain that the military’s rank and file would still support Bush and an unjust war, they should not be surprised (or dare show disappointment) now that Donald Rumsfeld comes included, as a repackaged complimentary gift. The well-known anger towards the civilian leadership in the Pentagon may have ebbed a bit, with the widely accepted rumor that Rumsfeld would forgo a Bush second term – possibly removing the one big obstacle to supporting the President’s re-election.

Now, just as the neo-Cons stand unencumbered to re-make the Middle East in America’s image, Rumsfeld can also finish his searing vision of reinventing our military. So if the military commanders in Iraq sincerely wanted more troops, that deadline has now passed.

The brutal, but moving epic Saving Private Ryan has more relevance today, other than forcing Michael Powell and the FCC to possibly come up with an ‘indecency exemption clause’. Those horrifying scenes on Normandy beach that open the film, look nothing like the Coalition’s assault on Fallujah, because the insurgents have no need or reason to stand and fight. They are more than willing to continue this cat and mouse game of engagement, from Mosul to Samara to Basra to Fallujah and back again.

This is what John Kerry so accurately warned as ‘more of the same’.

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at November 13, 2004 12:04 AM