Suddenly a “Great Opportunity”


The public seems to think President Bush has taken the Republican
shellacking in the mid-term elections well.  He has not. Watching the
press-briefings after meetings with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, it was
evident that Bush was shaken. Furtive, unconfident, conciliatory.

Bushreidcheney
The public seems to think President Bush has taken the Republican
shellacking in the mid-term elections well.  He has not. Watching the
press-briefings after meetings with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, it was
evident that Bush was shaken. Furtive, unconfident, conciliatory.
He never saw it coming. Staff saw it and Karl Rove saw it, but
evidently no one dared tell the president. He kept pandering to his
‘base’ through the final moments, surrounding himself with adoration
and agreement rather than the facts that were all too apparent to
anyone outside the bubble. This administration has existed and governed
almost exclusively by talking to themselves.
Which is, of course, the difficulty with bubbles. By their very
nature, be they economic, religious, scientific or political—bubbles
close out dissent and remove intellectual argument. Those of us who
wrote, perhaps excessively (perhaps not) from the left or right, ran
the risk of bubble-disfunction as well; preaching to the choir and
preening ourselves before a like-minded group.
Bushpelosi
My view is that Bush is shell-shocked, angry and scared to death.
Shocked that it could have happened, angry that he and Cheney will no
longer be able to run things as they wish and scared of the blizzard of
indictments that could break the Reagan record (61) of
administration-members brought up on charges.
After the meeting with Senators Reid and Durban, the president announced

‘My
attitude about this is that there is a great opportunity for us to show
the country that Republicans and Democrats are equally as patriotic and
equally concerned about the future, and that we can work together.” 

Timely rhetoric in a moment when the nation is tired to death of negative politics.
There are two things America does not want after November 7th changed the entirety of the working elements in Congress;

  • By a 60-40 margin, they do not want the Congress to pull us too
    quickly out of Iraq. That’s a very seasoned view. They want us out, but
    on a timetable that leaves some positive benefit behind.
  • By a slightly larger margin, they do not want Democrats clogging government with indictments and articles of impeachment.

Newtgingrich2_1Bush’s
sudden acknowledgment of ‘great opportunity’ is an aside to the
American audience from stage-center. It’s driven, not by a willingness
to open his administration to bi-partisan accommodation, but by the
abject fear of finding himself indicted out of any chance at his
remaining legislative agenda. Republicans remember well that the did
that to Bill Clinton, because (as Newt Gingrich admitted with a broad
grin) “they could.”
Democrats don’t have as sure a grip on Congress as did the 1994
Gingrich Republicans and Democrats, by nature, have never been as
aggressively vengeful as neoconservatives. But it’s a difficult call,
because this president and this administration have so blatantly lied
and broken the law over such a prolonged period of time and with so
little regard for Constitutional authority.
Bush’s ‘let bygones be bygones’ attitude plays well in a country eager for healing, but the fact remains that this presidency has committed egregious crimes against the nation in the name of national security.
Billclinton_1
Bringing impeachment articles against two presidents in a successive
administrations is not a precedent anyone wants to set. But impeaching
one for absolutely frivolous and politically motivated reasons, only to
give the second a pass ‘because the country is tired of negative politics’ misses the point of presidential accountability.
Seriously misses it.
Future presidents, when they happen to enjoy control of the Supreme
Court, House and Senate, must not be allowed or encouraged to walk all
over the Constitution in muddy boots. Just because we have not seen
that unusual circumstance in half a century until the past six years,
does not mean the lesson need not be driven home. Criminal activity is what we’re talking about, not unpopular politics.
Iraq is not the problem. Iraq is solvable. Perhaps not as America
would have it be, but the lessons learned on both sides of that bloody
table will be remembered—for a time—until we forget them.
Unpunished crimes within the administration are a problem.
They are solvable as well, without creating a side-show that subverts
the governing process. Like Iraq, perhaps not as we would like to see,
but those lessons—the lessons of Constitutional authority—are core to
our belief in ourselves as a nation.
No one should fear that but the miscreants.
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Media coverage;

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