A Pussyfooting, Wheedling, Sniveling Approach to Confronting National Shame

Roscoe Born, prior to writing a morally unsupportable editorial in the Sunday Baltimore Sun, was Washington editor of Barron’s magazine and a reporter in The Wall Street Journal’swill someone please take George Bush into a quiet, unthreatening environment and talk a little Cheney-sense into him?   

Roscoe Born, prior to writing a morally unsupportable editorial in the Sunday Baltimore Sun, was Washington editor of Barron’s magazine and a reporter in The Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau. A money-guy, branching out into political punditry. His pitch is essentially, will someone please take George Bush into a quiet, unthreatening environment and talk a little Cheney-sense into him?

In an opinion piece, titled, Nation Needs Intervention to Get Cheney Out of Office, he opens with the daring premise that

“Seriously, now is the time for a real intervention.”

Thus Roscoe chastises us for our six year ignorance, fear and failure to act that characterized

  • the American people,
  • their representatives in Washington,
  • the press,
  • TV and radio (if radio any longer rates as media).

Gently, almost timidly, this ex-shill for the moneyed class has had enough. One wonders when (and how) the epiphany occurred.

close to President Bush, people whose faith and loyalty he cannot doubt
– first lady Laura Bush, his parents, perhaps an elder statesman or
two, his preacher – need to assemble in his White House quarters one
night soon, lock the door and sit the president down for a serious,
forever-secret talk . . . the subject would not be the Iraq war, at
least not primarily. The focus needs to be on Vice President Dick

Ah, Daddy’s knee. The loving wife, taking George’s head in her lap.
What a breakthrough concept. A president who has unremittingly damaged
his nation, domestically and internationally, needs to be coddled and
velvet-gloved by a ‘forever secret talk.’  Milk and cookies, then a nap. Roscoe continues;

“Mr. Bush’s confidants need to gently but frankly tell him this:
the detailed record that The Washington Post has compiled of Mr.
Cheney’s extremism, his contempt for the law and constitutional
democracy, and his thirst for aggression, the nation no longer can run
the risk that he could become president. And Mr. Bush, who seems to
care about his place in history, no longer can allow his name to be
associated with that of Mr. Cheney, who may be the most reviled vice
president since Aaron Burr.”

Uh huh. And let me understand this, Roscoe. You just became aware of all this after reading the Washington Post,
or is it that you think the public has finally been encouraged to pay
attention? Either way, let me whisper in your ear that the press has
been complicit in 9-11-fever and insufferably derelict their duty. You, I hasten to remind, are a member of that errant fourth estate.

president’s interveners might try to impress on him the reality of the
situation: According to a consensus of public opinion polls, more than
8 in 10 Americans disapprove of Mr. Cheney. Seven in 10 disapprove of
Mr. Bush.”

Good thought, except that we are a nation of laws. True, we are in danger of becoming
a nation of polls, but if you’ll stand up there in the bow and get us
all rowing in the same direction, we might yet avoid that sorry state.
Suggesting Laura cajole her husband into abandoning his alter-ego in
order to gain a point (or is it two?) in an approval rate already below
the horizon, is not captaining the ship.

administration is condemned for the catastrophe in Iraq, for the threat
of a new war with Iran, for environmental damage, for wiretaps of
American citizens, for their opened mail, for torture and hopeless
imprisonment, for assertions of a right to ignore the law. Even
stalwart Republican leaders are deserting.”

No, even them?
Stalwart Republican leaders? Is that what you call the enablers of the
man you would have the president disavow? I would remind you, Roscoe,
that no one, Republican or Democrat has been anything even
close to ‘stalwart’ in the co-conspiracy that served as surrogate
Senate and House. The checkers were mute and the balancers busy packing
their pockets, while David Addington whispered in Darth Cheney’s ear.
The Dark Side went on to set Bush’s policy table.

You really think “Seriously, now is the time for a real intervention.” Ludicrously is a better adverb—seriously, it’s time for the laws that have been so flagrantly abused to be enforced.

What can be said for a country that supports ‘three-strike’ laws
that put shoplifters away for life terms  and pimps for an
‘eight-strike’ (by your own list) president to be sat down for a serious, forever-secret talk.

I’ll tell you a serious forever secret. The country has left you apologetic scribblers.
The nation is far more incensed than those of you within the beltway
even begin to understand. You’ve been talking to each other at this or
that cocktail party, tut-tutting and nudging each other while the
American public has left you all. Collectively, you are increasingly irrelevant.

short, they could tell the president that, justly or not, the
Bush-Cheney administration is widely perceived as a disaster. It has
zero credibility. No single act by Mr. Bush, no legislative proposal,
no earnest plea on television could change all this.

And worst
of all, this is not the worst of all. The president’s interveners could
point out the possibility – tragically, we’ve learned this must be
considered – that within the next 18 months, the unseen engineer of
much of Mr. Bush’s authoritarian policy, Dick Cheney, could become
president of the United States, unfettered. Preventing that possibility
could be the salvation of the Bush legacy, the interveners could tell
him. Congressional Democrats feel the pressure for a power showdown
with the president. The feeling is growing that somebody will have to
answer for all this. Therein, the Bush interveners could point out,
lies the answer.

With Mr. Bush’s nod of assent, agents of the
interveners would communicate with Mr. Cheney’s people, and two-person
teams from each side would arrive separately one night at a home in the
Washington exurbs.”

What’s the point?

Roscoe goes on to expand upon this drivel, picturing Colin Powell
replacing a recalcitrant but humbled Cheney, the sun breaking through a
cloudy Republican horizon and the president’s legacy is enshrined in a
temple of victory. The nation saved, Bush riding a white horse (if he
could only learn to ride) off into the sunset of his presidential term
and a renewed Republican party safely in the hands of Colin Powell.
Presumably, this is the same shamed Colin Powell who slunk off into the
shadows of Silicon Valley to join a venture capital firm, taking the
title of "strategic limited partner."

Figures. The man Roscoe appoints to save the day was certainly
strategically limited in his dust-up with Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Enough of this pussyfooting, wheedling, sniveling approach to
confronting the national shame that is the Bush administration. I’m
sick of it and so are you.

The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and their
big-city ilk are so editorially ignorant of the American public-disgust
that one wonders how they retain readership. Roscoe is dead wrong. We
are a nation of law.

Time now, in fact way past time, to enforce those laws.
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