Monday, December 19, 2005

Spin Cycle

I tend to go against the grain with Bush Bashers. I don't think he's stupid. I think he is really very smart, committed, and effective at getting what he wants for his constituents. The problem is that his constituents--the Christian Right and big Business, especially the Oil Industry--represent a very negative side of the American electorate, and I believe do far more harm then good to America and to the world. 9/11 gave both of them an opportunity to re-write the rules in their favor, creating a pro-busines, pro-God, Chrisitan America: an America which I find opressive and antitheical to the principals of liberty and freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

I only bring this up because the George Bush who has emerged over the last few weeks demonstrates that I am right. He is now a changed president, a frankly more presidential president, and it's very effective. Once his poll numbers hit 35%, and he suffered a string of setbacks and a newly emboldened opposition, he switched into campaign mode, and this guy is nothing if not a great campaigner. His speech last night didn't sway me, not one bit, but the arrogant idiot most liberals see when they look at Bush was nowhere to be seen. He was humble and direct. He acknowledged criticisms agaisnt his policies and actually attempted to build arguments against them. He looked like the comander in chief, not like some dumb frat boy who had faked his way into the studio in a suit that didn't fit him. He was presidential.

I'm remind by all of this of a great episode of the West Wing, one in which the president's press secretary engineers a coup of sorts as the president is being investigated. She aranges to have the special prosecutor, who is more or less fair minded and friendly with the Whitehouse counsel to be replaced by a pit bull who will come after tem with guns blazing, because she believes it will be better political theatre if they are seen to be fighting an unfair and overzealous partizan prosecutore then simply taking their lumps for something they did wrong. Oliver Platt, as the Whitehouse Chief Counsel, says to her (something like) "just becuase this whitehouse is most comfortable when their in a nasty political dogfight doesn't make it a good idea." I'm not saying that Karl Rove engineered the current dissent, but I am saying that the Bush people are much more comfortable campaigning then they are governing. They are better at it too. Did you see the way he came out swinging over his secret inteligence program durring the press conference this morning (and hte fact that he's taking real questions is, in itself, a big deal)? It was something. Of course his poll numbers will get a bounce. they have little room to fall, after all. but what's interesting to me is how much better he looks now then at any time since last January. Scary, really, because if he manages to hang on to the patriot act and the secret unwarrented wire taps, he will be proving himself to be the fascist we've all believed him to be. No, I'm not being hyperbolic. I didn't say he was Hitler. I said he is a fascist, and I believe that he is. His attempts to concentrate and expand the power of the executive combined with his flag waving, State centered governmment and quashing of dissent, mark him as such. There were other fascists besides Hitler: Franco, Mussilini, Peron; and Bush fits in well with them.


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