Do you think President Bush believes his support of embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales makes him look good, proving what a loyal friend he is? Gonzales has been an apologist (and worse) for Bush for years so now, according to the Bush Loyalty Plan, he must support the Attorney General no matter what, right? If there’s one thing almost everyone in the country agreed on last week, it was that Attorney General Gonzales completely tanked at the Senate Judiciary Hearings about the firing of those federal prosecutors. His answers were frustratingly vague, evasive, or simply preposterous, preventing even those staunch Republicans on the committee who wanted to defend him from being able to do so.
Still, I imagine that some Bush supporters would read my opening question and say, “He didn’t care if it made him look good politically, the president is a man of principle who follows his heart no matter what the consequences.” I would agree with that statement, except I’d add that Bush’s so-called principles are the problem and that he should consider the consequences of his actions before he follows his heart. I’m not suggesting that Bush should have left his Attorney General twisting in the breeze the minute he got into a jam, but to call Gonzales’ performance last week “fantastic” defies credulity and makes Bush look like he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the facts. Maybe Bush is a good and loyal friend but that doesn’t give him the right to excuse or ignore the misdeeds of his intimate cohorts. What about his loyalty to the American people?
It’s not like I have it in for Alberto Gonzales. Unlike some of his predecessors such as John Mitchell, Ed Meese, or John Ashcroft, he doesn’t seem like a polarizing figure intent on forcing his agenda down the throats of American citizens. Watching the hearings, I felt for the guy, I’ve never in my life seen such a poor performance in front of a Senate Committee. Gonzales’ answers were so awful he made Oliver North look like a Poet Laureate and paragon of truth and honesty. And now that Gonzales has rendered himself fairly useless as Attorney General, there are a million ways Bush could be “loyal” to his friend while still not insulting our intelligence by pretending the sky isn’t blue.
Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the committee, said that Gonzales’ continued tenure will damage the Justice Department, the Bush administration, and the GOP. “As long as he's the Attorney General, I will continue to deal with him,” Specter said. “But whatever he has to say, I will take with more than a grain of salt.” Ouch. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy called into question Bush’s comments today about Gonzales’ testimony. “If that increased his confidence,” Leahy said, “then he has a very low bar indeed for what he needs for confidence.”
I’m still reeling from Bush’s continued support that we’re somehow supposed to interpret as a positive character trait instead of further proof that the emperor has no clothes. At this point, the emperor is so freaking naked that the FCC should impose a $500,000 fine on the White House every time Bush walks into the Rose Garden for a press conference. Oy, I hate what happens to me when I try to write about Bush, and I’m aware that my ravings add little to the conversation. I don’t want to become some lefty stereotype and start frothing at the mouth that Bush is the anti-Christ. (Oh wait, I already did that. Or rather, I said it would be insulting the anti-Christ to compare him to Bush.)
Are there any strong Bush supporters out there? I’d hate to think this blog is stuck in some ghetto where everyone has to think like me. I wish I could be more like Neil on Citizen of the Month and provide forums for civil discourse between people with very different political views. If there are any of you who think Bush is doing a good job, I would love it if you’d leave a comment and tell me one thing that you think he has done in the past six years that demonstrates excellent leadership. It’s not a trick, I won’t reply by telling you that you’re crazy. There are many Republicans who I admire and respect, I’m just having a hard time imagining that any of these people really, in their heart of hearts, think George W. Bush is helping this country and expertly fulfilling his role as President. Does that sound smug or shrill? Sorry.
Bush’s loyalty myopia is only the latest salvo in an endless display of fatal flaws that prevent him from leading this country effectively, in my opinion. Some people may still admire him for his good ol’ boy down-home act. Do these folks ever question the vicious and mean-spirited people that Bush relies on so heavily such as Dick “Attack Dog” Cheney or Karl “Don’t Touch Me, Sheryl Crow” Rove?
“You’re making a fool of yourself,” my friends on the Right would say at this point, as I resort to name-calling in lieu of presenting articulate arguments to support my views. I admit it, I can’t talk about the current administration and its many faults without descending into vitriol. So I’ll stop, and leave the analysis to cooler heads and smarter minds.
Oh, but wait! I just thought of one positive thing to say about President Bush. This man has actually done the impossible and found a way to transcend partisan politics. After the Gonzales debacle, America’s Great Divide has finally come together in a united front—now everyone thinks Bush is an idiot!