The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

G-Dub... to the max.

Sidney Blumenthal has written a piece for Salon that I think nicely pulls together the conventional wisdom on Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove-- the puppet masters of the Bush presidency, driven by their decades-long ideological struggle to amass personal power and extend it to a right-wing juggernaut. All completely unfettered by regard for the consequences of their actions or the slightest regard for the well-being of the nation.

Then there's George the Second, the perfect pawn. Arrogant beyond belief but without any sane explanation, he made for the perfect candidate. A wind-up toy with delusions of autonomy, authoritatively pushing political concepts he understands only insofar as they are explained to him by his agenda-driven backers-- a disease that seems to afflict many children of privilege. And, faced with the antipathy of his own nation and the hostility of the world, he has eagerly switched his preferred personal myth. During the 2000 campaign, he was enamored of comparisons with John Quincy Adams, the only son of a president to hold the same office. These days, he's obsessed with Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman-- and the obvious theme of being exonerated by history. The only conviction Bush seems to have is that of his own greatness. But Bush isn't fighting on behalf of a strong moral conviction guided by deep personal knowledge. He just wants to convince everyone that he's a great man.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, the disastrous results of their policies leave them all the more convinced that they need to spend the next few years pushing all the harder for more of the same.

For Rumsfeld and Cheney the final days of the Bush administration are the endgame. They cannot expect positions in any future White House. Since the Nixon White House, when counselor Rumsfeld and his deputy Cheney watched the self-destruction of the president, they have plotted to reach the point where they would impose the imperial presidency that Nixon was thwarted from doing. Both men held ambitions to become president themselves. The Bush years have been their opportunity, their last one, to run a presidency. Through the agency of the son of one of their colleagues from the Ford White House, George H.W. Bush (whom President Ford considered but passed over for his vice president and chief of staff, giving the latter job to Cheney), they have enabled their notion of executive power. But the fulfillment of their idea of presidential power is steadily draining the president of strength. Their 30-year-long project on behalf of autocracy has merely produced monumental incompetence.

The only problem with Blumenthal's article is that it's far too short.