I just go on shaking my head at the President Bush.
It's not that he's simple, hard-headed, an ungifted speaker, autocratic, mean-spirited, or a bad liar. It's not that since 9/11 he's provoked the better part of the world in the name of our country. That he started a war his father could have told him was unwinnable; that he's routinely favored military action over diplomacy; that we have yet to hear of one verifiable win on his domestic agenda.
Maybe it's not even that this man, abhorrently ignorant in matters of international relations, doesn't even know when he's picking a fight. Never mind one he can't win. Never mind calling it out to a world that would have to be so very, very stupid to lend credibility to his current song. Among its lyrics, this particular batch of non-meaning fluff:
Mr. Bush has also refused to meet with Iran’s leaders, and he said Wednesday that he did not believe that it would be an effective way of persuading the Iranians to give up their nuclear goals. “This is a world in which people say, ‘Meet! Sit down and meet!’ ” he said. “And my answer is, if it yields results, that’s what I’m interested in.”
It's that you and I, fellow Americans, are either too proud to admit how wrong this man is for the job we've given him, or too stunned by this surreal political scene to envision any real alternative, too pressed by personal ambition to speak frankly, too damaged by our own fucked-over credibility to command serious national attention, or too caught up in feel-good grassroots politics to fight the Big Fight, the only one that actually matters.
I liked it better when my President wanted to get blown in his office. Which is not to say I applaud it, but I can understand that. I can understand being pressured to confess and nabeuvered into lying about it. Hey, I grew up in a Nixon era; where interests of state and power are concerned, lying is not scandalous: getting caught at it is. That doesn't make it pretty, but neither do I imagine Chinese DF-31's en route for illicit sex.
But forget all that; just look where you are right now. Is your son at war? If he's 14 now, what are the chances a recruiter will catch him in a mall parking lot for a friendly chat? Do you know National Guardsmen whose weekend-a-month commitment have turned into indefinite tours of the Middle East? Have you wondered who now is legally entitled to review the books you check out at the library? Can you remember the last major terrorist attack on the US since 9/11? Have you counted how many periods of "elevated threat" we've had since then? Are you pretty sure that every civil liberty you've ceded as a citizen has materially contributed to our safety?
Do you think a multi-billion dollar fence along the Mexican border will do anything -- anything -- to improve your way of life? How about the change in your wages in the 90's as opposed to this decade? Your children's educational opportunities? What are you paying for gas right now?
Why, why, why, do we not get that we can change this any time we want?