Friday, December 08, 2006
62 Million Divided by 79
I've been thinking a lot about the Iraq Study Group Report. It can really only be described as stunning; a complete repudiation of current Bush policies. 79 recommendations? Can you imagine if your next job review included a list of 79 areas to fix--all of which had to be implemented immediately? Besides the obvious part about you now being unemployed, you would be extremely embarrassed and shamed. 79? Not three or four. Not a misunderstanding. 79.
And so there was President Bush, sitting at a large table surrounded by the people who had just handed him his dismal report card, and, incredibly, he took it all in stride. He called the group's findings "very interesting" which--even for Bush--struck me as extremely odd. That he even had the nerve to speak, after such a dismal review, seemed arrogant--like a boy who steals his dad's car, gets loaded, wrecks the car, and then speaks about the event in abstract terms.
The results are not "interesting." The results are, in their own words, essential for region, the United States, and the world. Yet despite the gravity of it all, the hard work invested, the corroboration that there is indeed a serious problem and that his master plan is nothing more than an exacerbation, the President received the report as one receives a menu at a restaurant for the first time. Hmm, they have humus? Interesting.
I've never been a big believer in politics. I've always wondered how out of hundreds of millions the best tools we can put forward are figures so easily mocked on late-night television. The system is harsh and grueling and the fittest in that race can barely string logical sentences together. I likened them to boxers who have spent far too much time in the ring. And that was before Bush became president. His election made the matter deadly serious.
That this man could somehow rise to be our leader is nothing short of a serious indictment on the system. This is an injustice on the scale of the incompetent son getting to run the father's company. Certainly there were more qualified people? More deserving? Certainly our process is not that transparent is it? Bush is a real life Tommy Boy, except he does not save the company. He's so excited to prove everyone wrong he smothers it, like Lenny, destroying it in the process.
But even as I write things like this--even as many of my blog posts are as inner rattlings at the injustice of it all--it's hard for me to hate Bush. After all, he's just a tool, and one elected. Ours is supposed to be the elite process, the educated populace, the home of the brave. We're supposed to greet a guy like Bush at the door and tell him kindly that we'll call him. But no, somehow we found it within ourselves to make it a close enough race in 2000 for Bush to nab it. And in 2004 62,000,000 came out to re-elect him.
79 goes into 62 million 450 thousand times. Bush may be just a Tommy Boy, a Lenny, but someone elected him and those are the people I blame. Within a few years even I had figured out he lacked the judgment required. By 2004 I knew what we were getting was a Captain Queeg ready to take the ship down rather than be proven wrong. I could extend his past decisions and project them into the future. Certainly we all could.
Anyone who thinks Bush fooled them after 2004 should never be allowed to vote again. What about the elements didn't you understand? They are like those people who leave a baby in a hot car while they go in to buy some groceries. Democracy requires some responsibility, some thought. I don't blame Bush, a Terminator gone crazy, a metal shell programmed by religion and conservative zeal. I blame the people who unleashed this machine onto the world.