Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Moral Morass is in us

Three generations of the Bush family. Seated in the center
are President George W. Bush's paternal grandparents,
Prescott Bush, who served as a senator from Connecticut
from 1952 to 1963, and his wife, Dorothy Walker Bush.
A boyish George W. Bush stands at the far left next to his
parents, George and Barbara Bush, and his brothers Jeb and Neil.

This whole Harriet Miers thing has everyone in a quandary. It’s really quite simple. It has to do with longevity. There’s a big sinister plan going on that has nothing to do with the presidency or politics, even though it seems like it does. It’s about family, and cronies, and greed and power

.…As many dynasties near the end of their runs, the rulers often feel so secure about their station that they lift the veil on their own weirdness to revel publicly in their own exceptionalism.[emphasis added]—Rigorous Intuition, Jeff Wells, 9/19/05

President Bush named White House counsel Harriet Miers to a Supreme Court in transition Monday, turning to a longtime loyalist without experience as a judge or publicly known views on abortion to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.—AP 10/3/05

There is still much to learn about Harriet E. Miers, but in naming her to the Supreme Court, President Bush revealed something about himself: that he has no appetite, at a time when he and his party are besieged by problems, for an all-out ideological fight.—New York Times, 10/4/05

In her 1989 run for Dallas City Council, Harriet Miers filled out a questionnaire from the Lesbian/Gay Political Coalition of Dallas, where she indicated her support for full civil rights for gays and lesbians and backed AIDS education programs for the city of Dallas...—Drudge Report 10/4/05

Watching Bush on C-SPAN. He just said that he picked Harriet because he knew she wouldn't change. That in 20 years she'll be the same as she is today.Except that 20 years ago she gave money to Gore and the DNC. That's someone who won't change!—AmericaBlog 10/4/05

"Not to my recollection have I ever sat down with her [to discuss abortion],"—George W. Bush Press Conference 10/4/05

The favors that Bush and his cronies require would not have to be spelled out. Just don’t be surprised when, sometime during the post George W. presidency, Bush states in an interview when asked about Roberts and Miers, “They’re doing a heck of a job.”

In the same week Bush picked his close staff member of 10 years for the Supreme Court, Delay was indicted on charges of money laundering, to go along with last week’s conspiracy charge. As Frank Rich eloquently delineates the corruption rampant in the Bush administration, can we find a pattern?

The DeLay and Abramoff investigations are not to be confused with the many others percolating in the capital, including, most famously of late, the Justice Department and S.E.C. inquiries into the pious Bill Frist's divine stock-sale windfall and the homeland security inspector general's promised inquiry into possible fraud in the no-bid contracts doled out by FEMA for Hurricane Katrina. The mother of all investigations, of course, remains the prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's pursuit of whoever outted the C.I.A. agent Valerie Wilson to Robert
Novak and whoever may have lied to cover it up. The denouement is on its way.

But whatever the resolution of any of these individual dramas, they will not be the end of the story. Like the continuing revelations of detainee abuse emerging from Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo, this is a crisis in the governing culture, not the tale of a few bad apples. Every time you turn over a rock, you find more vermin. We've only just learned from The Los Angeles Times that Joseph Schmitz, until last month the inspector general in charge of policing waste, fraud and abuse at the Pentagon, is himself the focus of a Congressional inquiry. He is accused of blocking the investigation of another Bush appointee who is suspected of siphoning Iraq reconstruction contracts to business cronies. At the Justice Department, the F.B.I. is looking into why a career prosecutor was demoted after he started probing alleged Abramoff illegality in Guam. According to The Los Angeles Times, the demoted prosecutor was then replaced by a Rove-approved Republican pol who just happened to be a cousin of a major target of another corruption investigation in Guam.—Frank Rich, 10/2/05 New York Times

Here is a story that depicts a pattern:

After more than an hour of solemn ceremony naming Rep. Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, as the 2007-08 House speaker, Gov. Jeb Bush stepped to the podium in the House chamber last week and told a short story about "unleashing Chang," his "mystical warrior" friend.

Here are Bush's words, spoken before hundreds of lawmakers and politicians:

''Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society.''I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down.''

Bush then unsheathed a golden sword and gave it to Rubio as a gift.

''I'm going to bestow to you the sword of a great conservative warrior,'' he said, as the crowd roared.-- Gov. Bush & his mystical buddy, Gainesville.com 9/18/05

Here's Jeff Wells’ Rigorous Intuition blog analysis of Jeb Bush’s homage to his father, George’s, “Chang” reference:

We know a lot of nasty and weird things about the Bush family, and we have good cause to suspect a lot worse. What's more, they know we know…

… And they know, and we know, that these things will not be spoken in the mass media. And so they enjoy the liberty of winking at us…

… They know what signs they send. As many dynasties near the end of their runs, the rulers often feel so secure about their station that they lift the veil on their own weirdness to revel publicly in their own exceptionalism.[emphasis added]-- Rigorous Intuition, Jeff Wells, 9/19/05

We, the people, have no champion, no sword to wield, and no cause to uphold, because “the rulers” have muddied up the playing field so completely. Cindy Sheehan can’t dig us out of this moral dilemma, nor will John McCain, Hillary, any of them.

We have created the soil for these weeds to grow; we must start cleaning up. It’s not as simple as JFK’s "ask what you can do for your country." It’s ending the condoning of racism, the acceptance of poverty, and the NIMBY attitude that ignores the great truth of our country, and the world—we are all one, and we have to know it and behave as if we know it.

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