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Arrogance, Incompetence, Cynicism

Media Time Magazine Joe Klein 2007 Bush Administration

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#1 BklnScott

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 02:13 PM

Joe Klein has finally brought out the big guns.  

Excerpts from his latest--brutal--Time magazine essay:

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The first three months of the new Democratic Congress have been neither terrible nor transcendent. A Pew poll had it about right: a substantial majority of the public remains happy the Democrats won in 2006, but neither Nancy Pelosi nor Harry Reid has dominated the public consciousness as Newt Gingrich did when the Republicans came to power in 1995. There is a reason for that. A much bigger story is unfolding: the epic collapse of the Bush Administration. ...

The three big Bush stories of 2007--the decision to "surge" in Iraq, the scandalous treatment of wounded veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys for tawdry political reasons--precisely illuminate the three qualities that make this Administration one of the worst in American history: arrogance (the surge), incompetence (Walter Reed) and cynicism (the U.S. Attorneys). ...

Iraq comes first, as always. From the start, it has been obvious that personal motives have skewed the President's judgment about the war. Saddam tried to kill his dad; his dad didn't try hard enough to kill Saddam. There was payback to be had. But never was Bush's adolescent petulance more obvious than in his decision to ignore the Baker-Hamilton report and move in the exact opposite direction: adding troops and employing counterinsurgency tactics inappropriate to the situation on the ground. "There was no way he was going to accept [its findings] once the press began to portray the report as Daddy's friends coming to the rescue," a member of the Baker-Hamilton commission told me. ...

On April 3, the President again accused Democrats of being "more interested in fighting political battles in Washington than providing our troops what they need." Such demagoguery is particularly outrageous given the Administration's inability to provide our troops "what they need" at the nation's premier hospital for veterans. The mold and decrepitude at Walter Reed are likely to be only the beginning of the tragedy, the latest example of incompetence in this Administration. "This is yet another aspect of war planning that wasn't done properly," says Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "The entire VA hospital system is unprepared for the casualties of Iraq, especially the psychiatric casualties. A lot of vets are saying, 'This is our Katrina moment.' And they're right: this Administration governs badly because it doesn't care very much about governing."

I've been saying that last bit all along: why elect a group of people who don't believe in the Federal government to *run* the Federal government?  It's assinine.  

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When Bush came to office--installed by the Supreme Court after receiving fewer votes than Al Gore--I speculated that the new President would have to govern in a bipartisan manner to be successful. He chose the opposite path, and his hyper-partisanship has proved to be a travesty of governance and a comprehensive failure. I've tried to be respectful of the man and the office, but the three defining sins of the Bush Administration--arrogance, incompetence, cynicism--are congenital: they're part of his personality. They're not likely to change. And it is increasingly difficult to imagine yet another two years of slow bleed with a leader so clearly unfit to lead.

About time.

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#2 Captain Jack

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 02:18 PM

All just a bunch of hot air from cowards.  No one has had the BACKBONE to impeach Bush, and so many Americans voted for him a second term.  So who is really the incomptent one?  The mass of Americans who voted for him again, and those who haven't got the guts to impeach him.
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#3 BklnScott

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 02:21 PM

Joe Klein is not a politician, he's a journalist and author.  So he doesn't get to impeach Bush -- though I agree with you that something is quite wrong with our system when so many of us can agree that this is one of the worst, most arrogant and imcompetent administrations in US history -- and we can do nothing to remove him for fear of political blowback.  

The Dems in Congress are showing more of a backbone than they have in years -- but it's not enough.  

I also agree that anyone who voted for him a second time falls under the heading of "fool me twice, shame on me."

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#4 Palisades

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 02:34 PM

Traditional conservatives don't think the government is incapable of governing. They think it's more inefficient at a lot of things than individuals, small groups, and the private sector. On the other hand, the neoconservatives appear to enthusiastically favor big government so long as they're the ones in power.

AFAIK, the Supreme Court interpreted the laws concerning disputed election results. Our system elects the candidate who receives the majority of the electoral votes so it's not like the Supreme Court overrode the popular vote, which the author's wording seems to suggest.

I agree with the author that the Bush Administration is arrogant, incompetent, and corrupt.

Edited by Solar Wind, 06 April 2007 - 02:36 PM.

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"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

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#5 Sinister Dexter

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 02:41 PM

Blair is just as bad, so there's not much I can say.


But at least I never had the stupidity to vote Labour.
Rommie: I just want a day where I can build missiles and tweak fire control in peace
Beka: We need to find you a hobby
Rommie: That IS my hobby

Daniel: She's Hathor, the goddess of fertility, inebriety, and music
Jack: Sex, drugs and rock & roll?

Moist Von Lipvig: Oh, all right. Of course I accept as a natural born criminal, habitual liar, fraudster and totally untrustworthy perverted genius
Lord Vetinari: Capital! Welcome to government service!

Mary Raven: ....your house smells weird
Dr Vukovic: It smells of SCIENCE!

Wooster: Why is it, do you think, Jeeves, that the thought of the "little thing" my Aunt Dahlia wants me to do for her fills me with a nameless foreboding?
Jeeves: Experience, sir?

#6 Cait

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 02:42 PM

I just read this this  morning.. it is a scathing editorial.  Can't say I found myself in much disagreement with him--of wait, I didn't disagree with a *single* word.

As I said in another thread, it is amazing to me that this kind of dishonesty and incompetence isn't considered a High Crime or a Misdemeanor.  

While politicians weight their options and think about the next election, Nero is fiddling and Rome is burning.  Congress may have found some spine, but it isn't nearly enough to stop this disaster.  We're being bankrupted, soldiers are dying, returning soldiers abandoned in the VA system, US credibility abroad is destroyed, and the DoJ is  being politicized.  We have warrant-less wiretaps, secret prisons, torture, rising health costs and employers cutting back on health benefits, stagnate wages, rising housing,  displaced Katrina survivors, and yet the talking points still echo out of the White House as if none of this has happened.  As if the country isn't 1000 times worse off than when  this mad man took office.

It's an obscenity, but somehow not impeachable.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#7 Palisades

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 03:07 PM

Cait said:

rising health costs and employers cutting back on health benefits, stagnate wages, rising housing

While I would fault the Bush Administration, at least in part, for your other complaints, how is the Bush Administration to blame for the things I quoted? Or is it that you think the Bush Administration should be doing something to address these issues? If so, what do you think they should be doing? (Also, the price of homes for sell has stagnated although the cost to rent apartments is rising.)
"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

FKA:
TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#8 Captain Jack

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 03:22 PM

It's kind of interesting to look back.  When George Bush Sr. was running for re-election, he had nothing to say other than his success with the first Gulf War.  That administration was way out of touch with issues that Americans wanted addressed.  Hence, Bill Clinton cleaned his clock and became President.  Now, we have Jr., and his administration is also way out of touch with what Americans want.  Perhaps even more so than his fathers.

This does not mean that the Democrats are the automatic saviors of this nation.  To think so would be fooling, quite frankly.  It's simply not that simple.  Whether one is a Dem or Rep should be set aside, and his or her actions, agendas, qualifications, intentions, and views should be looked at first.  Each candidate should be looked at as simply "What can you do for me, and my country?"

My point is, just because Bush is a Republican, doesn't mean ALL Republicans are like Bush.  They are not.
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#9 Bad Wolf

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 03:48 PM

View PostSolar Wind, on Apr 6 2007, 12:34 PM, said:

I agree with the author that the Bush Administration is arrogant, incompetent, and corrupt.

You forgot a couple:  Stupid.  Ignorant.  Bigoted.  Morally bankrupt.  Greedy.  Foul.
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#10 SparkyCola

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 04:03 PM

Blair is no where near as bad.


That aside, people tend not to like change. It's the whole "better the devil you know" thing.

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#11 Sinister Dexter

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 04:16 PM

View PostSparkyCola, on Apr 6 2007, 10:03 PM, said:

Blair is no where near as bad.
Blair used WMD's as his main reason for going to war, then when none were found, said what amounted “What's done is done, and there's sweet FA you can do about it.”
Rommie: I just want a day where I can build missiles and tweak fire control in peace
Beka: We need to find you a hobby
Rommie: That IS my hobby

Daniel: She's Hathor, the goddess of fertility, inebriety, and music
Jack: Sex, drugs and rock & roll?

Moist Von Lipvig: Oh, all right. Of course I accept as a natural born criminal, habitual liar, fraudster and totally untrustworthy perverted genius
Lord Vetinari: Capital! Welcome to government service!

Mary Raven: ....your house smells weird
Dr Vukovic: It smells of SCIENCE!

Wooster: Why is it, do you think, Jeeves, that the thought of the "little thing" my Aunt Dahlia wants me to do for her fills me with a nameless foreboding?
Jeeves: Experience, sir?

#12 QueenTiye

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 04:24 PM

Well - that's the war. How's he doing domestically?  The complaints against George Bush go further than the war.  I won't express an opinion either way - just want to understand what the Brits think about Blair as a whole to the argument of if Blair is "just as bad" or not.

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#13 SparkyCola

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 04:27 PM

^ Quite so - domestically he's doing well, although he's not helped by Gordon Brown who's in charge of finance. Gordon Brown is doing a terrible job, and his budget this year absolutely stank :angry:

Personally I think Labour has been in too long and it should change, but that's just because I don't like one party to get too comfy in power and like to swap them over periodically. However, Blair has done a lot of good for the UK and I'm not prepared to discount that merely because he wanted to keep the US as allies.

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#14 Spectacles

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 04:45 PM

Klein's essay packs an even bigger punch because he's also been a pretty vocal critic of leftist bloggers who seem to want to blame Bush for everything from hangnails to hemorrhoids. In fact, he's gotten into some pretty spirited fights with them.

Sounds, though, like he's simply "had it." I sure don't blame him.


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Spidey: My point is, just because Bush is a Republican, doesn't mean ALL Republicans are like Bush. They are not.

This is true, and there were even some classic conservatives who expressed their dissatisfaction with the Bush Administration before the 2004 election. Unfortunately, they were ignored.

Today on MSNBC, Tucker Carlson said something to the effect that he didn't understand why some Republicans were still defending Bush considering "he's ruined the Republican party." While I knew Tucker was a "paleo" and not a "neo" conservative, I was kind of surprised that he just came out and said that.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#15 Spectacles

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 04:46 PM

Isn't Blair stepping down this summer?
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#16 Sinister Dexter

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 04:51 PM

View PostSpectacles, on Apr 6 2007, 10:46 PM, said:

Isn't Blair stepping down this summer?
So he says: I'll believe it when I see it.

He had a good first 100-days (the classic test of a political leader), but he's gone down hill since. The whole “hand of history” thing proved that he's got his head in the clouds (possibly of something he smoked).

Thank God he isn't our Head of State: Liz does a much better job then he would.
Rommie: I just want a day where I can build missiles and tweak fire control in peace
Beka: We need to find you a hobby
Rommie: That IS my hobby

Daniel: She's Hathor, the goddess of fertility, inebriety, and music
Jack: Sex, drugs and rock & roll?

Moist Von Lipvig: Oh, all right. Of course I accept as a natural born criminal, habitual liar, fraudster and totally untrustworthy perverted genius
Lord Vetinari: Capital! Welcome to government service!

Mary Raven: ....your house smells weird
Dr Vukovic: It smells of SCIENCE!

Wooster: Why is it, do you think, Jeeves, that the thought of the "little thing" my Aunt Dahlia wants me to do for her fills me with a nameless foreboding?
Jeeves: Experience, sir?

#17 Cait

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 05:17 PM

View PostSpectacles, on Apr 6 2007, 02:45 PM, said:

Today on MSNBC, Tucker Carlson said something to the effect that he didn't understand why some Republicans were still defending Bush considering "he's ruined the Republican party." While I knew Tucker was a "paleo" and not a "neo" conservative, I was kind of surprised that he just came out and said that.

This is what I tell my mom all the time.  Bush is not a Conservative.  I've always been surprised that *real Conservatives* are still loyal because he has never even come close to the ideals of the GOP [pre-Neo]

Some where along the line the GOP became only socially conservative, but that isn't a political philosophy at all--it's not a philosophy of governance--it is a philosophy of social laws.

I don't subscribe to much of the GOP platform [Pre-Neo] but that is because I philosophically disagree with it, not because I think there aren't 't some valid tenets in the philosophy.  Small Government, State's Rights, pro business, are all fine if others things remain constant.  

If the government stays out of subsidizing big business, then the market place adjusts and labor can keep pace.  But with government subsides and involvement, big business only get bigger, and labor never reaches parity. [This is the one thing my mother and I *do* agree on BTW]

So it has been shocking in so many ways to watch the GOP become nothing but a "Nationalist" party for all intents and purposes.  It certainly is not the Conservative party of Barry Goldwater and my mother.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#18 Cait

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 06:12 PM

I don't know where to put this, I guess it can go into this disucssion.

I just listened to Chris Mathews on "HardBall" [You can go to MSNBC to see video of this part, but it's not an easy link so you have to find it youself.  It is worth the time and effort.] and he asked Bob Baer [former CIA agent] this question as the interview proceded.

"Was this an aggressive war?"  

Then he said something I hadn't really thought about at all in any depth.  I mean we rant about being lied to, but fall short of the next logical question to ask ourselves.  We hate that we were lied to, but don't see what Chris Mathews seemed to almost hate to put into words.

"Was it an aggressive war, because if it was an aggressive war--it is a war crime."

I saw the pained look in Mathews as he asked, and I saw the look in Baer's eyes.  There was a sad and bitter truth in that moment.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#19 Sinister Dexter

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 06:47 PM

I think it's Clause 5 of the UN charter that allows pre-emptive military action if a member nations feels that its National Security is being threatened.

Theoretically, all Bush would have to do is hold up a piece of paper that says he truly believed that the USA was threatened by Saddam and there's nothing anyone could do.
Rommie: I just want a day where I can build missiles and tweak fire control in peace
Beka: We need to find you a hobby
Rommie: That IS my hobby

Daniel: She's Hathor, the goddess of fertility, inebriety, and music
Jack: Sex, drugs and rock & roll?

Moist Von Lipvig: Oh, all right. Of course I accept as a natural born criminal, habitual liar, fraudster and totally untrustworthy perverted genius
Lord Vetinari: Capital! Welcome to government service!

Mary Raven: ....your house smells weird
Dr Vukovic: It smells of SCIENCE!

Wooster: Why is it, do you think, Jeeves, that the thought of the "little thing" my Aunt Dahlia wants me to do for her fills me with a nameless foreboding?
Jeeves: Experience, sir?

#20 Cait

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 08:01 PM

I'm not so much interested in whether or not he'd ever be charged with War Crimes, because of a lack of evidence to prove it, that would never happen.  That, and no one is going to charge the President of the US of any crime, even if it could be proven, because we are the most powerful nation on the face of the planet.  The reality is, no one has jurisdiction over us, and we like it that way let's be honest.

What I am interested in is the actual war crime itself.  Is an Aggressive war such as the one we began, a war crime?  Is it a crime against humanity to march into a country, destabilize it and kill off hundreds of thousands of civilians for no legal reason?

And let's say it wasn't a war crime because he did believe we were in real danger?  I'll give that point for the sake of the discussion.  Is it a war crime to continue a war and to kill civilians beyond the point you discover your reasons were false?  Will we owe them reparations at some point because it was an illegal aggressive act?  And if it was a war of aggression against Iraq, what about those that resist the US military?  Are they defending themselves against an aggressor or what?

It sheds a whole new meaning to the war we're in now.  It also makes the term "winning" and "victory" somewhat meaningless since the whole reason we went in was a lie--doesn't it?  It's the question I keep asking myself.. what is winning there?  I know some, say that tit is stabilizing the government, but if that's the case, we're never leaving.

The whole war is one contradiction after another.  I hate to be in the rabid left anti-war contingent, but I'm also not one to blindly believe that this war even has a "winning point" somewhere in its future.  You know what I mean?  And meanwhile men and women are dying.  It's the whole death and destruction thing that has me asking so many questions.  This isn't some philosophical debate on a BBS, it's life and death for those people.  

What is winning?  And whose win will it be--the US or Iraq's?

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html




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