Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Voters...Public Opinion...Polls...they don't matter..

With all that's going on with the FBI illegal wiretapping, the War refunding resolutions in the House, the flap over Dave Obey, and the firing of the U.S. Attorneys, this story sort of got lost in the shuffle....but quite likely it is THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY ON THE WEB TODAY.

As you might suspect, it's done by one of the best columnists in the business, Glenn Greenwald and appears in today's issue of Salon. Glenn explains in the most clear, precise language why we should be scared to death of George W. Bush.

I strongly urge you to click the link and read the full article, but as usual, I'll provide a few "snippets".

Let's set the stage a little bit. A number of articles have appeared in Washington based news reports about the "Literary Luncheon" given for the President last week which was hosted by some of the premier architects of Neoconservative Thought (I know, I know...neoconservative + thought is an oxymoron...I know that too)

and to honor a new hero of Neoconservativsm, "historian" Andrew Roberts. (read his interview with Front Page Magazine here) You may have heard of Roberts before. He is one of the leading Neoconservative Historical "Revisionists" who have rewritten history with an eye toward conservative ideals. (e.g. every evil in the world since the beginning of the 20th Century is the fault of LIBERAL THOUGHT) Or, as Glenn reminds us from that interview captioned above:

Roberts recently wrote the right-wing historical revisionism tract entitled History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900. The book, as Roberts himself described it in an interview with Front Page Magazine, "does not consider British imperialism to have been a Bad Thing, argues that the Versailles Treaty was not harsh enough on Germany, [and] defends the bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki . . . . " A central theme is that "Intellectuals of the Left bear a heavy responsibility for the cruelties and savagery of the 20th century," and Roberts' world-view is filled with banalities like this:

"I fear, in the light of Congress's recent nonbinding (and utterly
self-contradictory) resolution opposing the surge, the gross bias of much of the Left-Liberal media, and the present poll ratings of Sen Hillary Clinton, that the US will lose the will to fight the War against Terror in any manner that might hold out the hope of ultimate victory." you get the idea of the theme of the "Literary Luncheon"

Greenwald lists some of the Neoconservative luminaries present at the luncheon but the key was that this luncheon wasn't arranged by the Neocons to simply honor their latest shill, Roberts, instead it was formated to give "lessons to the President". That's right.....LESSONS FOR THE PRESIDENT... tutoring at the feet of the Strausian disciples of the New American Century.

And those lessons, my dear friends, are why we should be scared senseless about George W. Bush's remaining days in office.

I won't go into all of the lessons that were reported, or for that matter, will I recount the reported reactions of the President to those lessons....except.....except this one:

Here it is:

On one subject the president needed no lessons from Roberts or anyone else in the room: how to handle pressure. "I just don't feel any," he says with the calm conviction of a man who believes the constituency to which he must ultimately answer is the Divine Presence. Don't misunderstand: God didn't tell him to put troops in harm's way in Iraq; belief in Him only goes so far as to inform the president that there is good and evil. It is then his job to figure out how to promote the former and destroy the latter. And he is confident that his policies are doing just that.

Or, as luncheon attendee Michael Novak of the American Enterprise Institute recalled (also in The Weekly Standard) the President saying: "I want to have my conscience clear with Him. Then it doesn't matter so much what others think." (Novak also revealingly marveled that "The President was not at all intimidated by his fifteen or so guests" even though the guests included Podhoretz, Himmelfarb and "Irwin Stelzer himself" -- in Novak's world, one expects the President to be intimidated to be in the presence of such powerful neoconservative luminaries, not the other way around).

Greenwald spells out the chilling effect of this "lesson".

"....One can see that dynamic powerfully at work in the interaction between these neoconservatives and the President. They have seized upon the President's evangelical fervor and equated his "calling" to wage war for Good in the world with the neoconservative agenda of endless wars in the Middle East. "


And the more unpopular the President becomes as a result, the more of a failure these policies are, the more strongly they tell him to ignore all of that, that none of it matters, that his God and history will conclude that he did The Right Thing, provided that he continue steadfastly to pursue their agenda. And the President believes that. That is why nothing will stop him in pursuing the path he created years ago when, in January, 2002, he became convinced to name not only Iraq, but also Iran, as standing members of the "Axis of Evil" (even though our relations with Iran were rapidly improving at the time) and cited the 9/11 attacks in order to all but vow war on those countries, despite their having nothing to do with those attacks. The President's "lessons" at the feet of neoconservatives continue, and he is as faithful a student as ever.

My advice?

Take the time to read the whole article.

Anybody want to join me for a good, stiff drink?

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