I'VE HAD IT
by W.R. Marshall
American Reporter Correspondent
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- I can't take it anymore. I know I'm supposed to find humor in the fools who run this country, and I've been moderately successful. (I know this because the editor tells me so - trust me, when my work stinks, I'm the first to know it.)
But in the last week the Bush Administration, which has pretty much made a mess of everything it's touched, moved on to uncharted ground and I can find nothing funny to say about it.
I'm old and I've seen a fair amount of history, so I can make that statement with some confidence.
I lived in Miami during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Every day for almost two weeks they'd sound an alarm and make us dive under our desks. (They made much better desks back then, able withstand to thermonuclear detonation and daily use by third-graders.)
I was at the Democratic Convention in 1968 when Daley turned the cops loose and that desk I had in 3rd grade would have come in handy.
I watched President Richard Nixon tell me he was not a crook, then lie himself into resignation.
Hell, I even lasted through eight years of President Ronald Regan, whom I was certain would wake up one morning and press the button for his prune juice, but accidentally press the button.
There's been "guns and butter" and "malaise" and "read my lips" and "what is, is" and regardless of how bad it got, there was still something to laugh about.
Then President George W. Bush came along.
During his first term, when he and his minions stole the election from Al Gore, back when my pinko, Leftie brother compared him to Stalin, I just took a deep breath and said, "We've been through worse."
I was wrong.
In 2004, when he and his minions stole the election from John Kerry and he got his "mandate" (made good use of that, didn't he?), I wore black for the entire month of November in mourning for America. Yeah, it was a bit sarcastic, but the way things look now, I've never been sorrier to be right.
His presidency is a disaster in every sense of the word and I defy any of you Limbaugh-loving nabobs to show me any differently. We're an international joke, a domestic nightmare, and the economy - buoyed by a hyper-inflated real estate market and mortgage products that should only be sold on cable television at 3:00 a.m. - is about to hit the skids.
And once and for all, you can't declare war on terror; it's like declaring war on left-hand turns. Terror is a tactic, not an ideology.
This President has gotten us into a war of choice that no one who'd taken history in ninth grade thought was a good idea, and his single veto in six years showed the same forward thinking as the Spanish Inquisition.
But I still managed to have a sense of humor about it - until now.
I lost it when Condoleezza Rice (can anyone tell me how she looks herself in the mirror - nless, she doesn't have a reflection?) announced the Administration's policy on a cease-fire in Lebanon.
They don't want a cease-fire in Lebanon.
They see no point in stopping the killing now if the warring parties in the Middle East are just going to start killing each other again in the future. Why not just go on killing each other right up to the day they decide to stop killing each other for good?
What are a few thousand more innocent victims if a permanent peace can be worked out so the sons and daughters of those innocent victims can live in peace? Oh, right, there won't be any sons and daughters because the parents were killed before they had a chance to have sons and daughters.
The man who occupies the White House has publicly proclaimed his faith; his "base" is in the "Bible Belt." Has he ever read the Bible? It's full of sectarian and tribal and religious violence, and it's a really old book, so it's been going on for a really long time.
Yet someone in the Bush brain trust thinks the violence should continue until something permanent can be worked out, in spite of the entirety of history - from the Macabees to Balfour to the Camp David Accords - and the failure of anything resembling permanent peace in the region.
Face it folks, we don't get it - and it's not going to be worked out by some idiot undersecretary who read and didn't understand Francis Fukuyama, the author of "The End of History and the Last Man" which the neo-cons in the Bush Administration used in large part as a basis for their foreign policy.
They think Fukuyama said everyone wants democracy, but Fukuyama himself has stated his book doesn't say that. It says people want to be free from tyranny, which does not demand democracy. The Administration's opposition to the democratic election of Hamas shows democracy isn't really democracy anyway.
Two centuries after The Declaration of Independence - the document which began the world's great experiment in democracy, and which states every human being is entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" - was signed, the administration of George W. Bush believes, as a matter of policy in bringing democracy to the Middle East, that it is better to allow violence to continue, that it is better to allow life, often innocent life, to be lost, than it is to let people step back and take at least one day to not worry if this is the day their children will die.