American Reporter Correspondent
November 9, 2006
Lake Worth, FL
THE ELECTION AND THE RUMMY FACTOR
LAKE WORTH, Fla., Nov. 9, 2006 -- Yukyukyukyuk. Eiyaaaaoh! Eiyaaaaoh! Nnyack, nya, nyaaaaack! "Paging Dr. Bush, Dr. Kerry, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard."
As I finished reading Bob Woodward's "State of Denial," (Simon & Schuster, New York, 2006, $30.00), I could not shake the feeling that Woodward had inserted subliminal audio clips of The Three Stooges and every friend they ever had in his exposition of President George W. Bush's foreign policy.
It was just a few days before the mid-term elections, and I felt I had a clairvoyant view of the outcome. I was right, and although this is not Woodward's best edited tome, he shows via a careful read the blueprint for the Democratic rebound, and insight into why war, and why Iraq?
The "acceptance" of Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld's resignation is too late to reverse six years of mismanagement at the Pentagon. Replacing "Rummy" with a retired career CIA director and agent who is president of the university with the largest ROTC program (Texas A&M) in the country, hardly brings fresh ideas to the White House.
You have to read to page 408 of Woodward's book before you finally get an authoritative explanation on what has gone wrong with the war.
Remember, this does not turn on your pro-war or antiwar, homeland security, or al-Qaeda view, it's just, well, what it is. It's the Woodward quote from the old codger himself, former Sec. of State Henry Kissinger. Woodward writes:
"Kissinger liked Bush personally, although he told colleagues that it was not clear to him that the President really knew how to run the government. One of the big problems, he felt, was that Bush did not have the people or a system of national policy decision making that ensured careful examination of the downsides of major decisions."
There it is in a nutshell.
Woodward could have his publisher air drop copies of later editions of his book on the White House Lawn with new dust jackets and the revised title: "Mr. President, Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt."
Shortly after Rumsfeld's resignation was announced, on a military web site I posted, sarcastically, "I wonder if when Rumsfeld moves out, he will have sheets, pillow cases, and adequate shower curtains for his new residence."
It took about 10 minutes for the site administrator to warn me and other would-be comedians that our "political comments" were close to being "over the line" of propriety and respect.
My reference was to a style of Pentagon management, which extended my son and 3,700 of his Stryker comrades in Iraq for four months, and we now learn, is sending them back to Fairbanks, Alaska in December to decrepit barracks, inadequate hospital facilities (a new medical center is not yet finished), and a shortage of 1,500 sheets, blankets, shower curtains etc.
Local business leaders, wives, moms, the Red Cross and other soldiers are furiously trying to correct the situation.
The arrogance of Rumsfeld comes through on nearly every page of the book. Newsweek's Howard Fineman on the Don Imus radio show this morning also selected the word "arrogant." Fineman said, "He would listen to you, then argue with you, and then not stop there but keep going at you and cut you down, and humiliate anyone who he disagreed with, to make sure you left his office shaking your head."
Sadly the GOP's failure to understand the nation's growing disgust with dirty tricks, lobbyists, and liars, was compounded by Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke."
Kerry's comments were pure Freud. The "joke" actually echoed long-held Democratic Party dogma by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others along the lines of, "Recruiters target poor black and Hispanic kids, suckering them into the military, and sending them to die. Rich kids with nice computers and two parents, and white faces, get better grades, go to college, and don't need to 'die for their country.'"
Even worse is the thought that the Kerry "joke" would be forgiven by those of us with kids on active duty, because all he really meant to do was insult the office of the President of the United States. Ummmm, that would play well in the Heartland, right?
The world is listening to the heartbeat of America through the White House, Karl Roves, and writers such as Woodward, and unfortunately the world is finding neither a Chevrolet, mom nor apple pie.
The world hears a nasty Republican refrain of disdain. Disdain for people "Who aren't just like us - in color, religion, or choice of country club."
To this day my 96-year-old, Mayflower Society mother-in-law when asked how she enjoyed a bridge party, luncheon, or trip to the store, will often frown and say, "Well, I didn't see many people like me around." A lifelong Republican, she was not talking about gray hair and age.
So what if it's anecdotal if it's also true. She once asked me to turn off a business report on tv by Ron Insana because, "His eyes look like a Jap, and you know what they did to our boys in World War II?" On another occasion she praised the appearance of Bryant Gumbel and said, "It's just amazing what the colored folks can do with their hair these days."
If you think this is some prehistoric, pre-Civil Rights stereotype, think of the President of the United States, 12 hours after the polls closed, using Karen Hughes Speak to the nation. In case you forgot, this is the public relations language of longtime Bush aide with and without portfolio for everything, Karen Hughes.
Bush kept talking about the "Democrat Party" this and the "Democrat Party" that, in an old-time GOP insider syntax resurrected by Hughes in Bush's first campaign.
To refer to the Democratic National Committee or the Democratic Party by its proper name would imply that only one of the major parties is truly "democratic," and while a "Republican" is a defender of the republic, a Democrat can not be seen as being "democratic" in policy or outlook. Thus, nouns replace adjectives.
This is a proper point to close and let you reflect on the "new Congress" in which Democratic majorities are too weak, and Republican minorities are too selfish, to evolve any domestic or foreign policy changes. Bombs with shards tearing through tanks are really "IEDs." Joint Chiefs Chairman, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace bans the use of "body counts" except when Rumsfeld and Bush ask for them. Civil War is an "insurgency." Block-by-block ethnic cleansing is urban unrest.
Yaoooowe! Yaoooooowe! Yuk yuk yuk yukyukyuk Nnnnwyuck!