Since I'm the guy largely responsible for giving you a reputation as being very smart, then it seems appropriate that I also deliver the news that, as it turns out, you aren't too bright. Actually, I think you may be downright dumb. Yes, I know you can spout statistics and theoretical analytics and you have a grand and glorious memory. But you know what, pal, you just ain't packin' the gear we all thought you carried.
I concede that you did exhibit certain strategic skills in getting George W. Bush elected president. Finding wedge issues to divide the country, motivate extreme constituencies, and seeking that 50 plus 1 margin, however, is not how you create your beloved realignment; it's actually how you motivate political opposition and anger your fellow citizens. In your uncontrolled lust for political power to create a Republican realignment, you've actually handed over that precise dream to the Democrats. Your president and you cast such havoc across our land and around the globe that Americans were motivated to resoundingly reject your ideology and embrace Senator Obama's.
Face it, Karl; the destruction of the GOP is your fault. Oh sure, your president gets a bit of the blame, but pal, you are the man. You are the guy who advised him to look out the window of Air Force One as he flew over New Orleans. He seemed so sensitive staring down at the suffering from 10,000 feet. Didn't you also come up with the whole plan to privatize Social Security and give the accounts to Wall Street, a notion that even divided your own party? Not hard to divine what the status of everyone's Social Security account would be today if you had gotten away with that one.
And I don't care how many times you deny it; we both know you were the guy who came up with the "Mission Accomplished" theatrics on the aircraft carrier. Now that was brilliant. I believe what you always told us pinhead Texas reporters was that image trumps substance. I wonder if that little incident has taught you differently. See, the image is pretty powerful at the outset but facts are damnable things, Karl. You just can't get around them.
Your big mistake was that you totally lacked vision. You get politics pretty well but you don't understand that there is a humanity that defines Americans. We want to cooperate with the world and we want to be a part of helping our fellow citizens enjoy what our country offers. You and your party see people in a ditch and you blame them for their failures as if capitalism were a perfect system. Given what your father and your family went through you ought to know that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, things just don't work out. But you couldn't allow for that. You pushed your party on down the road past the casualties your policies left in the ditch.
I confess I loved how you used language. Any writer is going to be drawn to a thinker who can look at the relaxation of pollution controls and call it a "Blue Skies Initiative" or the clever way your president's administration authorized clear-cutting and renamed it "The Healthy Forests Initiative." That's not genius, though; it's evil. And stupid. Because even a patient and forgiving people like those of us in America have a limit of tolerance. And we ran out of it with you and the GOP.
I can't see how you are anything but embarrassed now. You can wish and hope all you want and travel around the country giving your $60,000 historical revisionist speeches trying to change the legacy of Mr. Bush, but the two of you are doomed. President Bush, no matter how hard you try to make it otherwise, will be remembered as an American catastrophe. And you were his enabler. You told him how 9/11 could be used as a method to increase his popularity and blame Al Qaeda and you distorted every fact associated with that day for sheer political expediency. Hell, you were even more concerned about Mr. Bush's image than you were the families of the fallen so you kept your client away from any funerals of Iraq casualties. Worse, the administration didn't even allow pictures of the caskets of our fallen soldiers upon their return. When our children started to die in your geo-political folly, you and your president tried to hide it from us. What kind of people are you?
Everything with you was about power; political power. Let's get more, more, more, and we can do anything we want. Well, you did whatever you wanted and that has created what is likely to become a lasting Democratic majority, even realignment. Our country has a sensibility and thoughtfulness you were never able to abide. With us or against us didn't work out. Americans don't make those kinds of choices. They choose what is right and, even though it took a long time, they realized how wrong you have been and how absurd has been your advice to the White House.
See, here's the deal, Karl buddy, government is about service not power. If it doesn't serve the people, they reject it. When Katrina happened, the country saw what you and W had been doing. You used every institution of government to acquire more political power. All of the institutional knowledge from experienced employees and all of the non-believers were kicked out. Government agencies became largely dysfunctional and Katrina was the first time the covers were pulled back to show what you had done. All of that suffering, too, will be your legacy.
If you were so smart, you would have seen that politics, politics, politics, and no policy were bound to lead to your destruction. The only policies you and your people instituted were those that eliminated regulation and allowed near chaos to unfold. I'd put your pal Phil Gramm's Commodity Futures Trading Act under that heading.....the law that led to unregulated credit derivative swaps and has, consequently, led us to an economic precipice. I don't want to bring up Enron, but, what the hell? Remember how Gramm got energy futures trading deregulated and all of those people lost their investments but Bush got energy policy advice and campaign cash from Enron CEO Ken Lay and all of the other big dawgs on the bayou?
The truth is, Karl, every damned thing you did was wrong. It was for the wrong reasons and led to the wrong results. And half of what you did was based on lies. You still seem to think that if you lie loudly and long enough you will sound authoritative and people will begin to believe. But now not even Bill O'Reilly is buying your crap any more. Look back at your decisions and then try to tell yourself Bush and you are not responsible for the current crisis that threatens our very republic. It's all yours. We may have the leader now who can turn this around but it will be difficult. At a minimum, you are no longer a meaningful voice in the American political discourse and that gives me more hope.
Unlike you, I'm willing to admit a mistake and my big one was that I was one of the people who suggested you had genius. Man, was I wrong. You are a damned idiot. You've destroyed your party and almost destroyed your country and you still walk around a free man. I guess that's a testament to the forgiveness of the people you have harmed. I don't know. Anyway, like it or not, Bush's Brain as a moniker will follow you to your grave and it will be in your obituary. And as the evidence indicates, neither you nor he was very bright. Historians will get that right even if lowly journalists like me never did.
Like the preacher said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." I reckon that means you have some things to worry about.