No "There" There?

Why does William F. Buckley, Jr. hate America?

So here's the deal. Bush has unleashed a possible Armageddon in the Middle East, see here, and increasingly it looks like the guy is just not there. The "I'm a dope" strategy is not just a ploy to fool us into misunderestimating him, though it may be useful for that too. Rather it is a strategy for cynicism on the part of Rove, et al, who are using this joker for their own political designs. Remember what Bush ally John Dilulio said before he was forced to recount his words in language that reminded historians of the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s: "There is a virtual absence as of yet of any policy accomplishments that might, to a fair-minded nonpartisan, count as flesh on the bones of so-called compassionate conservatism," and has had "no precedent in any modern White House." Finally, he concluded, "What you've got is everything--and I mean everything--being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."

Why am I saying all this at the moment? Because take a look at the paragraph I found here.

The President's directions seem to have been limited to such slogans as "we're not going to fail" and "pace yourself, Jerry." In Bremer's account, the President was seriously interested in one issue: whether the leaders of the government that followed the CPA would publicly thank the United States. But there is no evidence that he cared about the specific questions that counted: Would the new prime minister have a broad base of support? Would he be able to bridge Iraq's ethnic divisions? What political values should he have? Instead, Bush had only one demand: "It's important to have someone who's willing to stand up and thank the American people for their sacrifice in liberating Iraq." According to Bremer, he came back to this single point three times in the same meeting. Similarly, Ghazi al-Yawar, an obscure Sunni Arab businessman, became Bush's candidate for president of Iraq's interim government because, as Bremer reports, Bush had "been favorably impressed with his open thanks to the Coalition."

We are living in a nightmare of frightening proportions.

By the way, in the current Harper's the estimated cost of this horrific war to each American taxpayer is just under $20,000.

Quote of the Day: "I don't know Dick Cheney as intimately as Scowcroft does, but I did see him as secretary of defense and now as vice president. I can tell you that 9/11 made him a paranoid, to the extent where I'm not sure his exercise of power carries with it reason." --Larry Wilkerson.

It's the same story with economics, and just as is the case with the war, virtually the entire conservative elite has signed up to swallow the Kool-Aid. Take a look at the smarmy tactics of ABC's star of "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," who by the way, received tens of thousands from the crooked Conrad Black and sang his praises in public, Mr. George F. Will, here. Will is seeking to undercut the now unemployed Bruce Bawer in the allegedly liberal New York Times Book Review: "Sometimes Bartlett is a tad too robust. His chapter 'Why the Bush Tax Cuts Didn't Deliver' might be more convincing were the economy not in the fifth year of a humming expansion." Come now. Did anyone ever doubt that you could engineer a temporary expansion of the U.S. economy by increasing the size of government by more than thirty percent and turning a massive surplus into a deficit that will curse our the lives of our grandchildren?

Things are so awful that I had to wait until this far down in the blog to get to this new revelation in the creation of the American Gulag, here.

Tragedy, farce, you be the judge. In the meantime, pass the Danish. (No Time for the Babaganouch. No really, stop, it hurts.)

Ouch. Maybe if Little Roy hadn't been so busy calling those of us who did not ignore the truth back then traitors and decadent fifth columnist coastal elites he might not be forced to make himself look so gosh darn ridiculous right now. Nice catch Mr. Yyglesias, here (and my sympathies again to Time for not being able to land Ms. Coulter as chief blogger).

NEITHER HARRY WHITTINGTON NOR THE QUAIL WERE SHOOTING BACK! Forget my editors. This wouldn't have gotten past Sister Marie de Paul at St. Peter's School in Worcester, Mass., back in 1965.
...
Joe Klein and the rest of the cats 'n kittens in the political press corps, are more charming in their delightful naïveté. George Bush is a cowboy! Condi Rice is a genius! Dick Cheney has a soul to search!

Why aren't any of these people ever at my poker table?

If you don't want to feel the pain of Pierce's absence, then don't read the rest of this.