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Let the Pigs Eat

The big news on politics over the weekend was that the Democrats had an actual, contested election for majority leader of the House. Apparently, most of the media forgot what it's like to have a party in control whose members disagree with each other and eventually come to some consensus, as opposed to marching in lockstep.

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Steny Hoyer, new House Majority Leader

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John Murtha, new Speaker Nancy Pelosi's choice for majority leader, defeated in a landslide

But if you read between the lines on a lot of these stories, you'll see the real story underneath -- the implosion of the Republican, not the Democratic, Party. Indeed, at the end of all this, Pelosi will still be Speaker, Hoyer will still be Majority Leader, and the new minority party will still be trying desperately to wipe the blood off its hands by smearing it all over the natty suits of their fellows.

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"Pardon me. Just a little blood. Heh heh heh."

It's fun to watch, especially when the party in question has made a sport of utterly destroying their political opponents over the past decade. Case in point -- just look at the New York Daily News' story on Hoyer's election. "Pelosi's Bruising," they call it -- and, really, that's about what you'd expect out of the Daily News, which can largely by depended on to report conventional wisdom. But then they end the story with:

"For all the focus on the Democrats, a former Bush official who predicts a coming bloodbath between the White House and disgruntled conservative Republicans brushed off the Pelosi-Hoyer tussle as much ado about process.
'The Democrats are the sideshow,' he said. 'Bush self-destructing is the big story in town.' "

You're god-damn right it is, Mr. Former Bush Official. The chickens have come home to roost -- but these chickens have the metal spurs and vicious nature of cockfighting champions.
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The "PELOSI'S IN TROUBLE (by the way, Bush is getting killed out there)" thread ran throughout the media over the weekend. As long as we're on Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman's media empire, take a look at his other flagship, U.S. News and World Report. The lead piece in its political bulletin is headlined "Hoyer Puts a Thumping on Murtha" -- a not-so-clever play on Bush's own admission a week ago that his party received a "thumpin' " in the election. That piece goes on to quote the myriad other papers -- The L.A. Times, and so on -- that breathlessly reported on the failed tenure of Speaker Pelosi even before her term begins (as an aside, this all has shades of 1992, when rightwing commentators referred to Clinton's "failed presidency" before he ever took office). But then, just a few stories down, we find "Rove May Leave Within Weeks."

That's Right. The Architect. Bush's Brain. Turd Blossom. Or as I like to call him, a so-so poltical hack with a largely uneven track record -- may be out of a job in a matter of weeks. Of course, that's all speculation, but given the bang-up job his asinine strategy of abandoning the center and rallying the mouth-breathing, bigoted, far-right, batshit-insane base did in this mid-term, it would hardly come as a surprise.

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Rove, in happier times

Meanwhile, Pelosi renewed her demand for an end to the Iraq Debacle, calling it her "highest priority." The Associated Press received reports detailing horrific miscarriages of justice at Guantanamo Bay. And incoming Senate Judiciary Chariman Patrick Leahy has demanded that Attorney-General Alberto Gonzalez turn over all documents the White House drew up regarding how detainees should properly be tortured -- and will probably subpoena said documents if Gonzalez refuses.

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Alberto Gonzalez, our pro-torture Attorney-General

It's enough to make a neocon begin to question his faith that this whole Global War on Terror would be a cakewalk. Speaking of such, Ken Adelman -- the man who said that Iraq would be a cakewalk -- is the latest Strangelovian neocon to abandon the U.S.S. Bush Administration. "This didn't have to be managed this bad. It's just awful," Adelman said in an interview. In other words, like fellow neocons such as Richard Perle, he blames the execution of the idea -- not the idea itself -- for the problems in Iraq. Clearly, the idea of invading a foreign country, snuffing its leaders, bringing political change at the point of a gun and occupying said country until such change occurs has always been a good one. It worked so well for the Russians in Afghanistan, the French in Algeria, the French in Vietnam, us in Vietnam, the British in Iraq, the British in India, and on and on and on and on.


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Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.
Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain,
To seek another's profit
And work another's gain.
Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine,
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
(The end for others sought)
Watch sloth and heathen folly
Bring all your hope to nought.
Take up the White Man's burden--
No iron rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go, make them with your living
And mark them with your dead.
Take up the White Man's burden,
And reap his old reward--
The blame of those ye better
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"
Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness.
By all ye will or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent sullen peoples
Shall weigh your God and you.
Take up the White Man's burden!
Have done with childish days--
The lightly-proffered laurel,
The easy ungrudged praise:
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers.
-- Rudyard Kipling, 1899.

It's not just the lessons of Vietnam we haven't learned. It's the lessons of the past century and more.

But our leaders are slowly coming around to the fact that Bush's grand crusade may have been a poor idea. While neocons abandon him, Republicans in the Senate have elected Trent Lott -- perhaps Bush's greatest enemy on the GOP side of the Senate -- as the new minority whip.

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Trennt Lott, explaining how racist he is.
(And, is it just me, or did the makeup folks do a really bad job over at Meet the Press?)

Lott and Bush have been at odds ever since Bush threw Lott under the bus after the Mississippi senator said of Strom Thurmond's racist 1948 campaign for president (slogan: Segregation Forever!), "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."

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The late Sen. Thurmond


Bush then said that Lott's statement didn't represent the view of most Americans and Lott, then the Majority Leader, resigned his leadership position and flop-sweated on BET. The fact that the GOP senate minority re-elected him to a leadership position -- albeit by a 25-24 vote over Lamar Alexander -- shows where they stand. Rove perhaps leaving in a few weeks means an end to the win-at-all-costs political movement (though look for its vile return when Newt Gingrich runs for president in 2008 -- hell, he ought to hire Rove. The two would be a match made in hell). David Kuo's recent book, Tempting Faith, illustrates how the GOP has played conservative Christians for fools, offering them lip service in exchange for their votes -- something that was patently obvious to just about everyone except Christian conservatives.

What's left for Bush? He'll spend the last two years wallowing in the trough of the pig sty, and every swine in D.C. wants a piece of the president's succulent backfat.

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Come and get it!

But perhaps more importantly, what does the GOP have to look forward to in 2008? The Democrats have their up-and-coming stars -- people like Senator Barack Obama and governors Janet Napolitano and Brian Schweitzer. Who does the GOP have? In abandoning Bush, the Senate has gone back to Lott, a confirmed racist. And can Rudy Giuliani, a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, twice-divorced adulterer who announced his separation from his second wife in a press conference without telling her first, really make it out of the Republican primary? Doubtful. And while John McCain is drifting ever further to the right in anticipation of his run at the White House -- witness his recent flip-flop in which he comes out for overturning Roe v. Wade -- does a look to the future really involve electing the oldest man ever to inhabit the White House? Or does that represent the same sort of regression that marks Trent Lott's return to power? Hell, at this rate, Michael Jesus Archangel could be the GOP's best candidate.

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Republican Presidential Hopeful (seriously!) Michael Jesus Archangel

Certainly, the religio-crazy Archangel would look perfectly normal next to the jabbering, backtracking dupes that will make up the GOP's 2008 presidential hopefuls. A proper Republican presidential primary would feature Archangel, Donald Trump and McCain, and be held on Mars, or some more-distant planet. They represent the three remaining faces of the Republican Party. The first, the Jesus freak fundamentalists. The second, somewhat libertarian, laissez faire capitalists who don't want to pay taxes. The third, old people who remain with the Republican party out of a sense of loyalty, because it once represented the things they believed in -- things like fiscal responsibility, personal freedom and the avoidance of foreign entanglements (never mind that, in most cases, the GOP now stands for the opposite of these ideas).

In electing to fight a war in Iraq, in monitoring the communications of a broad swath of Americans here at home, in running up some of the largest deficits in American history, George Bush has broken the back of the Republican Party. It stands for nothing now but its own propagation, It is an asexually reproducing animal with only a dim self-awareness, if any. The party's mascot should be changed from the elephant to the amoeba.

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The New Republican Party

But the party should have seen this coming. They have no one to blame but themselves. After Spencer Abraham called for an end to the Department of Energy as a senator, Bush made him head of that department. John Bolton advocated the U.S.'s withdrawal from the United Nations -- Bush made him ambassador to that organization. Lumber Industry lobbyist Mark Rey, head of the Forestry Service. Coal Industry lobbyist J. Steven Griles, Deputy Secretary of the Interior. Lead Industry lobbyist Gale Norton, who once wrote about energy companies' "right to pollute," Secretary of the Interior.

From the get-go, the Republican Party should have realized that George Bush intended, in both positions in his administration and in his administration's policy, to have an eight-year-long Opposite Day.

And so back to my analogy, the president as fodder for the hogs. He belongs there, I think, and I also believe history will vindicate this view. In the six years I have been carefully following the man, I could always depend on his decisions to best be described as "pig shit." If the coming war between Bush and his once-friends causes the Republican Party to implode, so much the better. The sooner this group of greedhead snake-oil salesmen slither under the stone from whence they came, the sooner their place can be taken by a party that actually believes in fiscal conservatism and personal liberties. George Bush may not have caused only the loss of Congress with his idiot war and his bonehead, swine-feed policies. He may have caused the death of something far greater, and far more sinister.

In the end, we all owe Bush a debt of gratitude. He saved us all from himself.

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