Sunday, September 04, 2005

Bush's 'Homeland' Eats His Dogwork

"I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees"
George W. Bush, Sept. 1, 2005, Good Morning America

""I've had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they're banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I've had no reports of that...I
actually think the security is pretty darn good. There's some really bad people out there that are causing some problems, and it seems to me that every time a bad person wants to scream of cause a problem, there's somebody there with a camera to stick it in their face."

Michael D. Brown, Chief of FEMA, Sept. 1, 2005

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
~George W. Bush, Sept. 2, 2005

A great American city is left to "
the dead and the dying."

President Bush is playing politics with Hurricane Katrina.

The President is not stupid, despite what many liberals think.

George Bush knew very well that nearly everyone expected the levees to be breached.

George Bush knew that people were starting to remind everyone else of the facts.

George Bush may think that if he says something demonstrably false, that will force the opposition into correcting him.

Once the President is corrected on the facts, Bush's propaganda apparatus launches counter-attacks on the various whistleblowers and witnesses.

Once confusion sets in, the Bush partisans accuse Democrats of what they, the Bush people, actually began.

Sure enough, shortly after Bush started playing politics, he had the chutzpah to tell Diane Sawyer , "I hope no one plays politics" with the tragedy.

It's a highly cynical passive -aggressive strategy; Bush and Cheney love this method. Cheney? Where he?

It may not work this time. He made very wrongheaded remarks.

Erstwhile Bush supporters like Jack Cafferty seem to be breaking ranks on air .

Some of Bush's conservative media allies, like Dave Brooks, appear to be scoping out exit ramps.

Further, this is not just a domestic scandal. The President's performance has become an international embarassment.

Laura Rozen reports on one sad stunt that should bother:

There was a striking dicrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV. ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event.

Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.

The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.

Americans have no idea that they are watching only 'Potemkin Photo-Ops.'

As the above above link shows, some of these PR stunts may have had tragic consequences by hampering real rescue efforts being conducted by real heroes.

This PR baloney is well reported overseas. Bush's team fools only those he is supposed to serve and claims to lead.

To cap it off, when it was reported that Bush admitted Federal efforts were not adequate, he was not actually accepting responsibility.

Rather, Bush was trying to shift blame to those below him or in other jurisdictions, just like he did with Abu Ghraib.

No wonder the right hated Truman so much; the Bush people think 'the buck' never reaches Bush's desk, much less stop there.


At 2:54 PM, Blogger Copeland said...

This has been the week when the BS died. No pathological, passive-aggressive spin doctoring, will extricate Bush and his republican apologists from this one. They didn't anticipate that the levees would break? Speaker Hastert suggested that the city of New Orleans wasn't worth saving; and the cruelty of such a statement, the sheer cruelty of that, beggars the imagination. Americans of all political stripes, even some arch conservatives, are in shock at the dereliction of duty of this administration.

The outrage of it , the pity of what Americans in distress were put through, brought seasoned repoters to the brink of tears. America has been shocked through and through by the events of the past week. The ethos of the Bush government has been a flimsy facade from the beginning; but ordinary Americans, even the apolitical ones, are making their voices heard and decrying this shameful performance

There is talk of a congressional investigation; and at this point the bi-partisan support and anger over this disgrace is strong..

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Hastert's "bulldozer" comment was an apocalypse of sorts- a revelation. He is a man without culture - a banal barbarian, a disgrace.

Did you hear about what Sible Edmonds revealed him concerning the Armenian genocide? Incredible, but pending the lifting of her gag order, investigations cannot procede. Sloppy - Hastert is very sloppy.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Kelsey said...

"The first few days were a natural disaster," whispered Phillip Holt, who was recently rescued from New Orleans. "The last few days the blessed have survived a man-made disaster. The man across the alley died this morning.... thank you Jesus. I've watched rats eat his feet two days already. This is America?"

Who is running this shameful 'rescue'? Who played for two days after the disaster came inland? Who installed incompetent heads for FEMA and our Dept. of Defense? Who slashed funding for protective coastal infrastructure along with progressive taxation? Who is an inveterate liar but insists he is compassionate? Well...That would be the same hero running our never-ending, immoral, destruction of Iraq. That would be the 'Count of Crawford' who without blinking an eye tells the world, "My most favorite philosopher is Jesus Christ."

I agree that our government as led by Bush and his minions is, for the foreseeable future, inviolable. I cannot conceive of Bush modifying his command one whit. However, I earnestly beseech his sycophants to search their hearts for the wisdom to abandon his leadership.

Ben H.

At 7:52 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

We never pass judgements on Bush's claims of piety. It's impossible to judge what's in a man's heart or what they say for political reasons. Who knows. Sometimes we think one thing, and then another- it's all guesswork. Some politicians are very devout and no one knows that, etc.

Seeing our fellow citizens suffer is very sad. It's just so sad that it's hard to process, hard to explain - lot's of anger and puzzlement surface, then recede.

One thing that puzzles is that most conservatives that we know are proud to be American - and we share that sentiment. Sometimes in Congress they take it to extremes -debating at length various punishments for flag burnings. Yet, no one burns flags - maybe it's happened, but you sure have to look hard to find that.

The Declartion of Independence speaks of a "decent respect for the opinions of mankind."

National honor and reputation mean something- it's nothing to scoff at. Conservatives ridiculed JFK's space ambitions, but the space program did more for America's national image and security than any "shock & awe" bragging.

Lately, the right seems to be embracing disdain- this is bad.

In the above post, we linked to a Post article under the word "international." American conservatives should be bothered that Bush's response has put all of us in this position. Here's an except:
South African President Thabo Mbeki said those affected "remain in the hearts and prayers of the people of South Africa." French President Jacques Chirac, one of Europe's most outspoken critics of Bush, dispatched a handwritten note to the White House expressing his "deep distress." French, Italian, German, Russian and Chinese officials have offered millions of dollars in aid.

The leaders of Cuba and Venezuela, both at odds with the United States, pledged support. Cuban President Fidel Castro offered to send 1,100 doctors, each carrying emergency medical supplies amounting to tons of relief aid. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez offered to send fuel, humanitarian aid and relief workers to the disaster area. Venezuela is one of the largest suppliers of oil to the United States.

In a remarkable role reversal, some of the world's poorest developing nations are offering help. El Salvador offered to send soldiers to help restore order, and offers of aid have come from Bosnia, Kosovo and Belarus. The former Soviet republic of Georgia has donated $50,000 to the Red Cross, and beleaguered Sri Lanka, which has received $133 million in tsunami relief from the United States, has donated $25,000 to the Red Cross. In Beijing, Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa), just back from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, said officials there went out of their way to express their sympathy.

Beyond the goodwill, much of the reaction has been harshly critical of the U.S. response and of Bush, who remains unpopular in many places outside the United States, largely over the war in Iraq. The Independent newspaper in London carried front-page headlines on Saturday that read, "Where was the President in his country's hour of need? And why has it taken him five days to go to New Orleans?" The paper also asked, "How can the US take Iraq, a country of 25 million people, in three weeks but fail to rescue 25,000 of its own citizens from a sports arena in a big American city?"

One Iraqi newspaper reported about the hurricane without editorial comment. The Arab news network al-Jazeera showed footage of relief aid and reported on Bush sending troops to the area. Iraqis are aware of pressure in the United States for soldiers to return home.

For the French, who feel greater historical, cultural, linguistic and emotional ties to New Orleans than perhaps any other American city, the daily front-page images have been gut-wrenching. "The rage of the forgotten" declared the headline of Saturday's editions of Liberation newspaper beside a photograph of a young woman on her knees, screaming in despair. Saturday's lead editorial in Le Figaro questioned how the U.S. military could have been so quick to arrive in South Asia for the tsunami, yet "wasn't able to do the same within its own borders."

Israel's most watched television news program, Channel 2 news, on Friday broadcast extensive footage from New Orleans showing uncovered corpses with commentary saying that no one was tending to the dead. The program also aired a video clip of Bush searching for words, before saying he was dissatisfied with the government's response. The newscaster's narration suggested the Bush administration had placed a higher priority on ensuring a steady flow of gasoline than on saving lives.

On Chinese Web sites, which have covered the disaster closely, several postings contrasted the Chinese army's relief role in recent floods and earthquakes with the U.S. response in New Orleans. "Hundreds of thousands of . . . soldiers were sent to those places to help local residents, and they really did a good job," one posting said. "But the United States, a superpower, only sent several thousand soldiers to help. What a shame!"

Cuba? Castro is a thug. How can conservatives think that's ok.

Whilst we're at it- don' you think our terrorist enemies notice too?

How can this be a good thing? Why does the right not mind? Why would a Bush fan be pleased by this? If a Democrat was in office, they would be crying havoc.

Republicans may protest that national image is irrelevant, but they are wrong.

What is odd is that conservatives used to care about "heritage" and "honor." In fact, southern conservatives took honor very seriously.

Now they no longer care- they no longer want to conserve. When things fall apart, the center cannot hold.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger idyllopus said...

Well, now it's of course the looters who are said to sully the international image of the US.

I can't get out of my head a couple of images I've seen of Bush this week.

I think he's crazy. Not that I think that there's a split between what his actions and some deep personal smdigen of decent ethics causing the break. Though could be. Could be he has some compassion in his soul way down deep. I've been thinking instead of the split between what a funadamental part of himself actually sees himself to be counter the public image. That kind of friction, tear-em-up crazy. I just keep seeing him beside himself as it were.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Bush is a puzzle. We don't dislike him personally; in fact, that has something that kind of annoys because it would provide an easy answer. When we find ourselves likeing him, we feel him winning. What is very puzzling is how he has been able to get his partisans to defend what they used to abhor- like poll tested phrases and dodging accountability and shifting blame. He is also able to get some of his supporters to question the bona fides of critics in a manner that Clinton, who was also skilled, was never able to do when he was critiqued by us and others for the arguments crafted to go to the Balkans.The number of "can you imagine how his supporters would have reacted if it was Clinton momements" that he has had is so large that it's funny, in a sense.

Also, unlike many people who oppose Bush, we also think he is smart and clever, like any good pol. That does not mean he is erudite or eloquent or particularly adept at this or that. It does mean that he has raw intelligence and good political instincts. Bush has made many political moves and power moves, that seemed odd at first, but have later proved to be vindicated in from his point of view (which we disagree with).
Some antiBush libs think we are defending Bush when we say that- that is not what we mean though. We are just tipping our hat in recognition of watching a pro do his sport well.

His decision not to fire many people is part of this; LBJ had a piquant phrase that summed up this tactic- "better to have them (problematic hires) inside the tent tent p----- out, rather than outside the tent p----- in." If Bush had discarded many of his discredited appointees, his 'tent' would have been so inundated with political uric acide by now that only a superhuman plumber would be able to describe it with aplumb.

He is probably more conflicted in private than he will ever let on- his pose of intractability is a part of his appeal with both ends of support base food chain.

His decison to buy a farm and call it a "ranch" in 1999 was quite a stunt. Despite having nothing to that makes it ranch , the MSN still calls it one! That's just one of many creations that he clevely avoids credit for (for now, in public).

At 5:03 PM, Blogger brandong said...

The irony about the New Orleans tragedy is that New Orleans is the setting for Anne Rice's VAMPIRE stories. Only the real vampires are in Washington DC while the dead float in the streets of New Orleans.

At 7:31 PM, Blogger Deb said...

Hi, love your blog, love the wordplay. Thanks for visiting Deborama and leaving a comment.


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