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Exactly one year ago, George Bush was walking his peculiar cocky-walk across every screen in the Republic, rhetoric of political capital dripping smugly from his smirking pie-hole, all dutifully reported by a cowed press and joyous right-wing pundits.

My how the mighty have fallen.

Some blame it on Iraq, a few on the aborted Social Security Plan, others on the economy and gas prices. All good points. But as far as the turn among the general public, the strange anti-Kossackian world of non-political junkies, I give the credit to the spirit of three ladies, who visited George Bush in the space of a few months and utterly destroyed his public image. The first exposed him as political operative willing to play to an extremist right electorate over the wishes of the majority, the second showed our President is a coward who couldn't make a case for his beloved War. The last, most devastating ghost that visited George Bush pulled back the curtain and revealed the incompetent bungler many of us strongly suspected lay behind the carefully cultivated public persona of the CEO President.

One of the biggest strengths of George Bush's support is also one of his greatest weaknesses: The extremist religious right. Without them, Bush's Presidency, and one could argue the entire modern conservative movement, would be a fringe political sideshow. Most veteran GOP opportunists who cash in on the gullible fundamentalists understand they can never confront these people with the simple truth: Their stated agenda is so repugnant to decent mainstream Americans, that it would be career suicide by ballot box if they actively worked to implement even half of it.

But George Bush and his advisors fell prey to the illusion that the platform of these fringe religious zealots was representative of the electorate. And so, in March of 2005, they moved boldly to capitalize on the tragic fate of what had once been Terry Schiavo; now reduced to a helpless human shell. In a coordinated campaign from Capitol Hill to the steps of the Governor's Mansion in Florida, right-wing sympathizers pandered through their choreographed routine flawlessly, dancing to the ballad of the Culture of Life.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist 'diagnosed' Terry Schiavo on the evidence provided in a few minutes of videotape. House Leader Tom DeLay claimed that she "Smiled and laughed and talked". President George Bush flew back to Washington, DC., in the middle of his spring break, to dramatically sign a bill in the wee hours on camera to 'save Terry's life', while his brother Jeb Bush openly threatened to order assault stormtroopers into the critical care facility Schiavo was in and kidnap her in defiance of court order.

Right-wing shills spun like silkworms, portraying Michael Schiavo as a murderous savage intent on killing his wife to keep his hands on any money left from a previous malpractice award, at times implying he wished to cover his alleged complicity in rendering her trauma in the first place. Doctors were discredited and judges framed as liberal stooges. The fact that it was all rehearsed, based on lies and all smears, all carrying the unmistakable, masterful signature of Karl Rove, played no part in their calculus.

And it blew up in their faces. Intervening in Schiavo's tragedy hit too close too home for the majority of Americans. Vicious attacks on panel after panel of doctors and court after court stuck in the craw of the mostly conservative medical and legal professions respectively. Libertarian conservatives were openly outraged at the Government grab for power while privately fretting about who would pay for intensive nursing care for the hundreds of thousands of other Terry Schiavo's that hadn't hit the media big time. The vast majority not only sided against the President and the theocon cheerleaders in the GOP, they saw through the political maneuvering to the real danger behind the religious fanatics and soundly rejected them. The spirit of Terry Schiavo: The first of three rips into the illusory fabric of the Family Values President.

April 4, 2004: Spc. Casey Sheehan is shot through the head, riding in the back of an unamored LMTV, after he volunteered to join a daring rescue of American soldiers pinned down in a vicious firefight with Shia Militia under command of Muqtada Al-Sadr. His mother gets the news on Palm Sunday. She is devastated, but soon finds the inner strength of a warrior that so eluded the band of chicken-hawks when their own country needed them.

August on the plains of Texas is a withering ordeal: 105 in the shade. Fire ants and scorpions battle with tarantulas and rattle snakes for food and dominance on the hot prairies of the Lone Star State. But in the summer of 2005 the war in Iraq was even hotter, as night after night reports of US Casualties were beamed across the world. But questioning the wisdom of President's Iraq War was still a dicey proposition for even professional media and long time WH critics. One sure to draw the ire of neocon pundits and meticulously crafted smears from the Rovian political apparatus. Undeterred, in a spontaneous decision, Cindy Sheehan decides to camp out in the hellish conditions, just down the road from a vacationing George Bush, to ask him a simple question: What is the "Noble Cause" her son died for? Most news commentators and political strategists predict she won't last a week in the sweltering sauna: They're all wrong. Men, women, and children, follow Cindy's example and flock to the site as if it were Lourdes. The story goes national.

This act of group patriotism broke the last MSM taboo barrier in criticizing US actions in Iraq. The Gold Star Mother of a Fallen Soldier was terribly difficult to openly attack using the polished Bush SOP. Although right wing apologists made a few abortive efforts, the White House itself could not join in the assaults for fear of appearing unsympathetic, yet they could not meet with Cindy, because there was no answer for the question everyone knew she would ask. A question that by that time was a catharsis of America's growing disenchantment with the war. The whole world watched, some still confidently expecting the President to articulate what Casey had died for. But as Cindy stood her ground, George Bush hid like a frightened rich-boy behind fortress walls bristling with hired guns in his expansive Crawford Compound, or emerged briefly to wave at the press corp, only to be whisked away by helicopter or air conditioned limo past the tanned Cindy Sheehan. The imagery was revolting to the nation.

The inability of the WH spin doctors to put lipstick on their Iraqi pig, combined with a sharp uptick in media criticism, now able to ask their critical questions under the cover of the War Protest News Story unfolding in Crawford, was the mortal wound for President Bush's image as a Fearless War Leader. By the end of August, the spirit of Cindy Sheehan, a normal mother of four from the sleepy town of Vacaville California, had pierced the invincible armor of one of the most impenetrable, political operations of all time.

For years the possibility of a devastating hurricane had been hanging like a cloud over the city of New Orleans. But under the Bush administration, funding for rehabilitating the wetland buffer zones and strengthening the levees so as to protect the city was systematically cut, drowned in Grover Norquist's bathtub. The White House gambled with both nature and lives; they rolled snake-eyes.

Hurricane Katrina came roaring onto shore in late August flooding not just NOLA, but laying waste to Biloxi Mississippi and Gulfport, along with dozens of smaller communities. The destruction in many places was total. There was nothing left but rubble. Millions of US citizens were stranded in nonfunctional neighborhoods, millions more spread through the surrounding area as virtual refugees. The power was out, lines were down, there was no food or gas.

In New Orleans and up the Gulf Coast, people waited anxiously for the bold leadership they'd been promised by the Bush administration. They waited for the massive Federal Response seen in the aftermath of the previous year's hurricanes in Florida. We all did. We waited for the Man with Bullhorn atop a pile of rubble, framed by the still smoldering remains of the World Trade Centers. Even those of us harshly critical of the Bush White House waited for his henchmen to extract maximum political capital from the tragedy, as they had so expertly milked the terrorist attack on Sept. 11.

We all waited; we all waited in vain.

With his staff and advisors spread across the nation and the globe, with no hands on the Presidential puppet operating cross, Dear Leader froze like a deer in the headlights; except this catatonic state would last far more than the few minutes of bewilderment recorded in a Florida primary school on 9-11. During the days leading up to Katrina's landfall and for days afterward, it was if we had no President at all. When George Bush finally did show up for work, his first order of business was to open up the black bag of campaign tricks and assure American's that everything was fine, that his people were doing a 'heckuva job'. Collectively, the nation gagged and rejected the neocon vomitus.

It didn't fly because, while the nation watched Bush and his acolytes on one screen as they engaged in the now familiar neocon group circle jerk of self congratulations, the other window fed real time images of stranded, desperate people dying by the scores, as furious on-location journalists reported the reality in no uncertain terms. The contrast could not have been more clear and the obvious conclusion wasn't hidden within political and legal complexities: George Bush and his appointed minions were lying through their teeth. After whipping the nation into a terrified frenzy for years, and then presenting George Bush as the one and only man who could keep the nation safe from Weapons of Mass Destruction, the even more horrifying reality that this administration couldn't keep us safe from standing water bloomed into the collective American conscious like a Mushroom Cloud. Katrina, the last and most ominous spectre.

In a few short months the credibility and agenda of George Bush and his merry band of neocons had arced from their lofty political apogee and smashed in the unforgiving landscape of reality. Aided in large part by the spirit of three ladies.

They're not by any means done for. Indeed; a wounded and frightened beast is the most dangerous. And the press is still running to some extant on past inertia. On every talk show this morning alone, as the insurmountable problems of the Republican Caucus were laid out, time and time again the talking heads drifted back to the dilemma facing the democrats.

But once the eyes of the nation were cleared of Rovian cobwebs, the record of failure upon failure speaks for itself. This President inherited the strongest economy in history, that economy is no more. This administration was handed a budgetary dream, they almost immediately transformed it into the biggest deficits of all time. 9-11 handed the GOP a country united as one, Republican political mechanics set to work dismantling that commonality, driving deep wedges through it in the shortsighted quest for absolute rule. The list goes on and on. Osama bin Laden remains on the loose, terrorist attacks have tripled since 9-11, Iraq is in chaos and even Afghanistan may be in danger of falling back into fundamentalist rule. The administration that arrogantly announced they were going to bring back honor to the White House is under investigation for treasonous activities with five indictments already secured and counting. The Culture of Life has become the Culture of Corruption.

For all these reasons and many more, I believe the ruthless reign of King George is coming to an end in terms of effectiveness, if not in official title. But then what do I know? In the actual Dickens classic, Ebenezer Scrooge learned the lesson of compassion and responsibility from his nocturnal visitors and changed his ways for the good. That was fiction, a happy ending firmly provided. This is a very real Neocon Christmas Carol about the spirit of three ladies, who visited a man who would be King; that final chapter has yet to be written.

Originally posted to DarkSyde on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:05 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Libetine conservatives? (4.00)
    Haha.  They may be that, but I think you mean Libertarian conservatives?

    Also, I agree, the Terri Schiavo mess was really damaging to the Republicans and Bush.  I had never seen such anger, even in people that supported the president.  This was despite the fact that Republicans successfully confused most of the public on Ms. Schiavo's true condition.  Cognitive or not, most people wouldn't want to live that way, or have their loved ones live that way.

    Secrecy is the illness, information is the cure.

    by Unstable Isotope on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:05:51 AM PST

    •  TY (4.00)
      fixed it. Yeah that was a real screw-up. At least few people were hurt in that one. Wish I could say that about all the other shit they bungled.

      Read UTI, your free thought forum

      by DarkSyde on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:13:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought you meant Libertine (none)
        which evokes the appropriate Marie Antoinette "Let them eat cake" vision of the world they espouse.

        "I just had the basic view of the American public -- it can't be that bad out there." Marine Travis Williams after 11 members of his squad were killed.

        by Steven D on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:06:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not necessarily - that's uncharitable. (4.00)
          I do recognize that in modern US political usage the term libertarian as in Libertarian does closesly track with what's being suggested above.  However, just as democratic does not mean Democratic, this is an unfair reading of a lot of libertarians.  I'm a libertarian conservative - very libertarian in terms of social issues aka libertine - but in the fullest sense of libertarian: anti-authoritarian and a defender of personal, individual privacy and liberty.  Yes, it's true that most libertarians are small-government folks, and I'd include myself there.  However, that doesn't mean many of us don't identify with and believe in big government as the necessary protector of that individual privacy and liberty, known in economic terms as the pursuit of happyness.  My libertarian cum libertine side leads to a support of sex ed; gay marriage and Roe.  I am a proponent of market mechanisms over central planning, no doubt, but that doesn't translate into 'drown [government] in the bathtub' either. Some of us believe in the notion of convservatism as conserving - eg, environmental protections.  We also might believe in fiscal prudence on the government's part.  There is nothing remotely conservative about the current GOP - beyond a twisted interpretation of the social reactionaries pining for a return to the 9th Century.  What the Christian 'Reconstructionists' want is radical, not conservative, as it involves a massive re-writing of history, and moving the country towards something it's really never resembled.  
          •  My sentiments (none)
            almost precisely.  Politics has been a frustrating venture over the years....searching for that social libertarian fiscal conservative who will stand up and speak up.  I think it would work....someone should try it.
      •  I Thought You Meant... (4.00)
        ...Richard Libertini...

        I almost blew coffee out of my nose thinking about his portrayal of General Garcia in the In-Laws and his dead-on imitation of Senor Wences...

        Karl Rove: "S'all Right?"
        Pepe Bush: "S'all right."

        "Ninety-nine miles of solid-gold track, lay on the whistle and don't look back..."

        by InquisitiveRaven on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:35:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Another point about the Schiavo misfire: (4.00)
        You write: "And it blew up in their faces. Intervening in Schiavo's tragedy hit too close too home for the majority of Americans...

        So true...I think the heartless automaton Repub leaders (and this just goes to show you how seriously they are lacking in the empathy department) totally overlooked how many millions - tens of millions, more likely - "average" Americans of all political persuasions have had their own Terri Schiavo situations, and found their inner outrage that some rich pseudo-doctor in Washington would pass a five minute heaven-or-hell judgment on decisions that - for those of us who have made them - are gut-wrenching, earth-shaking and unforgettable.

        Don't forget, too, that the "man's home is his castle" repubs suddenly seemed to be taking the position that an American man can't make such critical decisions for his wife.  Whoops - alienating more of your REAL base there, guys!  So they had to turn Michael into a murdering wife beater - a ploy that came so weak and so late, it was laughable (to everyone buy Michael and his loved ones, of course.)  Remember, millions of men HAVE made this decision for their wives.  And I'll wager most weren't wife beaters or murderers - and were damn outraged to see another person in such pain be labeled one.

        How these guys made such a shattering miscalculation on Schiavo still baffles me.  Cindy Sheehan I understand, because Bush is a coward and as you so eloquently write, has no answer to the Noble Cause question.  Katrina was a fuck up because they just don't care about safety and security for the masses, haven't done a damn thing about REAL homeland security for five years, and their chickens came a roostin' (at a shameful cost for millions more innocents.)

        But Schiavo, as you write, was an orchestrated political move.  I think it goes a long way to showing that the "genius" Karl Rove has little peripheral vision.

        Another great one from Darksyde!  You rock!  Happy Thanksgiving!

        "The responsibility of government for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate." -Winston Churchill

        by hopesprings on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 10:41:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's not forget (4.00)
          That the man who was touting the "sanctity of life" and the need to protect it was also the man who gleefully executed death row inmates in his term(s) as governor of Texas.

          Need to find dubya? Follow the trail of dead bodies. Of dead Americans.

          Bush - the ultimate example of the Peter Principle.

          by PatsBard on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 10:56:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wonderfully written (4.00)
        Dark Syde.  Recommended.  

        "There is no Armando, there is only Zuul."

        by Delaware Dem on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 10:43:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, thought "libertine" (4.00)
      was a takeoff for "Velveteen", as in a twisted reference of some sort to "The Velveteen Rabbit".

      And, oddly, I actually thought that there could be some similarities to that story, esp. once I'd read through to the end.

      *pause*

      I may, of course, have to start drinking in order to get these random stream-of-consciousness mindwarps under control.

      •  "The Velveteen Rabbit" - great book.... (none)
        ........and one that will be read years from now. Of course, GreyHawk, don't let me stop you from imbibing massive quantities...   :-)

        "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain"

        by Ed Tracey on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 04:13:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree..Beautiful Diary! (none)
      as for your sig:

      Time Magazine should consider a shared "Person of the Year" mention and name these three: Shiavo, Sheehan and Katrina.

      Time's Person of the Year

      This War is about Money. War Money. Oil Money. Oh, and Christian Zealotry.

      by nehark on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:01:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  they know no shame... (4.00)
    Let us hope that they have done themselves irrepairable harm... it seems however that their constituancy is forever looking to be led...perhaps there is one thing they fear more than satan, and that may be us, those who do not follow their god...

    I truely enjoy your diaries thanxs

    it is our cares which organize the human mind....

    by wildwisefree on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:13:23 AM PST

  •  Legitimacy vs power (4.00)
    I agree with you that he has lost all legitimacy in the eyes of most of the public. The problem is that he (or his clan) still has his hands on all the handles of power and they are busily making sure that this power extends ever further: torture, prison gulags, end of habeas corpus, Pentagon spying on Americans, FBI's Letters of suspicion(?), etc...

    And this could go on on for a while.

    In the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)
    Read more on the European Tribune - bringing dKos to Europe

    by Jerome a Paris on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:13:49 AM PST

    •  Democrats have a big challenge (4.00)
      Right now. Win the legislative elections of 2006. Winning either or both the House of Representatives and the Senate and getting near numerical equality in whichever one isn't won will pull much power from Bush's hands, and embolden the Senior Civil Servants in the Executive Branch.  Winning Statehouses and State Legislatures is important too. We must have an effective opposition to the remaining two years of these criminals.

      It's time to think 2006.  2008 is too far away to save the situation we find ourselves in. Plus, to win 2008, we have to win 2006.  The time is now upon us. Enjoy the Yule, the heavy lifting comes soon afterwards and will go on all year.

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

      by Rolfyboy6 on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:28:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To win 2006 (none)
        we need to make election reform issue number 1 in the minds of every voter, blue, red, or green.

        After the debacle of Florida 2000, there was no excuse whatsoever for Ohio 04.06 is even more crucial. The morning after it'll be to late to say "What happened?" We've had enough warning.

        2000 and 04 were so very close. The Rethugs have'nt exactly been winning converts from our side or the centrists with their policies. Given free, fair, open, and honest voting, we'll win easily. So the fight between now and next November MUST concentrate on voting reform. That's the key to winning.

        Paper ballots. Hand counted. IN PUBLIC.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 10:14:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Possibly not enough time (3.66)
          on the functional level for that amount of election reform in that many states and places. There's only eleven months until the election. We need to win big in enough elections so that any chicanery is offset.

          Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

          by Rolfyboy6 on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 10:35:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed (4.00)
            The point is to raise AWARENESS about fraud and election reform. It's a bit of a Catch-22 anyway: we need to win elections in the first place in order to take power to enact the reforms necessary to win the elections in order to take power. Whew!

            In the meantime, our battle cry must be "Paper ballots, hand counted, IN PUBLIC". Put it on T shirts, bumper stickers, etc. Spread it to every blog and put it in your LTEs and letters to congresscritters and your Sec of State.

            Come election day, use your absentee ballot if you live in a Diebold district. But what I'd really like to see is Blue voters staying at the polls after they've voted, in a show of numbers. Let us literaly Stand Up and Be Counted.

            Paper ballots. Hand counted. IN PUBLIC.

            Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

            by drewfromct on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 10:49:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Amen brother (none)
        --Absolutely agree

        Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

        by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 06:39:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Detox is a bitch (4.00)
      Yes, it will go on for a while.  We have a poison in the body politic which needs to be flushed out completely before true health can return.  And not only does the cabal still have three years to cause mischief, the seeds they have sewn will take years to come to fruition - such as the economic hardships you have so well documented, Jerome.

      We're looking at a generation of work, rebuilding our country, rehabilitating our reputation with the world.  Time spent just recovering lost ground, when we have so many other difficulties facing us which need our attention.  But this is all we can do, and it starts with '06 and recapturing at least one house of Congress.

      Another great diary, DS.

      "Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering." - R. Buckminster Fuller -5.88/-5.23

      by Shadan7 on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:57:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need to emphasize how long it will (4.00)
        take for a reasonable government to repair all the damage that Bushco have done.  It needs to start well before the election and not leave any room for the soundly defeated republicans to try to make points on how things aren't better yet.
        Bush has messed us up so bad it may take 3 presidents to clean up the mess    two terms each-- and that may not get it all done.  ^5 Shadan.

        Bush did it.

        Dood!!!  You're at least as effective when you're dead serious.  Practically perfect pundits prefer preposterous playfulness but carefully correct concise commentators cheerfully cut the cackles.

        "In the name of fighting terror, we have terrorized, and in the name of defending our values, we have betrayed them." Leonard Pitts

        by maybeeso in michigan on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 10:09:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  maybeeso: You're not so bad yourself. (none)
          You're at least as effective when you're dead serious.  Practically perfect pundits prefer preposterous playfulness but carefully correct concise commentators cheerfully cut the cackles.
          In either genre.

          Superb diary, DarkSyde.

      •  great post shadan! (none)
        You nailed that. Well said!

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:03:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Political capital (4.00)
    Bush said "I have earned political capital, and I intend to spend it". The idiot in chief has done just that, spent his capital, and now is politically bankrupt.

    What is nothing short of amazing is that the American people actually gave him the capital in the first place. And it is still to be seen whether they'll bounce Bush's bad check in 2006. I am not optimistic.

    •  Like Everything Else... (4.00)
      Bush has managed to turn a surplus into a political capital deficit.  Maybe his moral bankruptcy will be subject to the new bankruptcy laws that are oppressing everyone else and he will be thrown in moral debtor's prison.  

      "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

      by mayan on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:31:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  GW's Apocalypse (4.00)
    My nomination for the fourth horsewoman of GW's Apocalypse is Grandma Social Security.

    In each instance--choice, war, the environment and the New Deal--he set loose the forces that beset him now.  Reading the new revelations each day is like getting Dickens  serialized.  

  •  Beautiful retrospective (4.00)
    Love the Three Ladies metaphor, emblematic of your always-fine writing.

    There are two other non-ladies which should be mentioned.  First, of course, the self-inflicted blow of hubris, which led King George to dare to gut Social Security.  This emboldened his supine enemies, pierced the illusion of trustworthiness he counted on among the great unwashed, and spent most of his political capital before the game got started.

    Second, almost forgotten now, was the Newsweek-Gitmo-Koran imbroglio.  The ludicrous and insulting spectacle of Scottie McClellan on the White House lawn lecturing the WH press corps on journalistic ethics cause some of the MSM to finally locate their spines and their gonads, and begin at long last to do their fucking jobs.  The process has barely begun, but already the fallout is withering for the Propaganda Machine.

    Thanks for another wonderful diary.

    -4.50, -5.85 "To initiate a war of aggression is ... the supreme international crime." ---Nuremberg Tribunal

    by Dallasdoc on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:31:15 AM PST

  •  This is an excellent diary (4.00)
    as are most of the diaries you write.

    Since the elections in November of 2004, Bush's approval ratings have never quite reached that 51% that got him elected.


    Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?...Carley Sheehan

    by nupstateny on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:44:01 AM PST

  •  If we are lucky (4.00)
    Bush will also be haunted by the Ghost of Father Fitzmas.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:44:16 AM PST

  •  Four Ladies (4.00)
    The seeds of Bush's destruction were sown years ago by a brave woman you forgot, Valerie Plame.

    Funny when you think about it: reports circulating a while ago said that an increasingly isolated Bush only spoke to his wife Laura, his mother Barbara, Sec'y State Condi and Under Sec'y Karen.

    Women.  Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.  Can't trust them to prop up a horrible president.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)

    by The Crusty Bunker on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 08:51:32 AM PST

  •  2006 Dem campaign strategy (4.00)
    Give us a majority and we'll clean the House...and the Senate...and the White House.  Impeachment time, baby.  No need to wait til Jan 2009 for regime change.

    Do your part for world peace - visit Iraqi Blog Count and interact!

    by Sharon Jumper on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:11:49 AM PST

  •  Not to mention (4.00)
    another woman in the guise of Harriet Miers - the farce around her nomination (and the specter of Sandra Day O'Connor's Legacy) certainly helped seal the deal.

    And Condi's "let them buy shoes and see theater" act in NYC while NOLA sinks also helped with the image disaster...

    Let's also remember that the mythic Fates are women...

    "Just a quick observation, when people don't want to play the blame game, they're to blame." --Jon Stewart

    by Marcus Junius Brutus on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:14:20 AM PST

  •  great diary, DarkSyde (4.00)
    Beautiful writing, excellent analysis.

    That's all I got.  Thanks.

  •  Excellent Diary (4.00)
    Great analysis...I would suggest that you add Valerie Plame.  

    I would also note that it is interesting to look at the women on Bush's side of the fence...Barbara, Laura, Karen Hughes and Karl Rove.

    "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:26:44 AM PST

  •  Wonderful Diary (none)
    Great read
  •  The amazing thing (4.00)
    is that is hasn't yet even been ONE year since he took his second oath. I know it feels like 50 years for every month the stooge has been in power, but one must marvel at how quickly his second term started to detiorate. Whether he had a mandate or not, he won the election and should have come out with some ability to get his agenda done, especially with expanded GOP majorities in Congress, and literally weeks into it with his social security debacle, things started to fall apart. I gather this extraordinary fall from grace will be studied for decades to come in America's political science classrooms. And the best part about it is that it cannot get better from here, it can only get worse for Bush.

    I HATE REPUBLICANS, HATE HATE HATE THEM!!!!!!!!! UGHHHHH [-5.50, -4.69]

    by michael1104 on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:30:50 AM PST

  •  arggggg just as I was thinking this (4.00)
    you wrote it and very well indeed. As you so often seem to share my ponderings.

    get outta my brain :))

    SOCIAL SECURITY: Invented by Democrats yesterday, Protected by Democrats today

    by mollyd on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:34:21 AM PST

  •  The man who would be king (4.00)
    Before any politician aspires to such a place, he would do well to read the cautionary tale in Rudyard Kipling's short story. Or, if he's not the type to read, he could see the movie.

    As Kipling wrote,

    The Son of Man goes forth to war,
    A golden crown to gain;
    His blood-red banner streams afar--
    Who follows in His train?

    Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. -- Donald Rumsfeld

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:37:41 AM PST

  •  You gave me goosebumps! (4.00)
    What a fantastic diary. A masterful tie of Bush's downfall to our culture's myths and archetypes.

     I agree 100%, I have been saying Cindy and Katrina tore Bush's curtain of lies, but I had forgotten Terri Schiavo

    The image you wove is very powerful: An innocent blameless childlike soul (can't get more innocent than braindead), followed by a grieving mother's image and the wrath of a valkyrie who mounted on the winged horses of a hurricane



    Terri Cindy Katrina

    I see a red stripe and I want it painted black..

    by lawnorder on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:51:05 AM PST

  •  Bush May Be Historic Success (none)
    The man will place 2, possibly as many as 4 Justices on the Court and will take posession of the working Constitution for the rest of our lives.

    If his political capital is truly expended, then instead of putting short-timer incompetent Mierses in place, he may well fall in line with the thinktanks and imprison us behind us brilliant radical global-corporatist children.

    Given the nature of this time in human, economic and technological history, Bush can easily end up regarded a century now as the most influential President ever, possibly as the father of his reborn country.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Yeah, well, almost.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:53:49 AM PST

    •  Don't Let Up (none)
      There's more than enough ammunition with which to sustain a filibuster of Alito, for one. There are the ties to Princeton alumni groups associated with racism, classism, and sexism and the conflicts of interest involving his investment holdings and his relatives before you even invoke his radical ideology (that goes well beyond the belief that Roe was wrongly decided) per se.

      Bush is not entitled to a rubber stamp, and is even less entitled to one than he would be in the case of his cabinet. When Bush thanfkully leaves office, so does John Bolton, Abu Gonzalez, and the rest of the lot. But not the judges. Keep that in mind.  

      Check out Answer Guy Online. Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

      by Answer Guy on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 11:22:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes indeedy (4.00)
    the Four ladies of Bush's apocalypse are riding hard. Don't look to promising fer George.

    Cindy is back in Crawford...

    Valerie's attack dog Fitzgerald is growling in the back yard....

    Terry Schiavo's legacy will return with the Alito filibuster...

    But the biggest, nastiest bitch Katrina is just starting to be heard from.

    A million refugees in America, some coming to your neighborhood.

    The total destruction of the fifth largest port in the world, New Orleans.

    An estimate 250,000 buildings destroyed and how many have flood insurance....not many.

    Both ReThugs and Dems have their heads in the sand on Katrina but millions of folks down there in Dixie are mighty, mighty pissed.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

    by Nestor Makhnow on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 09:53:49 AM PST

  •  Anger doesn't begin to do it justice (none)
    Thanks, especially for the eloquent synopsis of what Katrina really showed us.  

    I have quoted you at length and linked to this diary on my blog.

    If Katrina brings them down, them at least some good will have come of it.

    Hell's Mouth Cafe' - a lefty New Orleans native's blog about the city's recovery

    by ketzerin on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 10:32:53 AM PST

  •  Terri (4.00)
    The Terri situation is really threatening to us all for another reason.  Not only does it show that we may not have control over the situation in our own families, it shows that we are all inches away from financial ruin if something like this strikes our loved ones.

    Terri's family had resources because of the law suit.  Her situation demonstrates that the medical decisions are determined by the ability to pay, rather than prognosis.  If the money ran out, they would have let her die a lot sooner.  The evidence of this is the baby in Houston that had the plug pulled because the money wasn't there.  That happened WHILE they were fighting over Terri.

    We still don't have the guts to face the medical industry in America. That story is still being swept under the rug.

  •  O to have this on the front page (none)
    Of every newspaper in America.

    Bush - the ultimate example of the Peter Principle.

    by PatsBard on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 11:07:21 AM PST

  •  Couldn't keep us safe from Standing Water... (none)
    Couldn't rescue us from Standing Water.

    Thank you, DarkSyde...

  •  This will make a great chapter (none)
    in the book on George W. Bush's failed presidency someday. Seriously.

    I love your first two paragraphs in particular. With things going so poorly for the repugs right now, I find I'm beginning to forget how infuriating I found their hubris immediately after the election. "I earned political capital, and I intend to spend it." Their smug dismissal of the "reality-based community," their self- assurance that the simple laws of math and science did not apply to them. It's sweet to watch them go down, yet bitter to realize they're taking much of the country down with them.

    Keep writing, DarkSyde. I can't wait to read the rest of this book.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mohandas Gandhi

    by trueblue illinois on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 11:19:43 AM PST

  •  Great diary ! (4.00)
    I'll be linking your diary here:  The Missing and the Dead Part V, where I've been attempting to keep track of Diaries/Links regarding seeing to the missing, the dead, and related hurricane issues.

    What an excellent day for an Excorcism... SCI/Kenyon

    by DianeL on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 11:20:50 AM PST

  •  ruling by fear (4.00)
    Machavelli said that it is safer for a prince to be feared than to be loved. Rove et. al. used this as the blueprint for their rule.

    If you rule by fear, you'd better make damn sure that those you have hurt continue to fear you.

    Rove built his own image as the genius.  He promoted the myth that he knows all and sees all.  He tried his best to assure all who would cross him that they would pay, and pay dearly.

    All the things you discuss shattered that myth.

    Rove, Bush, and especially Rummy and Cheney, have left a trail of enemies.  They have been punishing everyone who disagreed with them.  Some of those who have felt their sting have survived.  Now that they are vulnerable, those people will come out of the woodwork and exact some payback.  

    They were never as smart as they tried to make us believe they were. They were just plain mean.

    Everybody loves a winner, but when you lose, you lose alone.

  •  A Speech (none)
    This is a speech that an elected official should give.  Would that we had one with the balls to give it.

    Get busy livin, or get busy dyin...

    by Captain Doug on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 11:26:47 AM PST

  •  Double Double (none)
    Toil and Trouble... - The Three Witches

    O well done! I commend your pains;
    And every one shall share i' the gains;
    And now about the cauldron sing,
    Live elves and fairies in a ring,
    Enchanting all that you put in. -- Hecate

    --Macbeth by my pal, Billy Shakespeare

    •  Bush Stew or Stewed Bush (none)
      From reading the other comments a few more ingredients can be added to the cauldron. Valerie Plame, Harriet Miers, a pair of Condi's new shoes. I think a little Bunny Greenhouse should also be added. 20 years of hard work and sweat gone for refusing to approve those Army Corps of Engineers that Halliburton wanted so bad.
  •  Thanks for another great diary, DarkSyde (none)
    You might also add Lyndie England (the Abu Ghraib MP) to the list. Although maybe she belongs more to "Lord" Rumsfeld.
  •  It's Like (4.00)
    the female of the species can see right through this little braggart - even if they're incapacitated like Terri Schiavo or ethereal like Katrina. I suspect that he's barely hanging on - thanking his theocon god for Mommy and Karen Hughes. Oh he's a sad little dude with his wee little penis and soiled trousers. I think he may not make it to January, 2009. He may just crack up, overdose or be impeached - or all three.  

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 11:36:19 AM PST

    •  We can hope! (none)
      "He may just crack up, overdose or be impeached - or all three."

      Oh, pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease...

      "Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering." - R. Buckminster Fuller -5.88/-5.23

      by Shadan7 on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 03:19:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, the end was kind of corny, but... (none)
    this is the best DKOS journal i've read in a long time. It beats the crap out of DarkSyde's "what it's like to be an athiest" post, and presents a coherent (excellent) narrative.
    The power of narrative shouldn't be taken lightly. George Bush's 'good ole boy with a bullhorn' 9/11 rising from the ashes dealie is the only thing that god him re-elected.
    Applause to DarkSyde and others for creating a solid story from the rubble of schiavo/sheehan/katrina.
    Power up the counter-conspiracy!

    Hey Mr. Conservative! Go and See a Therapist! It's Time to Come to Terms with Jesus as a Terrorist. [XiL]

    by ConsiderDetroit on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 11:57:25 AM PST

  •  bush is confused about what it is to be a man (none)
    Since we are talking about gender...

    Bush is really confused about what it is to be a man.  

    We see that "swagger" walk, and we assume that he is  a butch tough guy.  That is what he would like us to think.

    We want a "daddy" president to take care of the nation and keep us safe.  That's what we "voted for" , isn't it?  

    But a "daddy" makes the hard decisions, like facing the fact that Terri is gone.  He deals with it and does what needs to be done.  Bush couldn't do that.

    A "daddy" stands by his decisions and explains why he does what he does.  He uses his "wisdom" to enlighten others about what is right and wrong.  Bush couldn't (and can't) explain why we went to Iraq.  His only rationale is "because I said so".     He likes to play "tough cowboy" in the Texas heat at his "ranch"  (no cattle means it's not really a ranch).  But he clears brush for the camera and then goes into the AC.  Cindy, a mere woman, toughed out the heat for a month.  She's tougher than Georgie.

    A "daddy" takes care of the helpless under his protection. The hurricane was only one example in which Bush showed that he doesn't give a rat's ass about taking care of the country.  A real man defends the helpless.  Bush...need I say more?

    So, exactly why are we expecting this man to take care of us in the event of a terrorist attack?  And if he can't do that, why is he president?  That was his platform, wasn't it?

    George is very confused about what it is to be a man.  And he doesn't have a clue about how to take care of the counrty.  

    We need a new "daddy"!

  •  About Yearly Kos - again (none)
    You posted the other day on this.  About all the wonderful people working on it, great things going on.

    I responded that I'd made a suggestion on the YearlyKos site.  In the "We'll laugh at your suggestions here" link.  My suggestion wasn't laughed at.  There was no acknowledgement or response of any kind.  So I inquired on your YearlyKos diary about same.  Again:  no response of any kind.

    What gives?  Am I missing something?  Or is there some kind of cognitive dissonance going on?

  •  Excellent. (none)
    Awesome.

    we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888) -8.25; -6.41

    by Tirge Caps on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 12:15:30 PM PST

  •  Great Work, DarkSyde (none)
    While the Truth is finally gathering momentum in the public consciousness, please send this to as many media sources as you can.   In spite of the RWCM bias, in spite of disproportionate power in the hands of idiots, the tide is turning for reasons you so eloquently noted.  Recommend.
  •  A Fine Effort! (none)
    Nicely done.  Recommended.

    George W. Bush deserves a fair trial.

    by CJB on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 12:48:10 PM PST

  •  Excellent diary! (none)
    Darksyde has shown once again he is one of the pre-eminent writers on this blog or any other. This should be on the editorial page of every sunday paper in the nation.
  •  Great Diary (none)
    As usual Darksyde.  You show the triple face of the Goddess in these three women here, and I think She is finally awake enough to send this idiot a clear message, too bad he's too dense to see it.

    Agreed, this should be on every editorial page in the country.

  •  Talking heads (none)
    Talking heads like to discuss on every occassion, how Bush's numbers and performances look historically or in comparison with other presidents. They say the second term is always difficult for "ambitious" presidents, blabla.

    But the matter is, Bush is uniquely wrong about so many issues, virtually on everything he touches. When you are so wrong, you should not expect comparable comparisons. You should only expect big flushes down... As the saying is, you cannot fool all the people all the time.

  •  great post (4.00)
    dark syde
    thanks for being my friend and for encouraging me to post here.
    •  I (4.00)
      assure you Cindy, it is I who owe you the thanks. I'm greatly privileged to be among your friends and I think I speak for many when I say this community is fortunate you make the time to share your stories with us.

      Read UTI, your free thought forum

      by DarkSyde on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 04:31:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's so ironic (none)
    that the GOoPer calculus of the political advantage regarding schiavo backfired so severely.  it provided political leverage all right, but not the kind they envisioned.  i wonder if michael schiavo realizes just how much he and terri gave to this country, albeit unwittingly.

    bless them both.

    blessings for cindy is a given.

    and yes, bless even katrina, for highlighting the challenges we face.

  •  Wonderfully Done (none)
    Kudos, and thanks.  I'll pass it along.
  •  not only a great diary- (none)
    But how refreshing to have a comment section devoid of the rancor and childish namecalling that have accompanied so many diaries of late.  I was beginning to fear that adult conversation was becoming impossible on KOs.  My own take is that while the first two ladies did their damage, Katrina provided the wound fron which there could be no recovery.  Not only was the adminisration shown to be utterly inept at the one function of governing that people of all political leanings deem vital, even worse for Bush, he seemed unfeeling, put out that he should have to be bothered by it, and for the first time , the majority of Americans were able to think that maybe he wasn't such a great guy after all. (why they ever did will forever remain one of the great mysteries of our time for me).
  •  We're still losing, and very far from winning (none)
    At present, even after what would seem to be a devastating series of shots to the face, Republicans in Congress continue to push through vicious, idiotic legislation and budgets that undermine all those things they are supposed to be pursuing per the preamble of the Constitution (i.e., forming a more perfect Union, establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility, providing for the common defence, promoting the general Welfare, securing the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, etc.).

    If Republicans continue to stumble and / or only lose control of one house of Congress, we will advance to a state where there is legislative gridlock, or maybe continuation of various corporate-dominated agendas in Congress (while real problems languish and real solutions remain out of the realm of possibility), accompanied by continued assaults from the executive branch, variously undermined or exacerbated by staggering incompetence and cronyism.

    Its a long way out of the jungle, and the country is barely at a place where we're starting to look for the path.

    Anybody seen my owl?

    by Minerva on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 06:51:11 PM PST

  •  thumbs up -- (none)
    Clever post and content... Excellent job.
pontificator, Leslie in CA, claude, anna, gina, Kitty, Alumbrados, MichaelPH, JWC, Cederico, Stirling Newberry, Mark H, Michael McGuinness, PLS, CJB, Aeolus, Kaina PDX, tankej, Ms American Pie, lightiris, Hiram, teacherken, gogol, glitterscale, Detlef, windsngr, tikkun, aed, Dump Terry McAuliffe, Delaware Dem, Rolfyboy6, Pandora, TrueBlueMajority, Unstable Isotope, TocqueDeville, RunawayRose, Maryscott OConnor, Sprinkles, Emerson, RAST, Hummingbird, Shockwave, SwimmertoFreedom04, EdinPHX, donna in evanston, sundog, linnen, uffdalib, KateG, cmk, Richard Cranium, WI Deadhead, frisco, lawnorder, object16, Democarp, bumblebums, zeroooo, historyrocks, dakota, Jerome a Paris, in lakish, Plan9, dpc, alnc, km4, mlafleur, PaintyKat, Justina, bronte17, DrKate, Shadan7, elveta, Doc Allen, sfgb, lpackard, KMc, marksb, Glic, gayntom, boilerman10, luaptifer, CanisMaximus, Aethern, peraspera, sgilman, itsmitch, nargel, Rocket, exconservative, Spindizzy, thingamabob, nowness, Cedwyn, kozmo, artebella, wader, nio, mayan, entiel, hopesprings, Barbara Morrill, rcvanoz, nancelot, NYC Sophia, Dallasdoc, jlynne, The Truffle, crkrjx, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, Nancy in LA, DianeL, kdrivel, SeattleLiberal, duncanidaho, cosette, Penny Century, USAFVET, mauigirl, Calidrissp, Troutski, rlharry, Eddie Haskell, lcrp, just us, welshvalleymaid, Justess, The Peanut Gallery, bobcat, barbwires, walkshills, Cordelia Lear, ChiGirl88, Sam Loomis, ybruti, mattes, parryander, Sopiane, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, Marianne Benz, Steven D, anna in philly, bronxdem, bablhous, DrewDown, kd texan, AlwaysDemocrat, Irish Patti, Flann, Timroff, rickroks, roxy317, midwestmom, Gowrie Gal, Tirge Caps, nailbender, davidincleveland, Los Diablo, acuity, kplatv, chumley, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, 3goldens, Chris Kulczycki, Green Zombie, i love san fran, 12, aitoaster, ketzerin, LarisaW, 7rob7, LisaZ, jimski, Bad Cog, lil bird, myeye, juliesie, Shuvo Dutta, Claybow, KristyZ, eru, cafihapa, ocooper, CindySheehan, concerned, EdlinUser, thered1, GreyHawk, annefrank, nwsound, Phil S 33, von Dutch, sunbro, Digginthislife, rhj, cerulean, Anna M, cesspool, Brian B, LisainNYC, Ekaterin, JanF, Land of Enchantment, melvin, Migeru, drag0n, howth of murph, Prof Dave, jonorato, das monde, chicagoblueohio, seoguy, Compound F, PatsBard, SFJen, midvalley, RustyBrown, blackthorn, Ellicatt, Dvalkure, The Southern Dem, lolas

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