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Monday, May 10, 2004

Watching Sully make his painfully slow progress towards abandoning Bush is, to me at least, a microcosm of what must be going on in the brains of a good portion of the American population. That doesn't make it any less frustrating, alas.

Read this:

The one anti-war argument that, in retrospect, I did not take seriously enough was a simple one. It was that this war was noble and defensible but that this administration was simply too incompetent and arrogant to carry it out effectively. I dismissed this as facile Bush-bashing at the time. I was wrong.


and you think, "Yes! Sully finally gets it!"

Scroll down a few paragraphs, though, and you find:

To my mind, these awful recent revelations - and they may get far worse - make it even more essential that we bring democratic government to Iraq, and don't cut and run. Noam Chomsky is wrong. Abu Ghraib is not the real meaning of America. And we now have to show it - in abundance. That is the opportunity this calamity has opened up. And then, when November comes around, we have to decide whether this president is now a liability in the war on terror or the asset he once was. How he reacts to this crisis - whether he is even in touch enough to recognize it as a crisis - should determine how the country votes this fall. He and his team have failed us profoundly. He has a few months to show he can yet succeed.


People -- Sully among them -- continue to cling to the idea that Bush is somehow a great leader, that he rallied the country in its time of need blah blah blah.

It's a lie. It's a carefully crafted lie. All he did after 9/11 was not fuck up, a challenge that has eluded him since.

The same team -- the exact same set of brains, since no one in this administration seems to lose their jobs over anything -- that came up with the War on Terror, came up with the War on Iraq. To think that the one has been wildly successful while the other is a disaster, or to think that those same incompetents can salvage a mess of their own making they have yet to even acknowledge, is a denial of reality.

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that this administration can fix what has gone wrong in Iraq. None.

Moreover, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that this administration has an aptitude for anything beyond massaging public opinion.

To give Bush an opportunity to 'become an asset again' is to give the administration yet another chance to pull the wool over your eyes.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, and Andrew Sullivan proves he is the biggest fool on the planet.

***

Incidentally, I know it's pretty much accepted these days, but I'm really tired of the "Chomsky hates America" meme.

He no more hates America than Churchill hated democracy.

America should not simply be the lesser of 200 evils. It's supposed to be something greater than that, and if the professor sometimes gets a little strident in pointing out that disconnect, quite frankly I think that's a good thing, because somebody ought to be pointing it out.

Abu Ghraib is, indeed, not the real meaning of America, any more than crass commercialism is the real meaning of Christmas. But it's very hard to remember that sometimes when you actually have the guts to look unflinchingly at what it's become.

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