FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Way Down in New Orleans

and STELLA LA CHANCE

The catastrophic success of Hurricane Katrina in carrying out the Bush administration’s second term agenda in only a few short days should have been cheering news for the beleaguered war prez. Even though he is being forced to lick his wounds publicly while the key players of “Operation Hurrah Katrina” celebrate “Mardi Graft” behind closed doors, the president should have had plenty of reason to rejoice along with them, if he hadn’t already outlived his usefulness both publicly and within his own party. Having secured New Orleans as ground zero for a long awaited ethnic cleansing, while laying out the blueprint for a police state nationwide, Bush is now in the awkward position of having to appear penitent while signaling “Mission Accomplished” to his dwindling base.

Already we can see the damage he’s inflicted on his trademark smirk, as he snorts and wheezes through his openly scripted public appearances. Not even his renewed hard line stance against Syria can re-ignite his fizzling approval ratings. Funny how the plight of homeless Somalis swimming around in your own backyard tends to put a damper on even the heartiest appetites for destruction. Add a grieving Gold Star mother left to bake outside your Texas ranch and you’ve got yourself a public relations nightmare. And that’s not even counting Tom Delay’s recent arrest for money laundering, Bill Frist’s SEC woes, and Karl Rove’s impending indictment in the Valerie Plame affair. Clearly, Bush is living off the chump change left over from his much vaunted and mostly illusory “political capital.”

After publicly praising fellow patsy and former FEMA chief Michael Brown — the Lee Harvey Oswald of this reverse political assassination (what else do you call it when a public figure is set up to kill thousands of his fellow citizens?) — Bush himself has become a fall guy for the White House’s Cheney-led cabal, yet another expendable player in the shell game of Empire. Having achieved everything they set out to do (destroy the Bill of Rights, expand the powers of the Patriot Act, make Homeland Security a branch of the military, give permanent tax breaks to the rich, legalize torture, normalize pre-emptive war, eradicate public education… to name just a few), the junta has little reason to concern itself with trivialities like Bush’s plummeting popularity.

Still, the junta may have underestimated the fallout from the recently disclosed e-mails from a FEMA staffer to Michael Brown’s secretary proving that “Brownie” fiddled with his dinner arrangements while New Orleans was being wiped off the map. “Let Brownie Eat Cake” will likely linger in the collective memory long after the heads of America’s current Imperial rulers roll into the gutter of history. Rather than the fiery “End Times” finale many expected would mark the end of Bush’s second term in office, a confluence of comparatively minor but highly symbolic events have contributed to the steady erosion of his approval ratings, leaving him vulnerable and ridiculous. Even die-hard loyalists have to admit that only a horse’s ass would promote a horse show organizer to the nation’s highest emergency relief agency. And only a horse’s ass would praise the efforts of this mass murderer’s bungled hatchet job on his own presidency. “Guten arbeit, Herr Braunie.”

Bush’s choice of loyal spinster Harriet Miers, his one-time legal counsel and head cheerleader, as his Supreme Court nominee gives impetus to the notion that the president is a lonely and isolated figure in his own administration. At first glance, the evangelical Harriet Miers seems a natural choice for the “Supreme-Being” Court — an asexual frump with a corruption riddled résumé and a paper trail of love letters to the guy who is now championing her promotion to the federal bench. Being as unfamiliar with the complexities of constitutional law as she is with the correct application of eyeliner, Miss Harriet fits right in with all the other unqualified comfort-giving cronies (emphasis on “crone”) whom he has appointed to key positions based on loyalty and a willingness to play wet nurse to his inner demons. It’s not hard to imagine (although painful to visualize) wee George struggling with mater Barbara’s whalebone corsets only to find himself suckling the butt-end of her mother-of-pearl-handled Smith and Wesson. The wildly unpopular choice of his former lawyer to the nation’s top court merely reinforces the view that the boy king feels increasingly frozen out of the decision-making loop, and is seeking maternal reassurance from yet another tough old nanny bird who will soothe his daily public spankings with lollipops, and lend a sympathetic ear to his private deliriums.

On the other hand, we should at least consider the possibility that abject fear and paranoia lies at the root of Bush’s bizarre choice. Could it be that George’s real concern is that history will describe his major legacy as starting (and losing) a war based on a mountain of lies as opposed to being the first United States President to end up in prison for his achievement?

Perhaps Harriet’s secret asset and only real qualification for the highest court is her assurance of a “not guilty” verdict on appeal, should Dubya be forced to answer to a jury of American citizens angry at being manipulated, repeatedly lied to, and exploited for their warm bodies and tax dollars in the name of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” or any number of other high crimes and misdemeanors, including making torture a national policy and revealing the names of CIA operatives during wartime?

Conservative opposition to Harriet Miers, nomination is only based in part on her ambiguous stance on Roe v Wade, contrary to what the blowholes of the religious right would have us believe. More likely, it stems from the residual rage Bush loyalists feel after seeing “Dear Leader” exposed as a drooling dummy, wholly dependent on Karl Rove’s Light and Magic wizardry to prop him up.

Image, more than ideology, has always explained the political genius of George Bush. By maintaining a barricaded and heavily armed distance from the grunts on the ground (at home and in Iraq), the boy king’s regal disregard for human suffering could always be marketed to his advantage at the skilled hands of his puppet masters. Through the power of image, the silver spoon he was born with became a dirt tipped shovel, his cowardice, “courage”, and his notorious insensitivity, “compassion”.

But almost overnight, it seems, Bush has transformed from the HSS Lincoln’s buff, “commanderin,” chief into a cowardly deck hand standing idiotically resolute on the prow of a life boat, watching helplessly as his slave ship sinks. That’s not to say that his supporters are shedding too many tears for the chained human cargo that perished aboard the “SS Katrina.” Indeed they have made clear that they privately endorse genocide if it accomplishes what decades of tax breaks for the rich, cuts to social services, and curbs on civil liberties have failed to do, namely kill off “undesirable” populations and keep the remaining majority paralyzed with fear and uncertainty.

But even those who benefit most from the “bidness” of government and religion take exception to having their agenda laid out in the cruel glare of daylight. For them, Bush’s criminality is not so much his utter contempt for human life but his ignorant disregard for the protocols of Empire. Through arrogance and incompetence, the Junior Bush has revealed the tricks of the global gulag trade, allowing the inmates a revealing look into the infernal center of their prison planet. For that reason alone, he will live out the remainder of his term in disgrace and obscurity.

JENNIFER MATSUI and Stella La Chance can be reached at: jenmatsui@hotmail.com

 

More articles by:

Jennifer Matsui is a writer living in Tokyo.

September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail