Thursday, September 07, 2006

SHAZAM~Brand Political Theatre: GOP Trots Out The Presidential Dress-Up Doll

Actual "Toy President" Doll

Here, Here, Lookie Here ~ It’s 911 All Over Again

he event that made Bushco’s political fortunes is back, and we can expect to see more reminders & new-found ties to it in the months leading up to November. All the better to keep our minds off domestic matters & distract us by loudly & aggressively pounding the war drums of fear & loathing.

In a masterstroke of wishful thinking, all those political liabilities for the GOP are “disappeared” —incompetence, greed & corruption domestically, the sell-out of all social safety nets to price-gouging special interests, lack of affordable health insurance, evisceration of student loan programs, renewed stealth attacks on social security, a stealth de-facto welfare reform pushing more off the rolls & into the streets, wage stagnation, outsourced jobs, & if all this isn’t enough to prove mismanagement of domestic policy on every matter that hits most Americans where they live, newly revised bankruptcy laws that make it nearly impossible to discharge your debts & get a fresh start if your increasingly fragile house of cards collapses. (Say, for instance, a health problem suddenly besets you, you can't go back to work right away, & your health insurance doesn’t cover the entire cost--or worse, you lose your health insurance altogether.)

What better way, by way of design or neglect, to foster the growing social stratification between the uber-rich & the new servant class? (Beat that low-wage, benefit-less labor into abject submission.) Don't forget gas prices, global warming, destruction of the national forests & escalating national debt just as an aside. Throw in the bungled response to Katrina & unexplained failures to fund homeland security needs for national ports for good measure.

Is it any wonder the GOP doesn’t want to draw your attention toward or take responsibility for the mess they’ve made domestically in their rapacious, winner-take-all race to the top? I’d be betting on a strategy to turn the electorate’s attention from all these problems, too, and despite the huge circus of omissions, lies & tactical errors in Iraq & Americans’ diminishing willingness to believe Iraq initially had any particular connection to anything at all. The GOP is gambling big-time that our short attention spans preclude us from remembering that it was pathological lying & kabuki theatre that got them elected last time--& rather than learn their lessons, thank God they’d squeaked by & go the straight & narrow, they keep up with the lies & bombast & expect us to take them back again.

So it is that Terror of Terror is the card the
GOP chooses to play now in its quest to distract us, hence yesterday’s grand press conference, wherein George had obviously been carefully rehearsed so as to avoid his natural tendency to stumble over his scripts, as well as the conspicuous round-up & parade of the evildoing bad guys after torturing had supposedly resulted in information that has enabled the U.S. to avoid more terrorist attacks (details of which are being withheld from us for our own safety, of course—classified info—just trust us, wouldja?) Mr. WalkingTalking Playing President™ is trotted out in hopes it will whip the fear-&-loathing crowd to new levels of frenzy & furnish enough wind in the sails to carry GOP incumbents safely into positions where they can continue to perpetuate the status quo.

In the brief time left before Congress adjourns before the elections, Bush issued them their marching orders & recipe for success: pass all of his proposed legislation—condoning torture in certain circumstances, and & so on & so forth.

Poof, the GOP’s problems magically disappeared (same as all those secretly rendered prisoners), magically justifed, magically handing Congress the opportunity to make it all legal with more Bushco-drafted legislation & save us from our untoward concern with human rights & piddling civil liberties.

Ah, the magic of political theatre. It worked once, after all.
• Little Plastic President - Berkshire Eagle - Today's Editorials, Pittsfield MA, August 14, 2003

“Those who say irony is dead haven't seen the new action figure of President Bush in the flight suit he wore for his taxpayer-funded campaign commercial on the USS Abraham Lincoln. The fortunate son of an influential politician, George W. Bush got into the Texas Air National Guard in order to avoid going to Vietnam, and then ducked out on much of his guard service. Now, front man for corporate interests and chicken hawks spoiling for war, he plays soldier, strutting about in a uniform for the cameras and then going home to leave uniformed soldiers to die daily. The war did not end as he said it had that day, so here we have an action figure commemorating an event conspicuous for its lack of action, a puppet of a puppet injection-molded in China. The distributor, K-B Toys of Pittsfield, says Internet sales are brisk, which raises the question of who is buying -- idol-worshippers or people who like their irony rich?”
*************************************************************************************" The only bombshell yesterday was Bush’s admission that yes, the U.S. and the CIA have indeed been engaged in legally questionable activities like kidnapping “enemies of the state” off the streets of Europe & rendering them to secret European detention facilities for dermabrasion treatments, foot massage & torture, just as the Washington Post (traitorous liberal media!) reported long ago.

Nothing else was very interesting except the adroitness with which this neat bit of theatre was presented: families of 911 victims in the audience, not-so-subtle warnings about the enemies among us (right here in our very own country!). In short, the battle of good versus evil cast in high relief on the big screen, Hollywood style, & not one from which Toy George intends to shrink.

It really isn’t true that Bush’s incompetence has been exceeded only by his
arrogance, nor that the mess made in Iraq has been a fuckup of Brobdingnagian proportions—he’s had a secret plan all along, & it is the war weenies, civil rights whiners & anti-torture babies, the naysayers who’ve got it all wrong.

And for those of you who have been reading along here, it’s just as John Dean predicted: in the days leading up to the crucial November elections, the Prez suddenly pulls some arch-evil alleged terrorists directly responsible for 911 (though Osama still eludes him) out of his ass--er, top-secret European torture chambers run by the CIA, pronounces harsh interrogation methods to have borne fruit & hopes we won't notice his about-face (wasn’t he just quoted as saying the human rights abuses carried out there were a mistake?) plonks them into Guantanamo Bay, a maneuver speaking most eloquently to the fantasy of instant redemption for the aggressive, abusive members of Bushco.

In a swoop of pomp, he claims triumph of the “torture works” canard & insists that Congress pass laws making it legal—in what they hope will be perceived as a concession to the Hamdan decision, reluctantly admitting that maybe torture is wrong on ALL prisoners, but we should be able to use it legally on some. (Satisfying the blood thirsty armchair quarterbacks among us at the same time, it’s to be hoped.) And elucidate the rules by which they will be tried.

The surprising admission of the existence of secret CIA prisons did not go unnoticed in Europe. Trenchant commentary: “’By his admission that the CIA has indeed practiced illegal kidnapping and detention, Bush exposes not only his own previous lies’ said Sarah Ludford, a British member of the European Parliament and vice chairman of a parliamentary inquiry into the CIA's clandestine prison program in Europe. ‘He also exposes to ridicule those arrogant government leaders in Europe who dismissed as unfounded our fears about 'extraordinary rendition,' the international transfer of suspects without judicial recourse."

And with respect to giving Congress its marching orders to pass Bushco-drafted legislation:, your Demon Princess especially enjoyed the coverage on PBS last night about the procedures & rules of evidence Bush wishes Congress would make legal (see also my previous posts about Kangaroo courts):

A Bush apologist, explainer & former counsel, Brad Berenson, illustrated for me the huge disconnect that's been going on here between most Americans' beliefs that we would only fight a just war justly, and the Bush Administration's insistence on clouding, obfuscating & stonewalling in order to capitalize on that core American belief & not to have to admit the truth that it hasn't been a just war, & it hasn't been fought fairly. One of their favorite tactics when cornered has been to tell the press, the public, and the courts (choose one), "We can't give you more specifics because it's: [a state secret], [sensitive information related to national security], [highly classified.]"

The aforementioned explainer, a faithful toeing the party line, said about the speech, “And I think that's because of a perception in the administration that, over the last few years, they have been taking a beating in the international community and, frankly, domestically as well, in part because they have had to fight with one hand tied behind their back.

“Because all of this information has previously been classified, it has really been difficult for them to demonstrate that the programs the president has put in place are not simply some sort of power grab by the executive; they're not pretextual; but, really, they are at the heart of what has kept us safe since 9/11; they have produced tangible successes; and that they are vitally necessary for continuing to fight the war.

“And I think this is sort of a coming-out party for the administration, where it is now engaging in the public -- in the public debate over this more robustly than it has.

“[Moderator] RAY SUAREZ: [to]“Eugene Fidell, a coming-out party?

“EUGENE FIDELL, PRESIDENT, INSTITUTE OF MILITARY JUSTICE: I -- I don't think I would have used that phrase.

“I think that what the administration has done is tried to grab or--take control of the conversation, in ways that it hasn't been able to over the last several years, for a variety of reasons. Whether this is more than a sort of rhetorical restructuring of -- of the debate remains to be seen, in my mind.

“The administration has taken a terrible beating, as Brad indicated, overseas. Within the country, there's been a lot of consternation, across the political spectrum, about the way events have unfolded. The ghost detainees, people who have been outside the reach of the International Committee of the Red Cross, people who have been the subject of the renditions that we have heard about here and elsewhere, these things have been extremely troubling.

“And I think one of the good things that can be said about today's announcement is at least there's something of a clean breast being made of the subject. The question now is, what happens next? What does Congress do? And what do the courts do?

“RAY SUAREZ: But you also heard Brad Berenson say a moment ago that the upshot of this legal push against the administration was that it was fighting the war against terrorism with one hand tied behind its back.

“EUGENE FIDELL: I don't agree with that at all. I think nothing has prevented the administration from putting its case out aggressively.

“I think it's done that. I don't think it's been particularly effective about it, but it can't say that its hands were tied. And what the president did today, the president could have done long, long ago, if he had felt it was necessary.

[With respect to Bush’s statements that the terrorists he presented to be tried & on what bases] …”I think these are really, really fundamental flaws. The notion that you might send somebody to the gallows or send somebody away for life after a -- quote -- "trial" in which at least some of the evidence, the accused has never been afforded an opportunity to see, or from which the accused has been -- for any part of the proceeding, been excluded from the courtroom, this is totally intolerable.

“And -- and it's also unnecessary. This is the really weird part about the administration's position. The current military law, like federal law generally, has procedures in place for dealing with classified information. Those procedures have been used in case after case. They have not proven particularly problematic, and I don't see any reason why they couldn't be employed here.

“Military justice is used to dealing with classified information. Now, the administration has proffered, in a number of respects, claimed that it is impractical to use the machinery set up for courts-martial in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the military disciplinary statute that governs courts-martial.

“However, all the administration bill does is assert it's impractical. It doesn't say why it's impractical. And I think one of the things that the justices of the Supreme Court expected was that a determination of practicability or impracticability requires more than a rote incantation of some formula. It requires some logical connection between facts and a conclusion. And the -- the administration's position does not have that conclusion, does not have that facts -- those facts.”

Demon Princess is left to wonder: will the voters forget that Bushco has lied, repeatedly, to them before, and that a man who lies with impugnity to serve his own ends will do so again & again unless he, & others sailing in his wake, are shown the door.

If so, reminder to them to check out this amusing interactive “Dishonest Dubya Doll:”

Ahem…you in the expensive business suit with the conspicuously & piously displayed American flag pin on your lapel: and you were saying?

Mad Magazine
BushAwol Action Figures


Blogger REB 84 said...

You've hit on just about all the recent issues and pealed back the onion pretty well. Here is another something to think about.

9/11 – An Attack Against Humanity
I read a very interesting note on meetings between Iran, China, and Russia at misneach blog a couple months ago. I wonder why I haven’t heard much about this anywhere else? The strategic value of developing closer relationships between theses countries is clear to see, for anyone who is paying attention.

China's rapid growth is fueling an insatiable appetite for Oil.

Russia is looking for any market to sell its products and services. Is Iran hiring? Have they posted any want ads for a nuclear scientist?

Both China and Russia are permanent members of the UN Security Council. Any UN sponsored sanctions against Iran will likely face a veto from one or both of these nations, based upon their own strategic reasons. What is America to do? The military option is unrealistic.

Today, America is over extended militarily and out of touch diplomatically. I am most saddened by the reckless disregard for diplomacy, civility, and sportsmanship the Bush Administration has displayed since 9/11/01. They have managed to pull defeat and division from the jaws of victory and cohesion in the real "war on terror." Just look at Afghanistan if you doubt this assertion.

The world mourned with us and for themselves after Sept. 11th. The attack on the World Trade Center was not only an attack upon America. It was an attack against all humanity. Citizens of far too many other countries died on 9/11 in NYC.

The other countries and thousands of families who lost loved ones at "ground zero" are fighting their own personal wars on terror everyday. Their lives have been changed forever. How dare we allow our "public servants" to exploit their sufferings to launch a preemptive war on Iraq, while not bringing Bin Laden to justice?

QuestionItNow - Still In Iraq

7:41 AM  
Blogger Demon Princess said...

Great comment. Bushco's foreign policy has been founded on lethal mix of arrogance & stupidity.

4:54 PM  

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