...before I step out into the rain to tackle the ascent of Mount NaNoWriMo.
For nearly five years, President Bush had it easy. Anyone who disagreed with him or his policies was shut down, marginalized, accused of being unpatriotic or a kook. The press played along. Hell, most of America played along, because they were angry, because they were scared after 9/11. First Afghanistan, which even I can admit needed a serious enema. But then it was Iraq; and we were lied into war in Iraq. There's no doubt about that anymore, is there?
You see, Bush (and his brain, Karl Rove, and the owner of his paltry little soul, Cheney) knew that America still has deep, psychic scars over Vietnam. And he used that to his advantage.
How? What do you mean, MercerMachine? It's simple, really. You see, Americans remember how war protesters back then spit on and reviled American troops coming home from Vietnam, calling them baby killers etc. These boys, average age 19, drafted into war, forced to serve in hell, then coming home and being treated like pariahs. Bush et al know this (though not one of them has seen actual combat) and they know that most of America feels a deep sense of shame over how we treated our returning soldiers then. They knew that America would hesitate again and yet again before questionig whether the war in Iraq was just, because to question the war is to undermine the soldiers. And in general, Americans would rather gnaw off their own arms than repeat that mistake.
So BushCo had it pretty good for a pretty long time, considering just how wrong they were over the weapons of mass destruction, the direct links to Al Qaida that didn't exist and never had, etcectera ad nauseum.
But like many a greek tragedy, things look fine until everything falls apart pretty much all at once. Hell, there was even the classic deus ex machina of Huricane Katrina that exposed the incompetence of Bush's cronyist tendencies in regards to FEMA director Brown. Too bad a city had to drown before such glaring incompetencies were uncovered, but tragedies aren't fun.
Now city councils are passing resolutions to bring the soldiers home, protests are springing up simultaneously in over sixty cities, Bush's Republican base is fracturing underneath him, a senior White House staffer is under multiple felony indictments and another is still being investigated, the oppostion Democratic party is finally showing some spine and demanding answers, and even the media is finally, finally turning its attention to the glaring faults, inconistencies and outright lies of the administration.
Bush is a pat tragic hero. By hero I mean of course a protagonist in this play; there's nothing heroic about a man who sends others off to die after avoiding combat himself, there's nothing heroic about a man who has not attended a single funeral for any of the soldiers killed in Iraq. No, I mean hero only in a literary sense. And like most tragic heroes, the seeds of Bush's downfall were carried by Bush the entire time. He was a man utterly unfit to lead the country, and so of course the gods with their cruel sense of humor sent him one of the most trying events of America's history: 9/11.
Because he was intellectually and morally incapable of handling such an event, people like Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove stepped in to make the decisions. These, it must be said, are not nice folks. Because Bush valued personal loyalty above any other consideration, he's filled his administration with crooks, liars and incompetents, and guess what? They stole, they lied and they failed miserably at ther jobs.
And because Bush has too much hubris to ever admit he was wrong--about anything--this tragedy is not over yet. We're just moving into act 3, where things get really dark as the 'protagonist' squirms and struggles ever more violently to escape his doom.
It's just sad that the gods don't particularly care who gets hurt in the process of punishing the main character's overweening pride.