Repackaging the President Won't Work

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Tonight's TV airs a day with the President as shown through interviews with Nightly News anchor and managing editor Brian Williams. Apparently, in response to criticisms of the President living in a bubble and being out of touch with the people and the world, an unprecedented sequence of videotaped interviews were granted throughout Monday by the President to Brian Williams. Unfortunately, for this viewer, it backfired, as the President in his own words admitted he is not in charge, has no policy for Iraq, and does indeed receive his information about the world 2nd and 3rd hand via his handlers leaving him out of touch and living in a bubble.

The first and biggest revelation came with questions about Iraq. The President said he relies on the military commanders on the ground for how Iraq is to play out. Last I checked, the Constitution specifically required a civilian policy maker to be in charge and control of the military, protecting the interests of the American people from the tunnel vision by any means necessary mentality of military leaders. But, in President Bush, the military has found a willing voice to project their irrational and contradictory plan for victory with limited military capacity. And the President lacks the education to distinguish between military tactics / strategy in war and policy governing war.

This is precisely why the President cannot give an answer as to when, if ever, the US will leave Iraq. The President is not in charge. The military says we will leave when victory is obtained and when we can vindicate the fallen soldier's losses. The President parrots the military. The President does not understand that civilian policy should dictate in accordance with the interests of the American people, when we go to war, and when we exit war. The military said the US needed to torture to win. The President put his best people like Roberto Gonzalez on it to determine how to permit that without anyone knowing. They came up with the plan to ship prisoners to countries where foreigners can do our torturing for us. All the while giving the President the plausible deniability to say America does not torture. This is not policy making: this is parroting, spin, and subverting the positive leadership role the United States once held in the world. (Of course, they expect Americans to suspend their disbelief over his words about the US not being constrained by the Geneva Conventions or the whole Abu -Ghraib and other American run prisons in Iraq who engaged in torture).

To make matters worse, the President's Pentagon is now found to be spying on an American Quaker group and other peaceful anti-war groups seeking an end to the carnage of American troops in Iraq, labeling them a threat to national security. What's next, an internment camp for Quakers against the war? The President and Congress swore upon taking office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Yet, they are in fact, working diligently to circumvent the Bill of Rights, an integral part of our Constitution, by allowing military and intelligence agencies virtual carte blanche to spy on American citizens who speak out against government actions, which is every citizen's right under the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. This form of intimidation by the American government belongs in Russia or China perhaps, but, here in the USA? The Patriot Act compromises going on in Congress as I write is just that, one giant compromise of our Constitutional Rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Our leaders swore to uphold and defend our Constitution, but, all I see is action to subvert our founding principles using whatever public fears are expedient.

When asked about criticisms of racial motivations regarding the delayed federal response to Katrina, the President did not deny he or his cabinet were racially motivated, he offered only a counter question, asking if the helicopter crews rescuing people were looking to see what color they were first? As is so typical of this President, it is almost impossible to get a direct answer out of him. His jocular method of dodging and redirecting questions to adjacent or unrelated topics apparently works for many of his loyal supporters. But, to a majority of Americans reflected by polls, repackaging the President to show up in public and dodge the questions is not convincing.

When asked about whether he pays attention to the news and feedback from the people, he said he doesn't watch TV, apologies to Brian Williams, but he does scan the headlines on the newspaper in the morning. He said he stays very informed of what's going on, adding that people talk to his people and his people talk to him, keeping him up to date on what is going on. Sounds like a bubble to me with folks around him filtering the news from the world and the people insuring it is not too hard, not too soft, not too hot, not too cold, but, Just Right to placate the man with the temper and power to fire them!

Overall, I found the interviews to reveal a man who has long since exemplified the Peter Principle, having been promoted well beyond his capabilities. Incompetence and covering it up, insulating against it, and filtering it through political spin and repackaging appears to be what most consumes our President's time these days. Yet, when incompetence has immense wealth, the power of the military, much of the federal government's agencies, and the Patriot Act at its disposal, incompetence can appear consistently unaffected by criticism and skepticism. With that much power, incompetence can believe itself invincible, as many a king and ruler in history has demonstrated.

Will the repackaging of the President save Republicans in November of 2006? I would certainly hope the American people would act as our predecessors had acted at election time, voting for challengers when incompetence has become too large to ignore. Too, I would hope that voters recognize that our national debt, deficits, pork spending, tax cutting for the top 1/5 or 1 percent of America's wealthiest, and the invasion of a country that has only widened our war on terrorism instead of winning it as millions of illegals enter our country year after year this many years after 9/11, are all signs and proof of gross incompetence in our government.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on December 13, 2005 9:22 PM.

Gun and Tax Insanity was the previous entry in this blog.

NSA Spying: An Authoritarian America is the next entry in this blog.

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