The International Writers Magazine:REALITY CHECK
GOP Trash Talking Part I
and Rumsfeld, even Cheney... they stink of defeat.
Even the most optimistic
Republican shill has to admit the past 30 days of the Bush presidency
has been less than peachy. Frankly, its hemorrhaging from every
possible orifice, strangely akin to Sonny Corleone at the tollbooth,
for those hooked on pop culture imagery. Whatever your paradigm, the
last two weeks have arguably been the worst a president has endured
since Nixons final legs. Between the rising death toll in Iraq,
(5,500 Iraqis killed so far and rising-Ed) pornographic images peddled
by the Pentagon and the useless Central Intelligence Agency, these ridiculous
gas hikes, the new stock market doom speak, and the 9/11 commission
follies, Karl Rove is suddenly the Dutch boy with his finger in the
The worst of it has come from, of all places, conservative circles.
Not surprising, when you consider it was about this time 12 years ago
Papa Bush began hearing the kind of rumblings from the far right he
could not survive. The prevailing thought in Washington now is neither
It launched about a month ago when George Will began chinking at the
weakened Bush armor with strong comments about "accountability"
in print and then on national television. Followed by our friend Tucker
Carlson, who has defended everything from Captain Shoe-Ins drunk
driving charge to the insanity of that Medicare Bill charade. Now hes
"appalled" at the handling of Iraq. Not to mention the constant
jabbing the Bush people get from the always-growling Pat Buchanan, who
has taken it upon himself to paint the current GOP power base and its
golden boy as neo-liberals with the mentality of world police and big
But although all are solid conservative voices of some repute, and Buchanan
a frequent reader and contributor to this space, there is only one man
in times of crisis that the Reality Check New & Information Desk
turns to for the inside scoop on all things elephant, our anonymous
snitch hero, Georgetown.
The following two-part discussion was taped during a rushed, but
rather lengthy session following political weasel, Dick Morris
appearance on CNNs "Inside Politics", wherein the backstabbing
shit heel was hawking a tell-all Clinton book and waxing poetic about
the president signing a bill rescinding gas taxes to force John Kerrys
jc: Normally I think Dick Morris a jabbering psychopath, but he began
to make sense to me right there. Georgetown: Morris is a pimp. I read
the galleys of that book of his. I heard he was going to prove Hillary
was queer, and what do we get? Scenes of Clinton weeping after the Grand
Jury testimony? Who even cares about that shit anymore? Hes lost.
What Bush should do is appeal to congress to draft a bill to drill in
Alaska and end this madness.
jc: No incumbent president has ever survived less than 50% approval
ratings. Bush is at 42% currently. This is about the place in the game
when the sheen wore off on his father after the Gulf War.
GT: Bush is in deep trouble. No doubt about that. But who is going to
take advantage of it? Nader? Because hes the only anti-war candidate.
Has anyone on the left listened to Kerry lately? I know the White House
has spent some $60 million painting him as some kind of Dukakis waffler,
but the fact is Kerry supported this war, and still says he will see
it through. He has no plan for the economy, which, by the way has been
steadily rising for months. So its important to point out that
in the end independents have to see a clear distinction between the
candidates, and I dont see one yet.
jc: But you admit Bush is reeling.
GT: Hes looking more and more like a caretaker president.
jc: One and out?
GT: Unless things change, fast.
jc: Historically incumbents lose, new guys dont win, except for
Truman/Dewey. But there doesnt seem to be too much hope Bush will
galvanize the electorate unless they catch bin Laden, who has been dead
for over three years, win this war in a couple of months, which will
take annihilation techniques that will turn the countrys collective
stomach, or these positive economy figures somehow translate into jobs
for the mid-west.
GT: Nice breakdown, but heres the deal. Bush has looked about
as confused and dead politically as a man can be, and where is Kerry
in these polls? Tied, if ahead at all?
jc: National polls mean nothing. It is like that whole flaccid argument
about the popular vote. The presidency is won with an electorate total
from states. Who cares if two thousand people in California are polled
about Bush or Kerry? Can Kerry make dents in the battleground states?
Can Bush fend off enough of the counter momentum that should have cost
him the 2000 race to solidify Ohio or Missouri or Florida? And how much
worse can Kerry be in the long run compared to Gore, who was a god-awful
GT: Granted, but there are way too many variables now and too many weeks
to go. After the 6/30 deadline for transference of power in Iraq, where
will Bush be then?
jc: Lets get back to the campaign in a minute.
I have to ask you about these conservative pundits slamming Bush lately.
GT: Dont worry about that. Its a ploy.
jc: A ploy?
GT: Bush is insulated now. Conservatives never liked this guy. The same
way liberals really feel about Kerry. But theyll suck it up, like
we sucked it up to kick the Clinton/Gore ego machine out of office.
But now that theres too many holes in the hull, guys like Carlson
and Will want Bush to stand up and be bold, because they see the writing
on the wall. Bush is too steadfast about hanging onto losers like Tenent
and Rumsfeld, even Cheney, who no one in the party with any money or
clout wants on the 2004 ticket. These guys want Bush to jettison the
dead wood. They have the ball and chain tied to them. They stink of
defeat. Bad publicity and public perception has held Bushs hand.
He says hell go down fighting with these guys, but the party cant
think like that. They let a loose cannon lifer like Kerry run things
for six months there will be a neutered congress and well all
be fucked. It is exactly like the Gingrich revolution in 94. This
government will shut down. You! want that, son?
jc: Have you heard the Tom Ridge for VP rumor?
GT: Its more than a rumor, but Bush is steadfast. This perception
of Cheney running things before and after Iraq is 90% on the money.
Personally, I dont think the boy can function without Cheney,
and thats not good for this ticket.
jc: So these conservative voices are putting the scare into the Bush
campaign, not technically the administration?
GT: If things had gone better in Iraq, there would be no point. Again,
as you say, Kerry cant win this without Bush losing it. Its
a two-fold approach for the conservative wing. Theres a great
deal of people whose voices have been left out of this administration.
Many of them made this thing happen. How much money and lawyers do you
think it took to secure Florida? How many mid-western church affiliates,
Catholic right-to-life groups held off McCain? Its time this guy
realizes who put him where he is. Dick Cheney? Donald Rumsfeld? These
guys are dinosaurs. They have no political muscle anymore. They will
doom this re-election run.
jc: But dont they represent the oil men? Where would the whole
Bush thing be without these people? Its why hes gambled
his entire presidency on Iraq. Doesnt he owe more to them?
GT: Yes, and now its one of those things. Its yours and
you dont know how it happened. Fight communism one minute and
you end up with Korea or Viet Nam or the Bay of Pigs. Fight terrorism
and you end up like Britain with all the perks of having to liberate
and occupy a people who hate you. There has always been this grandiose
underestimation of how much the rest of the world despises the U.S.
Oh, theyll buy our products and gain from our scientific and medical
discoveries, enjoy our entertainment and luxuries as retail, and theyll
come running if they need military or financial assistance, but in the
end, ideologically, in every envious adjective you could muster, they
despise us. No president, from Jefferson on, understood that. This one
to part two: Part II June 1st The Battleground
© James Campion 2004
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