Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Politics of War

I don’t know. Really, I don’t. Sometimes it all seems so very clear to me, and at others… not so much. I am an observer. I pay attention. Although I tend to ask a whole lot of questions, I prefer to make my discoveries through observation. Listening, watching, comparing and analyzing. It’s often better to be on the outside looking in because it’s impossible to gain a wide perspective from the inside. And that, I think, might be part of the problem. But again, I don’t know.

We have a president that seems oblivious to the reality he has created. Could he really believe that his war is justified? Still? Is it an exceedingly large ego that has kept him blinded? Could it be some sort of divine misguidance? Is it possible that he is so embroiled… so immediately connected that he can’t possibly see the whole picture? There are, of course, the loyalists - the Bushies - that will blindly follow their fearless leader no matter what. Even if Bush himself abandoned the cause, these followers would not. But for those who still can think for themselves, there is no such love.

We now have a congress that is showing signs of a backbone, however soft it might be. Say what you will about the accuracy of polls, it is impossible to ignore the trends and consistency of the president’s approval (or disapproval) numbers, especially where foreign policy is concerned. His back has been up against a wall for some time now. A Democratic congress has attached a number of amendments to the emergency military funding bill. Some are opportunistic pork barrel projects and, of course there are the “redeployment” targets. Bush says he will veto the bill - and blames congress. Congress blames Bush. And the beat goes on.

Ultimately it really doesn’t much matter. This is much ado about political posturing and not much else. If the troops don’t start coming home in March of 2008, they will in January of 2009. This war will end with this administration. Bush should just go ahead and sign the bill; he’ll have the opportunity for his “surge” to work - or not - either way. But it’s not as much about the war as it is the grab for executive power. Bush is nothing if not a man of principle and there will be no reneging if this Bush says, “Read my lips.” He said he would veto the bill and in all likelihood he will. What then is congress to do?

Well, maybe congress should just give him the funding bill he wants, and say this:

“We will not stand between the troops and the funds you say they need to succeed, Mr. President. You now have the funding and your time left in office for your “surge” to work. Success or failure will be yours and yours alone. This is your war, Mr. President.”

The president’s approval ratings will never recover. He will go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever - especially where foreign policy is concerned. Although the reputation of our country was not good before, it is in the gutter now. It will take decades to recover from the ill will created in just the last four years. Congress and the press bear much of the responsibility, but ultimately the buck stops in the Oval Office. We cannot win this war. Apparently we cannot even end it. What we need is a regime change.

22 comments:

lost said...

you have got some real food for thought.the political scenario everywhr is either in an upheavel or in the lull b4 the storm.really interested in reading ur opinions more.keep it up.

carli said...

Nice post.
What bothers me so much is that Bush doesn't seem to lose any sleep over his decisions. . . even if they were justified, the weight of the world should be on his shoulders. . . and you can tell just by looking at him that he doesn't feel any empathy towards the troops he sends into battle.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Amen and dittos all the way. It is a sad state of disrepair that we've fallen into. I wonder if the US will ever recover. Bush has shown us how possible it is to find chinks in the armor, and how easy it is to exploit them. An even hungrier, power-mad dictator will be able to take advantage of this easily, and I wonder if Congress wants to bother to try to fill in the chinks before it's too late.

Mr. Althouse said...

lost ~
Thank you. Although I don't go into politics on this blog as much as I do in *real* life, it is my area of specialization.

carli ~
Or any other casualties caused by his war. Granted, plenty of "bad" guys have been taken out - and they probably had it coming - but at what cost? Never mind our own troops that have been treated so callously as "the cost" of doing business, what about the thousands and tens of thousands of innocent civilians? How can a man - a man of God, no less live with the carnage he and he alone has created. It boggles the mind.

saur ~
Long time no see my friend! I should have figured you would weigh in on a topic of this magnitude. I re-visited the war topic because it seems to me that as obviously abysmal as it appears to me and many others, there are still those who believe the crap this administration continues to sell. Just when I thought I had seen it all...

kenju said...

Mike, to all appearances, Bush is a man whom one could imagine saying:

"Don't confuse me with the facts - my mind is made up".

He cannot go out of office too soon for me. The Democrats may not have an immediate answer to the war or our country's approval rating, but surely anyone is better than the current president.

surcie said...

It's a shamefull mess. I'm shaking my head, too.

Layla (aka Barbara) said...

great post Mike. Very sad though.

Karen said...

worst. president. ever

sums it up for me!

Thumper said...

We have a president that seems oblivious to the reality he has created.

Actually...we have a president who is oblivious, period. He was before all of this, has remained oblivious, and long after his presidency is over, he'll be bumbling around in his own little bubble.

I hate to think of how many more of our military will die before we pull out of Iraq...

michelle said...

There are no words to express how I feel about that crazed lunatic of a president. I hope with the Democratic having control in the House and Senate they will put a stop to this madness.

Awareness said...

He will be out of office soon. It's a good thing the U.S.A. has a two term rule, unlike here.

My first thought while reading your excellent post was that perhaps it may spur citizens to get involved in politics again......to take the lead and not allow the power to be held only by one man and his team of thugs.

A "rising up" to show the rest of the world the true feelings of the American people would go far in trying to heal both the citizens of the United States and the rest of the world.

I don't believe that America won't recover. I believe America needs to take this opportunity in this point in history to grab the reigns and be the leaders the collective wants to be.

Maybe Bush, without even knowing it has offered a way out of the apathy you once wrote about, Mike.

Just a thought. :)

colleen said...

Right on. The backbone was needed back when so many in Congress voted to give Bush a blank check in Iraq. It's all been so predictable and forced down our throats. Whether we support the surge or not, more lives will be lost. It was a phony war and I think Bush is a phony president. How is it we let one person have so much power? I protested this war before it started and now I have no heart left for that or it. Via michele today.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Time to impeach this whole gang of thieves! What did they steal? Our Democracy! His failure as a President is not just in Foreign Policy..It is in trashing the constitution...with the help of ALL his Nazi Henchman....Cheney----One of the scariest creatures since Goebells and that whole group from Germany--Including Hitler.
And he is stupid! Self centered. Egoistic to the point of distraction...But worst of all, He is completely and utterly delusional. And ALL his Henchpeople feed his delusions for their own ends. This "war"...? It's about Oil and Making Money for the few at the top! The Halliburton Group. These people couldn't care less about The United States and The Constitution and Bill Of Rights. They are gangsters of the worst kind.
No, my dear Mike, he won't go down in history as 'one of the worst' Presidents,He will go down as The Worst...Because HE IS, THE WORST President in History, ever ever, in every way.

Kristi Mantoni said...

The one thing that kills me is how Bush got elected AT ALL! During the first campaign, I wondered how thinking people could vote for Bush. (Personally, I like my President to at least appear smarter then me.) Now I wonder how thinking people can still approve of him. Who put it on Bush to "spread democracy" in the world? If Saddam was that bad (or any leader of a country for that matter), shouldn't it be up to the people of that country to change that? Isn't that what we did with the British? If you fight for something, it is meaningful to you. If you have it shoved down your throat, you hate it with every bone in your body!

Peg said...

Hi Mike--came across your blog from a new read I've been enjoying--Webkittyn Warbles. Very well done post--and the suggestion you make that congress just give him the money and hang tough is an interesting one to me, one I hadn't thought of before. As I sit here, ruminating, I'm surprised to say, I'm actually warming to it, LOL!

I don't think I've ever felt as embarrassed by our nation as I do when that sniveling frat boy opens his mouth. That he honestly believes his been tapped by God to run our country, and will therefore do whatever strikes his fancy is completely nauseating (especially when my perception is that his 'fancy' is provided to him by his immediate advisors, or as oldoldlady said, his "henchpeople"). Perhaps I wouldn't be so disgusted if I though he was using his own throught process to come up with the BS that he does--but worse, he's so ignorant, he just spews what he's told to. I think he's a coward, and a blowhard. And 2009 simply will not arrive quickly enough for me.

On a lighter note, I am enjoying your blog very much--and cheers to you on One Plus Years not smoking! I'm coming up on 2 years without that monkey on my back after 20+ years of carrying it around. I never thought I could do it--I was the person from whom everyone who'd quit would bum a cigarette, the 'quintessential smoker' I'd been called.
Best,
Peg

mckay said...

the two term rule is one of the best features of our democracy. i just hope our next contenders have what it takes to point the nation in the right direction as well as fending off the dangers that are obviously out there.

it's time for a good white house cleaning, but let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Ellen said...

Well..... I was going to say all the same things as Old Lady of the Hills, but she said them so well.... as did you. Excellant post, Mike. I like your suggestion about the bill.... never hurts to put a disclaimer in place.

Hoping you are having a wonderful Easter weekend, and thanks for stopping by my blog to check on me.

Beanie said...

yup, I hate to say it but he is finitooooo...done..toast....poke him with a fork

Becca said...

I'll be honest enough to say I have mixed feelings. Many of the politicians who were gung ho on the war at the beginning are backpeddling now (and those are the ones who truly make me sick and why I hate politics in general). I supported the war not because of WMD or oil but because Saddam Hussein was a nut who put children in prison, gassed his own people (anyone remember the picture of the dead man holding his baby, it's sightless eyes staring upward?) and ran those who disagreed with him through a woodchopper. Even the UN said he had one of the worst human rights records in history. My friends in the military who've come back from Iraq say we hear mostly the negative news and very little of the good, such as schools being built and women's rights being restored. If nothing else, one of the most evil men on the planet is gone.
Sometimes I think we need to get out now, then I think if we do that, the lives that have been lost will be in vain. I don't know what the answer is...

Mr. Althouse said...

Becca ~ You asked some legitimate questions. Although I might not have the answer you're looking for, I do have some comparative information that could help shine some light on what the answer is not... but not necessarily what the answer is.

If this sounds like fodder for a future post, you are right. Stay tuned, tonight or tomorrow a response will be posted.

Mike

scrappintwinmom said...

Bravo. And Bravo to OOLOTH as well. Couldn't have said it better myself. My DH and I argue about whether or not things will EVER change. The Dems are shooting themselves in the foot with the candidates they're putting forth...so if another Republican takes office, will things be any different? Here via Michele.

Carmi said...

Nicely put, Mike. What saddens me is the fact that this may be the President's war, but he and his minions are not the ones who pay the ultimate price.

Death by proxy. I wonder if that ever weighs on his mind.

I doubt it.