“Bozo the Clown For President”
Vol: 30 Issue: 31 Wednesday, March 31, 2004
An alert and clearly astute reader emailed me to tell me that at long last, “someone has had the courage to tell it like it is about the Bush administration.” However, he wasn’t referring to your humble correspondent — he was referring to former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke.
This independent thinker also expressed his disgust at the Bush administration for its ‘cynical use of images of 9/11’ in his campaign commercials, which he claims was a shameful manipulation of the September 11 attacks for political gain. He said he was tired of having a liar in the White House and for that reason, he was certainly going to vote for John Kerry.
It was several minutes before I realized my mouth was hanging open in astonishment. I suppose it shouldn’t have been. During my years as a police officer, I experienced first-hand that phenomenon in which two people witnessed the identical crime but give opposing accounts of what happened.
But even when they gave conflicting testimony, they usually got the basic crime right. I don’t remember a case in which one witness described a murder while the other described a shoplifting incident.
But when it comes to ABB (Anybody But Bush) crowd, it doesn’t matter whether or not there even was a crime scene to describe. The crime is the existence of the Bush administration. Everything else is a lesser included offense.
A few days ago, I quoted Bill Clinton when he said, “You can’t say you hate your government but love your country” and I said that I agreed with that statement. I heard back from lots of people who say, “you can too!”
I disagree. Not to the level to which ABB operates. Anybody But Bush means ANYBODY. John Kerry, Howdy Doody, Ralph Nader, Al Gore, Bozo the Clown . . . the proof is in the rhetoric. It doesn’t matter whether Anybody will be good for the country or bad for the country, as long as it is Anybody But Bush.
Partisan politics is as old as the Union itself, but there have been few times in American history when it has been so destructive to the nation as a whole as has been the case throughout the entire Bush administration.
Partisan politics blocked the Bush transition team from making the transition until mid December. The Bush administration took office before it was even able to fill all its senior positions. Partisan politics prevented most of the Bush appointments from being confirmed. Following the rancor of Election 2000, senior figures in the Democratic Party promised to oppose everything Bush did and work as hard as possible to make his presidency a dismal failure.
They’ve kept their word — to the detriment of America — all America. They fought the Bush economic proposals, so that they could use his record on the economy against him this year.
But in order to use it against him, they had to do all they could to prevent it from succeeding. ‘Loving America’ means wanting America to succeed more than they want the current administration to fail.
I’ve seen no evidence of that. A bad economy hurts all Americans. If you doubt it is a deliberate effort, consider this. The current unemployment rate is the same as it was when Bill Clinton was running for re-election in 1996 — except Clinton was running on the STRENGTH of the economic ‘miracle’ of the 1990’s.
They fought virtually every Bush judicial appointment, creating a critical shortage of federal judges, so that they could make crime an issue they could use against Bush in this election. But crime affects all Americans.
If somebody is murdered by a bad guy out on bond from a backlogged court, it seems a small price to pay, if it will get George Bush. ‘Loving America’ means putting what is good for Americans ahead of what is good for the party.
The White House was forced to reverse itself and risk violating the Separation of Powers to allow Condoleeza Rice to testify in open session under oath because of partisan hopes to discredit the administration.
In effect, the partisans are putting Dr. Rice in front of al-Qaeda as well as the ‘American people’ — not to find out anything new, but to embarrass the administration where possible. It doesn’t matter whether we might be giving al-Qaeda useful information to use against us, provided it helps to get George Bush.
A couple of weeks ago, the Bush administration was under fire because of a two-second clip in a campaign commercial showing Ground Zero shortly after 9/11. The firefighters union says in a statement that it was a cheap trick to use even fleeting images of the real events of 9/11, ABC’s Dianne Sawyer told America.
Richard Clarke has made 9/11 a commercial success by releasing his book and coming before the 9/11 Commission. Nobody seems to mind the fact that he used the events of September 11th to praise the Clinton administration for eight years of failed responses to previous attacks and to blame the Bush adminstration for not pre-empting 9/11.
Tom Daschle defended Clarke, saying, Well, I think it s just very unfortunate that the Republican attack machine is prepared to tear a man s character down for telling the truth.
What ‘truth’? That Clinton did more to defend America against al-Qaeda than the Bush administration? Is there a way to know that? Indeed, Clarke was asked, ‘if the Bush administration had implemented all of your suggestions, would it have prevented September 11?’
In a rare moment of candor, Clarke admitted to the Commission that it wouldn’t have made any difference. So, what ‘truth’? More than that, what ‘attack’? Is it an attack to compare conflicting statements?
Clarke turned his government service on September 11th into a best-selling book that has already earned him millions of dollars. It didn’t seem to bother CBS’s ‘Sixty Minutes’. (Or Tom Daschle, for that matter.)
Partisan loyalty has kept any of the major networks from noting that the Democrats are using September 11th as a hammer to beat the Bush administration into the ground, even as they rail against Bush for his campaign commercial.
This is not the first time Mr. Bush has been accused of using the 9/11 attack for political gain. In May of 2002 the White House was criticized for allowing congressional Republicans to use a picture of the President on Air Force One speaking to the Vice President just hours after the attacks on New York and Washington. Political analysts say the President is once again walking a fine line. David Gregory on the March 4 NBC Nightly News.
Partisan hatred for the Bush administration has done considerable damage to America. It has adversely affected the economy, America’s standing abroad, US foreign policy, US law enforcement capabilities, national security interests, homeland security, and the war on terror. It has hamstrung the Bush administration at a time when ALL of America is in peril, not just the partisans on the left or the right.
Partisan hatred has made the tragedy of September 11th nothing more than a political tool to be used to get George Bush, even if it means exposing America to the risk of future attacks. The original purpose of the 9/11 Commission was to try and find out what went wrong so it doesn’t happen again.
The partisans have made it more difficult to find the facts, hiding them under the ABB blanket, creating the false impression that the only thing we have to do to prevent a future 9/11 is to get rid of George Bush.
John Kerry is arguably the worst offering from the Democratic Party since Jimmy Carter. If he has a plan for how to lead America during the next four years, I’ve yet to discover what it is, apart from NOT being George Bush. But not being George Bush seems to be enough, according to the polls.
To the ABB crowd, it doesn’t matter which candidate is the most qualified to lead America through the perils of the next four years. It only matters that it isn’t George Bush.
It is hard to argue that one can hate one’s government enough to sabotage one’s own country and still claim to love America. If 9/11 can be reduced to being the Bush administration’s fault, the irrational hate and destruction becomes almost manageable. ‘Change administrations, and the Islamists will go away.’ It is a seductive song that only appeals to voters who have the attention span of a gnat.
If hating your government means running Bozo the Clown for president, it’s hard to see that as ‘patriotic’ — no matter how you spin it.