Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Bush Administration Summer Rerun

August 22, 2006, Status report:

1. Bush is on vacation except for public relations forays designed to boost his numbers; unfortunately for Bush, not many voters remember which latest reason we're in Iraq is operative at the moment. The Decider-in-Chief is still insisting on sitting on his hands inside his bubble and doing nothing about Iraq, though he's hoping to duck out of town in January 2009, leaving Iraq to the next president—or perhaps leaving behind world war three.

2. Cheney is more or less campaigning for Lieberman, except when hiding in his undisclosed location muttering delusional statements about 9/11 and Iraq, and insisting the insurgency is in its last throes and all Democrats are traitors or terrorists.

3. Donald Rumsfeld is still telling the military he knows best despite over four and a half years of blunders (going back to letting Osama bin Laden get away). Despite five and a half years of shock and awe therapy, Rumsfeld is still unable to manage a normal smile and is probably in danger of losing his job.

4. Despite an uneasy ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, Condi Rice has been on vacation buying more shoes, clothes and sunglasses, but is now reading the reply from Iran on the proposals she and other nations made many weeks ago; despite the hoopla back in early June, diplomatic efforts on the part of the United States have been almost nil. At the G8 summit, despite sniping with the Russian foreign minister, Condi was upstaged by Bush talking nonsense through a mouth full of biscuits. In an effort to make up for her lapses, Condi is trying to arrange another piano recital.

5. Our UN ambassador, John Bolton, has not read Iran's reply yet but he's sure there's no room for negotiation, no need for diplomacy, talks are a waste of time, the UN is a waste of time, sanctions are for wimps but he'll do what he's told, for now, and that he's the best man to start world war three or something of the sort (note that in a sense, he's our second ranking diplomat).

6. When not giving speeches to obscure right wing think tanks, our anonymous National Security Adviser, also known as Stephen Hadley, is either shuffling papers, sharpening his pencil or running out to Starbucks to get coffee for Dick Cheney. Or, he could be on vacation. No one can precisely tell. His real function is to make sure that Condi Rice doesn't go down in history as the worst National Security Adviser in fifty years.

7. Still reminiscing and chortling about how easily he fooled the American people in 2002 over Iraq, kingmaker Karl Rove is testing focus group after focus group on Iran looking for a magic formula (lie) that will fool the American people once again. But Americans have caught on, and so far are not biting this time around. Rove's only consolation this year was making Patrick Fitzgerald dizzy.

Here's the story from ABC News on Iran's response to the incentives package offered weeks ago (with little or no diplomatic followup from the United States to this point):
Iran handed over its formal response on Tuesday to a nuclear incentives offer from major powers and said it contained ideas that would allow serious talks about its standoff with the West to start immediately.

But Tehran gave no sign of heeding a key United Nations Security Council demand that it freeze uranium enrichment before the end of this month or face the prospect of sanctions.

Iran's response was "extensive and therefore requires a detailed and careful analysis," European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said in a statement, but gave no details of the Iranian proposals.

This is serious stuff. Will the Bush Administration suddenly rediscover a quality foreign policy with all the hours of work that goes into successful negotiations? Or will Bush insist on more disastrous short cuts based on his gut feelings while his advisers give us more painfully obvious bloopers one might associate with the Amateur Hour? Stay tuned.

The voters are ultimately the producers of this very strange show. While it's true that Bush is under contract for two more years, it's past time to redo the production number along with some important changes in the cast.


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