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The Result Of Hubris and Excess

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One year ago at this time the White House was claiming they had a mandate after the November 2004 elections. A series of legislative proposals were lined up (starting with Social Security reform) and all Congress had to do was insure that the troops were ready to cast their votes. All was well in the land of George Bush.

But history got in the way of “the mandate” and the wheels came off the cart. Most amazing of all is the fact that the problems were all self-inflicted by Bush as he mixed hubris, a disdain for the long hours of hard work reading background papers, and contempt for the process of government all together and walked into the Oval Office.

Second terms are not kind to Presidents, which makes me wonder often why there is such a relentless urge to be re-elected. In Bush’s case all the excesses from his first term will be dealt with by the public and Congress that either has had enough chicanery, or knows a lame duck when they see one.

As soon as Congress returns in January the wheels of a massive investigation will start to ferret out the truth behind the government eavesdropping on the American public. Republicans understand the issue, and some sense the time is at hand to show independence from the Bush Administration. With the 2006 elections looming Bush can expect few friends to cover his rear flank.

But Congress needs to be mindful that they too have a very exposed side and face many bad days as Jack Abramoff makes a deal with the federal prosecutor, thus insuring a lighter sentence for himself but also indictments of powerful members of Congress. Most will be Republicans, but Democrats were also lining up at the famed lobbyist’s money trough. Tom Delay will not be alone with his famous mug shot, though I doubt any others will be quite so oiled up when posing for their photo.

In addition the White House knows that the CIA leak investigation is still ongoing and Karl Rove is still in the center of a legal storm. His indictment (and I have to think from the information we now know) is forthcoming.

And these are only a few stories that the White House will have to deal with this year. All of them are the results of excess and over-reaching beyond the Constitution and legal parameters that all office holders promise to uphold. It is amazing that old lessons are never learned.

Really, why watch Law and Order in 2006 when we have George Bush and his cronies every night on the news and every morning above the fold in our morning papers?

But how sad, once again, for the political process and for those who do play by the rules and hope for a better America. America and the world need a strong and sure-footed president. We all suffer when that is not the case.

Together we will watch it all unfold in 2006.


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  • Bliffle

    “…Most amazing of all is the fact that the problems were all self-inflicted by Bush as he mixed hubris, a disdain for the long hours of hard work reading background papers, and contempt for the process of government all together”

    IMO these personal failings are very bad, will result in personal failings for GWB, and will cause unnecessary grief to many Americans. I would summarize his personal character failings as: laziness, superficiality, and excess dependence on personal loyalty. IMO they mean that his decisions are superficially achieved, loosely held, and too easily swayed by other people.

    IMO this is the result of the father always bailing him out so he never had to learn thru hard knocks. When GWBs businesses failed dad would pay it off. GWB never really sharpened his decision-making and people-judging skills the way that a guy who fought his way back from failure would.

    I’ve seen this happen among my peers who have spoiled a son, like giving a highschool kid a new BMW, usually accompanied by the lame excuse “I don’t want my son to suffer and struggle like I did”, truly the most destructive child-rearing notion I’ve ever heard. I spent an evening chewing out my best friend, M, for this and he hasn’t talked to me since. That was 15 years ago, the boy grew up, got drunk, smashed his car and killed his best friend in the passenger seat, spent a few days in jail, and says his life is ruined. And I believe him. But in the intervening years M won’t return a call, won’t acknowledge me if we chance to meet, and I suppose he considers me the worst person on earth. I don’t think M is a bad person, just an insecure guy who had a theory that he could buy his childs love with overindulgence. It doesn’t work. Neither does anything else! As a parent, it is not in any way your duty to secure your childs love! In fact, no matter how well you raise them you may not get their love. It isn’t in the Job Description for “Parent”. What IS in there is something about feeding and housing them and giving them some kind of equipment for operating their own lives. And giving THEM love. It’s a oneway contract: all that’s sure is that you have to do your part. Doing that may obviate some of the dreamy ideas you had about securing their love.