Saturday, January 07, 2006

It's Nightline All Day

The holiday season, or, as we pagan hippie freaks call it, "Christmas Week," has given me something of a backlog of source material, even with the lengthy hiatus (singular or plural) for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, so I spent most of today watching Nightline going back about a month. Some of them I had seen already, but several were nights I had missed the show. Watching Nightline and the Bush administration, I feel like I'm watching in slow motion as a tiny leak in a dam turns into a full-scale breach.

It is becoming more and more difficult for anyone to argue that Alleged President Bush has a good track record on much of anything.

Why, then, is the public response still so apathetic? It's the political version of battered wife syndrome.

Never mind your political views, the inescapable reality is that George W. Bush is not doing a good job. He didn't do a good job of making sure that he had solid intelligence before invading Iraq. He didn't do a good job of making sure that we went into Iraq with clear objectives, adequate troop levels, adequate equipment, and adequate planning for the aftermath of the invasion. He didn't do a good job of balancing the national security against individual civil rights. He has never done a good job of answering critics on any issue. He doesn't do a good job of even appearing to know what he's doing at unscripted events.

I openly supported John Roberts and opposed Harriet Miers, based principally on my evaluation of their competence. Likewise, I based my evaluation of Michael Brown on his demonstrated abilities, and I put George W. Bush very much into the same category with Brownie, far exceeding the incompetence of Harriet Miers. (At least Harriet Miers is competent at something, unlike Brown or Bush!)

For that matter, why is America taking the word of George W. Bush over decorated combat veterans in discussions of military matters? It isn't the fact that Bush weaseled out of real military service, but the fact that he's so hypocritical about it. I've never served a millisecond of combat, and I am deeply grateful for that fact. I have never volunteered for the military, and if I had been drafted, I would have resisted. By the same token, there is no way I would ever become a police officer. I am committed to my community and my country, but those are not the ways for me to demonstrate that fealty. I have great respect for the men and women who, by choice or by conscription, have put themselves in harm's way for our nation. They take the risk of being shot or killed, or perhaps even killing another human being. That is why it bothers me deeply to see draft weasels like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Feith, not to mention their cheerleaders like Limbaugh, criticizing as unpatriotic anyone who doesn't accept their combat expertise.