I’m looking for the right metaphor to describe what I see happening in Washington D.C. In the past I’ve called it a slow-motion coup. But, the pace has picked up considerably ever since Dick Cheney shot his lawyer buddy in the face. Simply put, powerful people in our national security apparatus are trying to take the Presidency out. The task is complicated by a most essential prerequisite: taking out the Vice-President and Secretary of Defense. I believe this is happening, not as a conspiracy, but as a result of disastrous policies that have created a confluence of interests among disparate groups: military generals, career CIA, disgruntled employees, disillusioned whistleblowers, emboldened Democrats, scared straight Republicans, and even some true patriots. Today, we have another “Senior Administration Official” dropping a bomb where it could be expected to do the most good: on the heads of the bigfoot press.
Brian Ross and Richard Esposito of ABC News quote this official as saying, “It’s time for you to get some new cell phones, quick.” Why?
[He] tells us the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources.
…We do not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.
Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.
A lot of bloggers are going to focus on how this is just more evidence of Bush’s lying. That’s true. But, for me, it is just more evidence that powerful people know they have Bush-Cheney staggered and they are not looking to let this fight go to the cards. They’re looking for a knockout. Stephen Colbert picked up on this in his recent performance.
Look, folks, my point is that I don’t believe this is a low point in this presidency. I believe it is just a lull, before a comeback. I mean, it’s like the movie Rocky. The president is Rocky Balboa, and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world. It’s the Tenth Round. He’s bloodied. His corner man, Mick, who I guess in this case would be the Vice President, he’s yelling, “Cut me, Dick, cut me,” and every time he falls everyone says, “Stay down, Rock, stay down!” But does he stay down? No.
-Stephen Colbert, White House Correspondent’s Dinner, 2006.
It’s beginning to look a lot more like the famous George Foreman-Joe Frazier fight:
As the first round began, Foreman and Frazier stood center ring sizing each other up, and then the leather started to fly. It was apparently clear to those at the fight and those viewing it closed-circuit, that Frazier would not last the distance as Foreman pummeled him mercilessly. Frazier tried everything that he could think of, but it was not enough as he tasted the canvas six times in less than two rounds. Frazier’s will and heart were never in question, as he kept getting up after each knockdown. George Foreman’s skill in the ring was not as impressive as his power, but his ability to keep Frazier on the outside at the end of his powerful punches does suggest that he had enough intelligence and skill to know how to go about his job professionally and efficiently.
Yes, the Bush administration is a two-time World Champion, ferocious and with tremendous heart. But they are no match for the intelligence community and the real power brokers in Washington. The Bushies are trying everything they can think of, but they keep tasting the canvas. In the end, when historians look back on this era, they’ll say that it was never an even fight. In the first term, Bush-Cheney convinced the intel community to take a fall and bribed the judges for good measure. But in the rematch, they found themselves out there in the middle of the ring with a young George Foreman and their cutman on trial for obstruction of justice.