I could go and find dozens of links to back up what I am about to say, but I’m feeling lazy. So, I’ll just say it.
The country has finally turned on George W. Bush. The country is in a very bad and testy mood. At the extreme, tonight’s Special Comment on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown was the most blistering indictment of a sitting President in the history of broadcast television. I have never seen anything like it. It violated every law of Higher Broderism. It even passed into raw conspiracy theory at points. In different and more stable times, a rant like Olbermann’s would mark the swift end of his career. But our nation has entered into a new stage. Olbermann will pay no price for his outburst because even though it was extreme, it was an extremism that has now entered the boundaries of acceptable discourse. The country has no more use for George W. Bush and it has no will to rally to his defense.
Here’s a taste of Olbermann’s wrath:
This senseless, endless war.
But it has not been senseless in two ways.
It has succeeded, Mr. Bush, in enabling you to deaden the collective mind of this country to the pointlessness of endless war, against the wrong people, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
It has gotten many of us, used to the idea — the virtual “white noise” — of conflict far away, of the deaths of young Americans, of vague “sacrifice” for some fluid cause, too complicated to be interpreted except in terms of the very important sounding, but ultimately meaningless phrase, “the war on terror.”
And the war’s second accomplishment — your second accomplishment, sir – is to have taken money out of the pockets of every American, even out of the pockets of the dead soldiers on the battlefield, and their families, and to have given that money to the war profiteers.
Because if you sell the Army a thousand Humvees, you can’t sell them any more, until the first thousand have been destroyed.
The service men and women are ancillary to the equation.
This is about the planned obsolescence of ordnance, isn’t, Mr. Bush? And the building of detention centers? And the design of a 125-million dollar courtroom complex at Gitmo complete with restaurants.
At least the war profiteers have made their money, sir.
And we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.
Who will defend Bush from these charges? Who even has the energy for the task? Not Chuck Hagel, “It’s Alice in Wonderland,” Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., told [Robert] Novak. “I’m absolutely opposed to sending any more troops to Iraq. It is folly.” Bush has support from almost no quarter. Novak reports that Bush can rely on as few as twelve Republican Senators (and Lieberman).
I checked with prominent Republicans around the country and found them confused and disturbed about the surge. They incorrectly assumed that the presence of Republican stalwart James Baker as co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group meant it was Bush-inspired (when it really was a bipartisan creation of Congress). Why, they ask, is the president casting aside the commission’s recommendations and calling for more troops?
Even in Mississippi, the reddest of red states, where Bush’s approval rating has just inched above 50 percent, Republicans see no public support for more troops.
The overriding mood of the nation is that we should take away the car keys. And that is the genius of democracy. We may be easily scared and led astray, but as long as we protect our institutions we will always eventually correct our mistakes. The country senses that we cannot wait until 2009 to take away the keys. Congress knows it. Our allies know it. The country stands ready to overthrow this administration and redeem our system of government. I have called the logic of impeachment ‘inexorable’, and it is.
The President’s decision to escalate the Iraq War and call for sacrifice is going to start an avalanche. And no one can stop an avalanche.