Monday, July 2, 2007

The Nothing-to-Lose President

It was surely a tough call for Bush. Relegated to absolute meaninglessness by the events of the past four years, Bush is on the sidelines watching the world drift by as his Presidency devolves into a mish-mash of abject failures, disasters and catastrophes. The Plame affair I am sure haunted him for months with the specter of Fitzgerald hanging over Rove, Cheney and Bush. So when Libby was caught lying and went to trial, the trio sat watching their nightmare unfold and then Libby was nailed and he was sentenced.

Libby was to go to jail for having lied under oath. It’s called perjury and the Republicans have not ceased to tell the rest of us how bad that is. Because Clinton lied under oath about oral sex, the right was up in arms, ready to bring down the Presidency and anything else with it. Libby lied under oath and was sentenced and now Bush had to decide what to do. He didn’t hesitate for long – either way he was going to lose yet again.

The man who can’t even go fishing without getting his boat stuck off the Kennebunkport coast as
recently reported in the Huffington Post, had to make a decision and that decision, was to let a perjurer off the hook. The choice was not a hard one to make because Bush has nothing left to lose. A presidency in tatters with a legacy tainted by a 500 billion dollar war fiasco, an entire city virtually obliterated by a hurricane with a floundering Federal Agency unable to help its inhabitants and a failed Immigration Bill leaves Bush on the gangplank of life with nothing left to do but jump. So Libby’s sentence had to be commuted. In his position, you need all the friends you can get.

Is this the action of a “decider”? Is this the judgment of a “Commander Guy”? No, this is what you do when you are bailing out. Bush has only one hope and that is to make it to the end of his Presidency without the sky falling on his head. Like Indiana Jones, a rather over-flattering comparison I’ll admit, who runs out of the temple he has just plundered with rocks and boulders falling from the ceilings and walls crashing down behind him, chased by a fireball of disgust and a tidal wave of mistrust, Bush is scampering out of the hidden temple having defiled it. But unlike Indiana Jones, he hasn’t got the relic tucked into his waistband; he hasn’t got the treasure packed under his arm. He is empty handed, disheveled and beaten.

The only thing he can do is pull all the ‘get out of jail free’ cards for himself and his friends that he can lay his hands on. No one doubted that Bush would grant Libby a pardon. It’s the only thing he can still do that demonstrates that he is still President. It’s his Daseinsberechtigung and without it, he would vanish like a tiny soap bubble, bursting soundlessly as the world moves on, recovering from that disastrous era stained by a presidency so repulsive that no one wants to even touch it.

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