Short of actual insurrection, I don’t think the country could have spoken more clearly than it did Tuesday. But there’s one question still to be answered, and in honor of Donald Rumsfeld, who now can devote full time and attention to stretching the boundaries of modern philosophy, let’s call it a “known unknown”: Did George W. Bush really hear what the nation told him about Iraq? I think he did, but I’m pessimistic that he’ll listen.
So what happens when a President who has ignored Democrats for the past six years is suddenly placed in a position where he must answer to them? Since his “election”, Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader has acted as if he was born in the Oval Office, and that supreme power was his birthright. He’s treated Democrats like red-headed stepchildren, inconveniences to be marginalized, ridiculed, and just generally ignored.
The President who was known for reaching across the aisle when he was Governor of Texas morphed into an intractable religious ideologue and Republican zealot once he’d stolen his way into the Oval Office. Now he’s lost his majority in Congress, and suddenly he’s all about the “bipartisanship”. Interesting, isn’t it? When he had a Republican majority behind him, he essentially told us to kiss his ass. Now that he’s lost that majority, he wants to work together with Democrats. Could there be ANYTHING more cynical, self-serving, and hypocritical than this? NOW Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader wants to celebrate “bipartisanship”? Or is he just trying to make sure Democrats don’t impeach him?
The only “bipartisanship” I want to see is Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader in the well of the Senate defending himself on charges of lying to the American people to get his pre-ordained war in Iraq. This won’t happen, of course. Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi are already on record as stating that any talk of impeaching Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader is “off the table”. Too bad; it would have been fun to watch.
If Our Glorious and Benevolent Leaders wants to see any of his agenda accomplished during his remaining two years in office, he’s finally going to have to listen to Democrats. He’s going to have to stop treating us as if we don’t exist.
HE’S GOING TO HAVE TO LISTEN.
Since the election, the president has been saying all the right things about bipartisanship, about how eager he is to work with the new Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill. But what choice does he have after an electoral “thumpin’ ” of such historic proportions?
Power rules in Washington the way money rules in New York or celebrity in Los Angeles, and the White House has measurably less power today than it had a week ago. If Bush doesn’t find a way to work with the opposition, he might as well spend the rest of his term at the ranch out in Crawford, riding his mountain bike and clearing all that pesky brush.
Never mind that after each of his slim victories, Bush claimed the kind of mandate that can be conferred only by a landslide. Never mind that he made no effort to govern from the center, with bipartisan support. He acted as if Democrats didn’t exist, except as foils for his overheated rhetoric. Now they are indispensable to the remainder of his presidency and to the legacy he ultimately leaves behind.
Given what Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader has had to say since Tuesday night, it seems clear that his intent is less to listen and cooperate with Democrats than it is to co-opt them. By suddenly speaking the language of “bipartisanship”, he’s going to try to do what he can to nudge a Democratic Congress as far right as he can.
He’d be better off listening to Democrats instead of trying to sell them a bill of goods. He should also be thanking his lucky stars that Democratic leaders have ruled out impeachment, because there are still people like myself who would like nothing better than to see him behind bars. After all, his lies and deceptions are responsible for thousands of needless deaths and untold suffering and heartache, and while I’m saddened that he won’t be held accountable for this, I can understand why Democratic leaders aren’t pushing impeachment. We’ve had enough divisiveness, and it’s going to be tough to move forward if we antagonize Republicans by impeaching Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader (not that he doesn’t deserve it).
He’s going to have to start listening to Democrats, though- unless he wants his legacy to be one of lies, deception, and obstructionism.