Royally Kranked

Friday, November 04, 2005

And so, in the end, it's been a combination of factors all breaking against this President at the same time that have left him politically weak & vulnerable

Iraq-a seething & growing insurgency becoming deadlier with IED's & curved explosives, which enable softball sized holes punched through uparmored humvees from over 100 yards away, A theocracy beginning to establish itself, as the Mullahs in Iran & al-Sistani are developing very close ties, helping a theocracy along while women lose long-settled rights in a secular society. The graft & corruption as it relates to BILLIONS of US dollars lost in the ever deepening financial black hole called Iraq, and the Iraqis themselves with far less reliable access to steady supplies of water, power, sanitation, medical supplies, fuel and security, victims of a war they never sought willingly, a US military overburdened badly, and unable to replenish it's ranks quickly enough to avoid kinking up the system-say, by deploying so many Nat Guard & Reserve troops in Iraq, the ability to respond effectively to a disaster-as the hurricanse showed-is seriously in doubt

Rising oil profits, gas prices & home heating bills

A disastrous campaign over what was supposed to be the crown jewel for W's 2nd term, Social Security Privatization-Disastrous in the sense that the more people heard & learned about W's plan, the less they liked it

A disastrous, publicly played fiasco in using Terri Schiavo to advance a repugnant version of alleged "Family values" What most of the US public saw was the President, Bill Frist & Tom DeLay shamefully pander to the extreme right, the Modern Day Pharisees at the GOP's base, a campaign the public very clearly got angry about, angry enough to where the GOP had to back way the hell off of kowtowing to the wingnuts base

And the federal response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita & Wilma

But of all these, it's Katrina that did what nothing else could, no matter the amount of criticizing & carping from his political opponents

Katrina forever shattered W's image as a competent, strong, decisive leader

What makes the federal stumble of a response even more egregious is that the hurricanes gave the Administration lead times of up to a week

The fact of the sluggish response , disjointed & inefficient, has at least some of it's roots in what's turned out to be W's moment of glory, standing atop the rubble of the WTC, with the bullhorn & firefighter, the visual he's forever trying to play upon for every single public pronouncement

Specifically, one of the biggest problems with rescue & relief operations was ineffective communications among the various first responders, it was a patchwork effect, rather than one, unified means of communications available to all the first responders & the rescue & relief operations, just like the same problem was shown to us on September 11

Four years after the September 11 attacks, and that problem of a communications system usable to all involved in rescue & relief still hasn't been addressed, effectively or otherwise

Katrina hits, the levees collapse & the dead float in the streets of a drowned city, or are covered up amidst large groups of survivors at both the Convention Center & Superdome, and the President stays on vacation, while the inept crony in over his head at FEMA completely refuses to acknowledge there's any kind of a problem in New Orleans

Conditions rapidly deteriorate for those awaiting Rescue & Relief operations-food & water run out while those trapped on the pavement bake in the sun & humidity

For 3 days, the world watches while the President vacations, and the rest of the cabinet is also scattered to the 4 winds, most notably Condoleeza Rice shoe-shopping & attending the bright lights of broadway, instead of coordinating the offers of help coming in from around the world

For three agonizing days, the public clamor grows for the President to cut short his vacation and take charge of the situation immediately

It's not until the next day, Thursday, a full four days after Katrina & three days after the levees collapsed, that W finally understands what's just happened

He's completely shown the world just how badly he froze in a situation he'd had almost a week to prepare for, supplies could have been efficiently pre-positioned, troops could have been deployed as close as possible for a quicker response after Katrina hit as well

Katrina did what nothing else could, showed the President unable to live up to, in effect, his one campaign issue security, namely keeping the US safe from another disaster, be it sudden or slow-like a hurricane-to form

And the longer W dithered on vacation, the more obvious it was to the rest of the world just how truly inadequate & up to the job W's proven to be, the misery of those stranded in the drowned city showing just how useless in a crisis President Jr really is

Chances are if Karl Rove wasn't preoccupied with trying to keep his fat throat out of a legal noose, he might have gotten W down to New Orleans as soon after Katrina hit as possible, but if Rove wasn't screaming about it, then it's obvious that W didn't see the glaringly-blatant problem in his "stay on vacation approach to disaster management"

By the time the inner circle figured out Dear Leader was in trouble, it was too late to repair or mend the self-inflicted damage of the worst kind

Numerous trips to the Gulf Coast were seen as nothing more than a "make-work" project for one clearly unsuitable for the job he possesses

When W's one claim he pushed above all others politically-that he was far better suited to protect the US public than John Kerry-was so publicly shattered by W himself, it's been damage he can't & won't recover from for the rest of his 2nd term

This is an Administration being buffeted on all sides at such a hard level that it's just a matter of time before the White House & GOP itself collapse spectacularly


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