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"Double Chocolate Cake" (updated)

one realizes that this administration has done absolutely nothing well and most of their decisions, if not outright criminal are completely immoral. They lie to us, and despite their attempts at secrecy every lie is eventually uncovered. Of course it helps that their lies are ridiculously blatant. For instance, "no one could have anticipated the breach of the levees."

The Bush/Cheney farewell history revision tour has been going on for the last few weeks. Although, minute for minute each interview has been proportionately as jaw-droppingly amazing as the last eight years, I have resisted even acknowledging it, forget writing about it. But that was like the moth pretending it wouldn't return to flame for one last embrace. Rather than go point by point through every lie, every admission of criminal action, and since some of my favorite people are doing it, I'll rely on the words of others. To do it myself just might leave me broken.

I'll start by offering a quote from Bob Cesca's "The Myth of Bush as the Hero of 9/11."

I do think he deserves high marks for his public presentations after a rocky start in the first few hours. [...] You can't be sure of it, but I'm confident that he performed there very well. And other presidents may not have performed as well.

Which other presidents? Lincoln after Fort Sumter? Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor? Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis? At least Halperin interrupted his verbal dry-hump to acknowledge (sort-of) that President Bush sat there in a glazed stupor for nine minutes after being told, literally, that America was under attack.

Like many Bush legacy myth-makers, Halperin has no sense of history. Or he does, but he conveniently ignores it. If he were able to peg this historical event into its proper context, Halperin would realize that the president's "rocky start" was the first in a series of disastrous performances. The Indonesian tsunami. The Iraq insurgency. Katrina. The economic meltdown. And on and on. Halperin describes those several hours as if the president's inexcusable behavior was an isolated incident -- an aberration -- a brief hiccup in an otherwise stellar eight years of lightning fast reflexes and unwavering heroism.

I'll embellish on Cesca's point with a point made by Paul Krugman regarding the very different reactions to the two images of Bush flying over and looking out on historical acts of destruction:

9/11





and the aftermath of Katrina





Above are two photos. The second one shows Bush flying over New Orleans; it was widely regarded as a PR disaster, because he seemed so disconnected. But it looks an awful lot like the first photo, of Bush on Air Force One on 9/11. And that photo was considered a wonderful picture of leadership in action — so much so that there was a mini-scandal when the GOP started selling copies of that photo for political fundraising.

In fact, my guess it that the infamous Katrina photo was released precisely because the White House thought everyone would see the parallel, and rally around Bush’s wondrous leadership qualities. Hey, it worked on David Broder.

So why didn’t it work? I think the answer is simple: in the case of Katrina people could actually see the results of Bush policy. The truth is that Bush did as terrible a job fighting terrorism as he did responding to Katrina — who would have thought that Osama would still be out there, making videos, 7 years later? But on the terrorism front, and even in Iraq, the administration could invent a reality that impressed the public.

When Katrina struck, however, everyone could see the reality on their TVs.

They also began to see the reality of their Presidential choice-- all pr, no substance and a hint of psychopathy. The amount of self-delusion, the sociopathic inability to accept even a modicum of responsibility for the handling of the aftermath of Katrina once made me apoplectic. Now it makes me laugh a little. He actually believes the things he says, reality is not even an acquaintance to that one.

Rachel Maddow delved into his last press conference, which was so "BUSH" that it required three segments:

one on Katrina



one on GITMO



and the "recession" Bush inherited


And last is John Stewart from the Daily Show who perfectly captures the absurdity of the farewell tour:




For some reason I had a moment of worry that history could somehow be manipulated, rewoven to fit their narrative. Then I remembered that it's the Bush administration, and that like on Bizarro world, everything they do works opposite. The more they try to tell us otherwise, the more obvious it becomes that for eight years they have tried to serve us the equivalent of a manure cake with creamed shit icing, while calling it chocolate. Nobody's eating that (except, perhaps, the 34% of Americans who still support them).

Update

I have been unable to sit through an entire Bush speech or press conference for the entire eight years of his presidency. Which is one reason I appreciate people like Dan Froomkin, Paul Krugman, Rachel Maddow, Arianna Huffington, etc. Somehow they are all able to either withstand the heart bursting anger that engulfs me, or they don't feel it, and consistently weigh his words against well documented reality. After Bush's farewell address Rachel Maddow and Arianna Huffington sat down to offer reality's rebuttal. One thing they come away with is that the man actually believes what he's saying. With that the country turns the page on the delusional imperial apathetic presidency of somehow-still-President Bush.



UPDATE 2:

There's something ironic about the fact that Bush's final irrelevant speech was upstaged by an accident. There he was, patting himself on the back, spouting delusional platitudes about his performance as president, which could politely be called criminal; juxtaposed against the competency, compassion, and decisiveness of the captain and crews of the downed plane and the first boats responding to the accident. A double reminder that preparation for the job at hand could mean the difference between people living and several hundred thousand dead, injured, and displaced, and the delusion that it's not all your fault.

Rachel Maddow with Matt Taibbi, discussing what Bush's apology might look like:


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