July 6, 2007

by Reb Yudel
Bush: With great irresponsibility and unpopularity comes great power

The Invincible President | The American Prospect

Bush, as has so often been remarked, is a uniter, not a divider. He has united the country against him. But he has found power in division, in lonesomeness, in unpopularity. He realized that a narrow loss in the 2000 election meant he didn't need to govern so as to retain a robust majority. He understood that legislation didn't need as many votes as possible, it merely required as many votes as necessary. And he figured out that a lame duck president who polls in the 20s need never make another compromise -- and so need never kowtow to a disagreeable electorate.

This will be his legacy, as it was, in the end, his genius. While Nixon famously pursued the Southern strategy because he realized that if he broke the country into pieces, his piece would be bigger, Bush broke the country into pieces, and embraced the smaller half, and then a mere quarter. He made the executive branch the minority party, and in doing, freed himself from many of the constraints of democracy. Truly, he has achieved a Machiavellian enlightenment, a state of perfect zen-like detachment from democracy.

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Comments
#1

Your disappointment at GWB only betrays your level of expectations, of the office if not of the person.

Perhaps now that we’re disabused of our notion regarding the resilience of democratic institutions and their everlasting capacity to protect the meek against the wealthy and brute, we will be able to develop workable strategies to preserve some of our liberties, as well as our yearning to remain alive and relatively happy.

We must admit that the flagrant disregard for the constitution and for proper institutional oversight began well before Bush 2 and even before Reagan. We couldn’t have had desegregation without the repression of states’ rights, and we wouldn’t have dreamt of the rise of the military industrial complex without Johnson’s Vietnam. We couldn’t have imperial presidencies without Kennedy and we couldn’t have the degeneration of workers’ pay via globalization without Clinton.

Bush 2 stings us because he’s proof positive that a cartoon can be elected president and start WW3, which we had hoped was not the case. Now that we know it is absolutely possible, and that, in fact, a woman who has made herself into a 6-frame per second cartoon (the less animated kind) will capture the Democratic nomination in 2008, we should drop out of the national thing altogether as we should have done long ago and concentrate on our own block, our zip code, maybe as far around as our area code.

Posted by: Yori Yanover at July 8, 2007 9:07 AM
#2

Your disappointment at GWB only betrays your level of expectations, of the office if not of the person.

Perhaps now that we’re disabused of our notion regarding the resilience of democratic institutions and their everlasting capacity to protect the meek against the wealthy and brute, we will be able to develop workable strategies to preserve some of our liberties, as well as our yearning to remain alive and relatively happy.

We must admit that the flagrant disregard for the constitution and for proper institutional oversight began well before Bush 2 and even before Reagan. We couldn’t have had desegregation without the repression of states’ rights, and we wouldn’t have dreamt of the rise of the military industrial complex without Johnson’s Vietnam. We couldn’t have imperial presidencies without Kennedy and we couldn’t have the degeneration of workers’ pay via globalization without Clinton.

Bush 2 stings us because he’s proof positive that a cartoon can be elected president and start WW3, which we had hoped was not the case. Now that we know it is absolutely possible, and that, in fact, a woman who has made herself into a 6-frame per second cartoon (the less animated kind) will capture the Democratic nomination in 2008, we should drop out of the national thing altogether as we should have done long ago and concentrate on our own block, our zip code, maybe as far around as our area code.

Posted by: Yori Yanover at July 8, 2007 9:07 AM
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