2004 Election Rumor Mill

Aquarian Weekly 5/26/04 REALITY CHECK


Bye-Bye Already?Even the most optimistic Republican shill has to admit the past 30 days of the Bush presidency has been less than peachy. Frankly, it’s hemorrhaging from every possible orifice, strangely akin to Sonny Corleone at the tollbooth, for those hooked on pop culture imagery. Whatever your paradigm, the last two weeks have arguably been the worst a president has endured since Nixon’s final legs. Between the rising death toll in Iraq, pornographic images peddled by the Pentagon and the useless Central Intelligence Agency, these ridiculous gas hikes, the new stock market doom speak, and the 9/11 commission follies, Karl Rove is suddenly the Dutch boy with his finger in the dam.

The worst of it has come from, of all places, conservative circles. Not surprising, when you consider it was about this time 12 years ago Papa Bush began hearing the kind of rumblings from the far right he could not survive. The prevailing thought in Washington now is neither will Junior.

It launched about a month ago when George Will began chinking at the weakened Bush armor with strong comments about “accountability” in print and then on national television. Followed by our friend Tucker Carlson, who has defended everything from Captain Shoe-In’s drunk driving charge to the insanity of that Medicare Bill charade. Now he’s “appalled” at the handling of Iraq. Not to mention the constant jabbing the Bush people get from the always-growling Pat Buchanan, who has taken it upon himself to paint the current GOP power base and its golden boy as neo-liberals with the mentality of world police and big spenders.

But although all are solid conservative voices of some repute, and Buchanan a frequent reader and contributor to this space, there is only one man in times of crisis that the Reality Check New & Information Desk turns to for the inside scoop on all things elephant, our anonymous snitch hero, Georgetown.

The following two-part discussion was taped during a rushed, but rather lengthy session following political weasel, Dick Morris’ appearance on CNN’s “Inside Politics”, wherein the backstabbing shit heel was hawking a tell-all Clinton book and waxing poetic about the president signing a bill rescinding gas taxes to force John Kerry’s hand.

jc: Normally I think Dick Morris a jabbering psychopath, but he began to make sense to me right there.

Georgetown: Morris is a pimp. I read the gallies of that book of his. I heard he was going to prove Hillary was queer, and what do we get? Scenes of Clinton weeping after the Grand Jury testimony? Who even cares about that shit anymore? He’s lost. What Bush should do is appeal to congress to draft a bill to drill in Alaska and end this madness.

jc: No incumbent president has ever survived less than 50% approval ratings. Bush is at 42% currently. This is about the place in the game when the sheen wore off on his father after the Gulf War.

“Bush is in deep trouble. No doubt about that. But who is going to take advantage of it? Nader? Because he’s the only anti-war candidate. Has anyone on the left listened to Kerry lately?”

GT: Bush is in deep trouble. No doubt about that. But who is going to take advantage of it? Nader? Because he’s the only anti-war candidate. Has anyone on the left listened to Kerry lately? I know the White House has spent some $60 million painting him as some kind of Dukakis waffler, but the fact is Kerry supported this war, and still says he will see it through. He has no plan for the economy, which, by the way has been steadily rising for months. So it’s important to point out that in the end independents have to see a clear distinction between the candidates, and I don’t see one yet.

jc: But you admit Bush is reeling.

GT: He’s looking more and more like a caretaker president.

jc: One and out?

GT: Unless things change, fast.

jc: Historically incumbents lose, new guys don’t win, except for Truman/Dewey. But there doesn’t seem to be too much hope Bush will galvanize the electorate unless they catch bin Laden, who has been dead for over three years, win this war in a couple of months, which will take annihilation techniques that will turn the country’s collective stomach, or these positive economy figures somehow translate into jobs for the mid-west.

GT: Nice breakdown, but here’s the deal. Bush has looked about as confused and dead politically as a man can be, and where is Kerry in these polls? Tied, if ahead at all?

jc: National polls mean nothing. It is like that whole flaccid argument about the popular vote. The presidency is won with an electorate total from states. Who cares if two thousand people in California are polled about Bush or Kerry? Can Kerry make dents in the battleground states? Can Bush fend off enough of the counter momentum that should have cost him the 2000 race to solidify Ohio or Missouri or Florida? And how much worse can Kerry be in the long run compared to Gore, who was a god-awful campaigner?

GT: Granted, but there are way too many variables now and too many weeks to go. After the 6/30 deadline for transference of power in Iraq, where will Bush be then?

jc: Let’s get back to the campaign in a minute. I have to ask you about these conservative pundits slamming Bush lately.

GT: Don’t worry about that. It’s a ploy.

jc: A ploy?

GT: Bush is insulated now. Conservatives never liked this guy. The same way liberals really feel about Kerry. But they’ll suck it up, like we sucked it up to kick the Clinton/Gore ego machine out of office. But now that there’s too many holes in the hull, guys like Carlson and Will want Bush to stand up and be bold, because they see the writing on the wall. Bush is too steadfast about hanging onto losers like Tenent and Rumsfeld, even Cheney, who no one in the party with any money or clout wants on the 2004 ticket. These guys want Bush to jettison the dead wood. They have the ball and chain tied to them. They stink of defeat. Bad publicity and public perception has held Bush’s hand. He says he’ll go down fighting with these guys, but the party can’t think like that. They let a loose cannon lifer like Kerry run things for six months there will be a neutered congress and we’ll all be fucked. It is exactly like the Gingrich revolution in ’94. This government will shut down. You want that, son?

jc: Have you heard the Tom Ridge for VP rumor?

GT: It’s more than a rumor, but Bush is steadfast. This perception of Cheney running things before and after Iraq is 90% on the money. Personally, I don’t think the boy can function without Cheney, and that’s not good for this ticket.

jc: So these conservative voices are putting the scare into the Bush campaign, not technically the administration?

GT: If things had gone better in Iraq, there would be no point. Again, as you say, Kerry can’t win this without Bush losing it. It’s a two-fold approach for the conservative wing. There’s a great deal of people whose voices have been left out of this administration. Many of them made this thing happen. How much money and lawyers do you think it took to secure Florida? How many mid-western church affiliates, Catholic right-to-life groups held off McCain? It’s time this guy realizes who put him where he is. Dick Cheney? Donald Rumsfeld? These guys are dinosaurs. They have no political muscle anymore. They will doom this re-election run.

jc: But don’t they represent the oil men? Where would the whole Bush thing be without these people? It’s why he’s gambled his entire presidency on Iraq. Doesn’t he owe more to them?

GT: Yes, and now it’s one of those things. It’s yours and you don’t know how it happened. Fight communism one minute and you end up with Korea or Viet Nam or the Bay of Pigs. Fight terrorism and you end up like Britain with all the perks of having to liberate and occupy a people who hate you. There has always been this grandiose underestimation of how much the rest of the world despises the U.S. Oh, they’ll buy our products and gain from our scientific and medical discoveries, enjoy our entertainment and luxuries as retail, and they’ll come running if they need military or financial assistance, but in the end, ideologically, in every envious adjective you could muster, they despise us. No president, from Jefferson on, understood that. This one especially.

Next Week Part II

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