Republicans Throw Ugly

Aquarian Weekly 8/18/04 REALITY CHECK


“Cruelty, very far from being a vice, is the first sentiment Nature injects in us all.” – Marquis de Sade

Dick ChaneyThe pathetic wail of a wounded beast is recognizable by every creature in the wild. For the pride, its hellacious cry means a swift change of address, for the hunted, a reprieve, and for the hunters, the wondrous sound of dinner. Of course, some choose to ignore it and others redefine it, for it is too painful to merely accept. In politico-speak, they are the sounds of haughty boasting, strategy changes, circling the support wagons, and – the telltale sign of the wounded – vicious and desperate attacks.

This past week the sound of the wounded Republican Party machine, still harboring hope that their presidential candidate will be left standing by 11/5, the way it holds out hope that Osama bin Laden will be captured alive, the Iraqi War will ease into a peaceful solution, the jobless rate will wane, and the incredibly outlandish national deficit will disappear before autumn has reached a crescendo.

The president’s men know Junior is in trouble, and they’re finally starting to show it.

Working back from the latest of these painful shrieks is last week’s CIA director appointment of war hawk, Porter Goss, a Florida congressman (the state that put Captain Shoe-In in the catbird seat in 2000 and one he is currently trailing in several polls) and a vociferous proponent of the hackneyed pre and post war Iraqi policies. By mere mention, Gross becomes the first partisan choice for the CIA in more than half a century and a blatantly red-faced stab at three political moves: Throw the groundswell popularity of the 9/11 Commission a bone without really complying to their wishes for a single intelligence chairman, stoke up the Florida constituency for a needed boost in the polls, and bury all chance of a dissenting voice in intelligence while things continue to sink into chaos in Iraq.

Although former CIA Director George Tenet should have been executed for treason, much less forced out, Goss is a desperation move. Anyone denying it knows next to nothing about presidential politics. You think these crazy fuckers in the White House are screwing around with less than three months to go straddled with a fantastically inarticulate candidate with less than a 50% approval rating? Think again.

Scrambling to find ways to sell an inferior product is why the big-ticket power suits get the large money on Madison Avenue, and why the mortality rate on Pennsylvania Avenue is higher by the minute.

These latest ads from the Swift Boat Jolly Rogers, or whatever these slack-jawed cretins are calling themselves, accusing John Kerry of everything from baby killing to desertion in Viet Nam reeks of paralyzing fear. Although the Bush campaign people have denounced the ads, the oldest move in the book, they come from a Texas Republican group and conveniently fall into the strategy of the White House to undercut the Kerry mantra from the convention two weeks ago; his “stellar” war record. This has Willie Horton stank all over it and the obvious signs of the loser’s lament.

When the Bush people were pushed by the John McCain primary campaign in 2000, they went a similar route, painting the POW sacrifices of McCain into the category of overrated to out and out lies. It worked like gangbusters, and despite the denials from on high, there can be no doubt where these little end-around’s came from then and are emanating from now. If there is still any question of their actual origin, it was answered when McCain, who gushed like a schoolgirl when introducing the president at every stop including a Florida appearance on 8/10, declined to speak at a New Mexico rally the next day.

There is also Bush’s axing of his latest campaign slogan “Turning the Corner”, appearing in well over $3 million worth of national political ads and a dozen of his recent stump speeches. Reports of near fisticuffs in the Bush campaign offices in D.C. over this have been corroborated by several sources. Seems someone missed the fact that it was a Herbert Hoover slogan during the months after the stock market crash that defined his doomed presidency.

Several of the brainchildren behind the “Turning” slogan, including it’s most vociferous proponent, senior strategist for the Bush campaign Matthew Dowd had all but convinced RNC chairman Ed Gillespie to keep it before Friday’s damning jobs report made the whole thing seem like a sick joke. As a result Dowd is days from being demoted, if not sacked altogether, leaving what has been described by our boy inside, Georgetown as “a rather divided focus group on how to redefine the indefinable”.

“Dowd is a scapegoat in a power struggle to rescue this thing,” Georgetown continued to report from inside the RNC main offices. “This is looking more and more each day like something between ‘Mission Accomplished’ and the Gore earth-tone costume changes back in 2000.”

Sounds like the Red Sox sitting on a late post-season lead kind of doom.

Finally, the White House’s decision to keep Secretary of State Colin Powell away from the GOP National Convention at month’s end under the guise that it is procedural sends up political red flags all over the place. Powell, who has been treated like leper by this administration since he fronted the laughable fictitious pitch for war before the UN last spring, will not even be in the building. Powell is just one of many insiders who have openly criticized several and varied aspects of the war’s handling from Washington to the Pentagon. Since, he has been labeled the crippling tag of “not on board”, and will not survive a second term if something miraculous puts the coughing George Bush train back on the tracks.

If nothing else, the Bush mid-summer strategy has been wisely defensive. Beats the alternative. Running on this mediocre to abysmal domestic or foreign affairs record is not a sane option. These radically paranoiac moves, and several lesser ones like sending that fat coward Dick Chaney around to paint Kerry as some kind of hippie peacenik speak volumes to that end. Scrambling to find ways to sell an inferior product is why the big-ticket power suits get the large money on Madison Avenue, and why the mortality rate on Pennsylvania Avenue is higher by the minute.

Politics, like nature, has a way of eradicating its wounded, whether the corpse knows enough to lie down or not.

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