Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Final Days, Redux

I didn't get a chance to comment on the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Well, not so much that I didn't get a chance to as much as it took me by surprise. The timing was bizarre. Why, after months of being an albatross, did Gonzalez suddenly decide to resign? Did he see something in his horoscope that day? Read his tea leaves? Consult with Nancy Reagan's astrologer?

In a previous post, I'd commented on how it amazed and in a way delighted me that people like Paul Wolfowitz and Alberto Gonzalez, people who'd become huge liabilities for an already damaged administration hung in there, inflicting maximum damage before they finally resigned.

Truth be told, I'm not sure that I have a lot to say that hasn't already been said. It's clear that Gonazalez was involved in the firing of the Federal Attorneys. My son Adam had a joke he was telling everybody this weekend: Why did Alberto Gonzalez cross the road? Answer: "He doesn't remember." It's preposterous that a guy who could have the intelligence to get a law degree and serve as Attorney General would not remember something as important as the firing of a handful of the top prosecutors in the nation.

But I think that in the coming years, as the memoirs are written, stories too bizarre to believe will come to the fore. There is a pathology and dysfunction that goes beyond even wealth, class and privelege.

When I was a kid, watching the first couple of seasons of Saturday Night Live, there was a great bit depicting actual events in the White House as the Watergate dogs bayed outside of the doors of Nixon's White House. Nixon, in the midst of a meltdown, talked to the paintings of former presidents and had Henry Kissinger in his office kneeling and praying with him. The skit was not even an exaggeration of real events.

As the Iran-Contra scandal broke, there were equally bizarre scenes in the Reagan White House as people scattered to avoid blame and possible indictment.

There seems to be a very similar disconnect between perception and reality in the current White House. I guess that's appropriate, though-- there's a disconnect between the perception and reality with the people who elected this pack of rats. These people fucked up exactly as we all predicted they would-- maybe even worse. The fact of the matter is that I, and probably anybody reading this are not surprised one little bit by what's happened. But just because we're not surprised doesn't mean we're not distressed. Let's hope at least a portion of the rest of the electorate has wised up.

7 comments:

lulu said...

A phrase I use frequently springs to mind "Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I surprised? No." I said it a lot when I was working for the CPS, and it fits well here too.

Skylers Dad said...

Very true JY, and yet there seems to be a significant portion of society that doesn't care one lick about what goes on in the current administration. "Just so long as I get my gas, I am safe from them there terrorists, and gays don't get to marry"...

I fear for our country right now.

MacGuffin said...

He couldn't "recall" because he was flat-out lying, over and over and over again. He'd rather look like a complete idiot than own up to anything which might result in jail time for himself and his boss. These people should be facing criminal charges.

A Ghost's Story said...

::sigh::

Bubs said...

Johnny, Lulu, I like that quote: "am I disappointed..." I'll be using that one a lot in the future.

Great post. I have to say that I didn't expect GWB to be as bad as he's turned out. I more expected him to be a Republican version of Clinton--I assumed that instead of sleazy Arkie developers and sex scandals it would be booze and coke scandals. I totally failed to see what a horrible combination of religious zealotry, rightwing politics, cronyism and incompetence this would end as.

Personally, I think that Alberto stayed as long as he did because he acted as a firewall between the White House and the firings.

Natalie said...

Wow, I missed that one while being incredibly sick. Very strange timing.

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