I read somewhere that you pay a price, in some form or another, for everything you believe that's not true. This seems to apply in politics as well as personally; certainly the past couple of weeks have seen enough examples of this to make for a fairly beefy blog post. For example:
You can lead a tyrannized, colonized, unEnlightenmentized former Ottoman/semitribal Middle Easterner to the water of "good government" AND you can make them drink it.
The real wonder is why any of us ever believed this in the first place. After all, the Western powers don't have much of a track record for leaving behind stable, public-spirited democratic governments anywhere; India seems to still be the jewel in that crown and in my opinion it's a pretty tarnished jewel. Now the news is out that the Malikist kleptocracy is banking the oil revenues we seem to think are supposed to be going for hospitals, banks and bridges.
Well! Who'da seen THAT coming? That a "government" set up (for the most part) by and for a foreign occupier isn't behaving in a way that benefits the occupied nation rather than itself? That the Iraqis, whose political experience started with thoroughly corrupt Ottoman despotism, ran through fairly incompetent late-British colonialism into coups and finally thuggish despotic gangsterism, are treating the national treasury as a personal piggy bank and petty cashbox rather than a center for national development?
Imagine: an utterly social, political and sectarian alien occupier can't convince a foreign polticial class to act the way the occupier says they should. I'm shocked, shocked! that this didn't happen.
If you let ideological bullies, pathological liars and conmen into your political employment system, you won't end up with a bunch of ideological bulliers, liars and conmen running your government agencies.
I can't get the phrase "What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?" out of my head. It's so irritating, like one of those horrible but catchy ABBA songs. Did we honestly think that this gang would stop at the political appointees? Why?
The frustrating thing is that this didn't happen in 2001 or 2002. By the time Monica and Abu Gonzales were shopping our judgeships and district attorney positions out to loyal Bushies, people whose ONLY qualification was their willingness to use the Decider's used Fruit-of-the-Looms for the handkerchiefs we KNEW what an egotistic knave this man is. How could we - or at least our representatives in Congress - not be on the lookout for this. How could we NOT be outraged once we were informed that it had happened? The Bush response to this has been an emphatic "meh", and so far no one but Air America seems upset about it. Arrrrrgh! Are we that fucking stupid!!??
You can lie to and cheat on your wife and people will still elect you President.
Sad. Just sad. Sad for Elizabeth, a person I have always admired. Sad for those of us who believed in the man's intelligence and convictions. The frustration of this for me isn't that the man cheated and lied. It was that, if the timing of the story is correct, he was in the middle of a Presidential run at the time. What would you have done if you'd won the nomination, John, and than this'd come out? Did the Big Dog teach us Democrats nothing?
I'm going to go home and put my head in the glue bag. Or drink a lot of scotch. I'll let you know which one works better.