[Hpn] Bush ...............I don't know.........!

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Fri, 16 Sep 2005 19:25:33 -0400


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" I don't know - I just don't know - I'm confused !  I thought they hung =
all the Blacks and the poor were hidden back in the mountains of =
Appalachia?"=20

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Breach of a myth


After Katrina,=20

the country no longer
believes=20
in Bush the protector.=20


His presidency is ruined.=20

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Sidney Blumenthal


Sept. 15, 2005 =20

Bush's America is gone with the wind.=20

It lasted just short of four years,=20

from Sept. 11, 2001, to Aug. 29, 2005.=20

The devastation of New Orleans was the watery=20
equivalent of a dirty bomb, but Hurricane Katrina approached the =
homeland=20

with=20
----advance warnings,=20
----scientific anticipation=20
----and a personal briefing of the president by
     the director of the National Hurricane Center,=20

alerting him about a possible breaching of the levees.=20


It was as predictable as though
Osama bin Laden had phoned in=20
every detail to the television networks.=20

=20

No future terrorist attack would or could
be as completely foreseen as Katrina.=20

Bush's entire presidency and reelection campaign were organized around =
one master idea:=20

He stood as the protector and savior
of the American people under siege.=20

On this mystique he built his persona as
a decisive man of conviction and action.=20

In the 2004 election,
a critical mass of voters believed that because of his unabashed =
patriotism and unembarrassed religiosity he would do more to protect the =
country.=20

=20

They also believed that his fervor must be strength.=20

The criticism of Bush that he was
overzealous, simplistic and single-minded=20
only served to reinforce his image.=20

The deepest wound is not that=20
he was incapable of defending the country but that=20
he has shown he lacks the will to do so.=20

In Bush's own evangelical language,=20
he revealed his heart.

Overnight, the press disclosed a petulant,=20
vacillating president it had not noticed before.=20

It was as if=20
there were a new man in the White House.=20

Time magazine described=20
a "rigid and top-down" White House where=20
aides are petrified to deliver bad news to a
"yelling" president.

Newsweek reported that=20

two days after the hurricane,

top White House aides, who "cringe" before=20
the "cold and snappish" president, met to decide which of them would be =
assigned the miserable=20
task of telling Bush he would have to cut short=20
his summer vacation.=20

"The hurricane's reality, say several aides=20
who did not wish to be quoted=20
because it=20
might displease the president,=20
did not really sink in until Thursday night."=20

With each of his three trips (so far)
to survey the
toxic floodwaters of New Orleans,

Bush drifted farther out to sea.=20

On his most recent voyage on Monday,
asked about his earlier statement --=20

"I don't think anybody anticipated=20
the breach of the levees"=20

-- he said,=20

"When that storm came through at first,=20
people said,=20
Whew. There was a sense of relaxation."=20

In fact, the levees began to be breached=20
even before the eye of the storm hit the city.=20

Queried about the sudden resignation that day=20
of FEMA director Michael=20
"Brownie, You've Done a Heck of a Job"

Brown, Bush told the press,=20

"Maybe you know something I don't know."=20

On Tuesday,=20
all else having failed, he tried a novel tactic to=20
deflect the "blame game," as he called it.

"To the extent that the federal government
didn't fully do its job right,"=20
he declared,=20
"I take responsibility."

"Extent" was the loophole allowing his
magnanimity to be bestowed on the
distant abstraction of government.=20

It was easier for Bush=20
to renounce alcohol at age 40=20
than ideology at almost 60.=20

Bush had radicalized Ronald Reagan's conservatism, but never has =
Reagan's credo from his first inaugural rung so hollow:

"Government is not the solution to our problem."=20

Yet social Darwinism cannot protect the homeland.=20

That 20,000 mostly poor blacks
were locked in the New Orleans Convention Center without food and water =
for several days
without the knowledge of federal officials=20
is not an urban legend.=20

Poverty, previously unmentionable,=20
has increased about 9 percent since Bush=20
assumed office.=20

The disparity between=20
the superpower's evangelical mission=20
to democratize the world and

its indifference at home=20

is a foreign policy crisis of new dimension.=20

Can Iraq be saved if Louisiana is lost?=20

Bush's credibility gap is a geopolitical problem=20
without a geopolitical solution. Assuming a new mission, Secretary of =
State Condoleezza Rice=20

wears her racial identity to=20
witness
for Bush's purity of heart.


So long as Bush could wrap himself in 9/11=20
his image was shielded;=20

he could even justify Iraq by flashing the non
sequitur to his base.=20

But once another event of magnitude thundered
over his central claim as national defender,=20

the Bush myth crumbled.

It would take another event of=20
this scale to begin to restore it.=20

But it would also require a different set
of responses from Bush.=20

Now his evocation of 9/11 only=20
reminds=20
the public of his failed promise.=20

The rest of the Bush presidency will consist of
his strained efforts to cobble his myth together=20
again=20

while others cope with the
consequences of his damage.=20

=20

The hurricane has tossed and turned the country=20
but will not deposit it on firm ground for at least=20
the three and half years
remaining of the ruined Bush presidency.=20


-------------------------------------------------------------------------=
-------

Yahoo! for Good
Click here to donate to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.=20

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<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3><SPAN=20
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<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 12pt">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 12pt">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><BR>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" =
color=3D#212143=20
size=3D5><SPAN style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 18pt; COLOR: #212143">Breach of a=20
myth</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D5><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 18pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><BR><BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3DArial color=3D#212143 size=3D5><!-- Deck --><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 18pt; COLOR: #212143; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">After =
Katrina,=20
</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><B><FONT face=3DArial color=3D#212143 =
size=3D5><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 18pt; COLOR: #212143; =
FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3DArial><SPAN style=3D"FONT-FAMILY: Arial">the country no=20
longer</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3DArial><SPAN =

style=3D"FONT-FAMILY: Arial">believes=20
</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3DArial><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-FAMILY: Arial">in Bush the protector.=20
</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><BR><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT =
face=3DArial><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-FAMILY: Arial">His presidency is=20
ruined.</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG></SPAN></FONT></B> <o:p></o:p></P>
<P><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#999999 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #999999">- - - - - - - - - - -=20
-</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3DArial =
color=3D#212143=20
size=3D4><SPAN style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143; FONT-FAMILY: =
Arial"><!-- Byline -->By=20
Sidney Blumenthal</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><B><FONT face=3DArial =
color=3D#212143=20
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143; =
FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><BR><BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3DVerdana color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">Sept. =
15,=20
2005</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><FONT face=3DVerdana color=3Dblack =
size=3D2><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: =
Verdana">&nbsp;</SPAN></FONT><FONT=20
face=3DArial color=3Dblack size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">=20
<BR><BR></SPAN></FONT><STRONG><B><FONT face=3DArial color=3D#212143 =
size=3D4><!-- end default pre content  --><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Bush's=20
<st1:country-region w:st=3D"on"><st1:place=20
w:st=3D"on">America</st1:place></st1:country-region> is gone with the =
wind.=20
</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><B><FONT face=3DArial color=3D#212143 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143; =
FONT-FAMILY: Arial"><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3DArial><SPAN style=3D"FONT-FAMILY: Arial">It lasted just short of =
four=20
years,</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG></SPAN></FONT></B><FONT face=3DArial =
color=3Dblack=20
size=3D4><SPAN style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: =
Arial">=20
</SPAN></FONT><FONT face=3DArial color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143; FONT-FAMILY: =
Arial"><BR></SPAN></FONT><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">from Sept. 11, 2001, to Aug. =
29, 2005.=20
</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">The devastation of <st1:City =
w:st=3D"on"><st1:place=20
w:st=3D"on">New Orleans</st1:place></st1:City> was the watery=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman">equivalent of a=20
dirty bomb, but Hurricane Katrina approached the homeland=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman">with=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman">----advance=20
warnings, </FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">----scientific anticipation=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman">----and a=20
personal briefing of the president =
by</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;the director of the =
<st1:place=20
w:st=3D"on"><st1:PlaceName w:st=3D"on">National</st1:PlaceName> =
<st1:PlaceName=20
w:st=3D"on">Hurricane</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType=20
w:st=3D"on">Center</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>,=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman">alerting him=20
about a possible breaching of the levees.=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman">It was=20
as predictable as though</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">Osama bin Laden had phoned in=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman">every =
detail to=20
the television networks. =
</FONT></B></STRONG></SPAN></FONT></B><o:p></o:p></P>
<P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 12pt">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></P>
<P><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">No future terrorist attack =
would or=20
could</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">be as=20
</FONT></B></STRONG></SPAN></FONT></B><EM><B><I><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman"=20
color=3Dmaroon size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: maroon">completely =

foreseen</SPAN></FONT></I></B></EM><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman"=20
color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"> as=20
Katrina. </SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><o:p></o:p></P>
<P><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">Bush's entire presidency and =

reelection campaign were organized around one master idea:=20
</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><o:p></o:p></P>
<P><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">He stood as the protector =
and=20
savior</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN =

style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">of the American people under siege.=20
</FONT></B></STRONG></SPAN></FONT></B><o:p></o:p></P>
<P><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">On this mystique he built =
his persona=20
as</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">a decisive man of conviction and action.=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman">In =
the 2004=20
election,</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman">a=20
critical mass of voters believed that because of his unabashed =
patriotism and=20
unembarrassed religiosity he would do </FONT></B></STRONG><EM><I><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">more to protect</FONT></I></EM><STRONG><B><FONT =

face=3D"Times New Roman"> the country.=20
</FONT></B></STRONG></SPAN></FONT></B><o:p></o:p></P>
<P><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 12pt">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></P>
<P style=3D"MARGIN-BOTTOM: 12pt"><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman"=20
color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143">They also=20
believed that his fervor must be strength. =
</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><B><FONT=20
color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">The criticism of Bush that he=20
was</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman">overzealous,=20
simplistic and single-minded </FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">only served to reinforce his image.=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman">The deepest=20
wound is not that </FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">he was incapable of defending the country but =
that=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3Dmaroon size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: maroon">he has shown he lacks the =
will to do=20
so.</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman"=20
color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143">=20
</SPAN></FONT></B></STRONG><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><BR><BR><STRONG><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Times New Roman">In Bush's own evangelical language,=20
</FONT></B></STRONG><BR><STRONG><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman">he =
revealed his=20
heart.</FONT></B></STRONG></SPAN></FONT></B><o:p></o:p></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143">Overnight,=20
</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3Dmaroon size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: maroon">the press=20
disclosed</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> a =
petulant,=20
<BR>vacillating president it had not noticed before.=20
<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">It was as =
if=20
<BR>there were a new man in the White House. =
<BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT=20
face=3D"Comic Sans MS" color=3D#00007f size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #00007f; =
FONT-FAMILY: 'Comic Sans MS'">Time=20
</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">magazine =
described=20
<BR>a</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3Dblue size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: blue"> "rigid and=20
top-down"</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> White =
House where=20
<BR>aides are petrified to deliver bad news to =
a<BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT=20
color=3Dblue size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: blue">"yelling"=20
president.</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><BR><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9287434/" target=3Dnew=20
lid=3D"Newsweek reported"><FONT color=3D#cc0000><SPAN=20
style=3D"COLOR: #cc0000">Newsweek reported</SPAN></FONT></A> that=20
<BR><BR><EM><I><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman">two days =
after</FONT></I></EM> the=20
hurricane,<BR><BR>top White House aides, who </SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT=20
color=3D#0000bf size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#0000bf">"cringe"</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT=20
color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> before =
<BR>the=20
</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3Dblue size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: blue">"cold and=20
snappish"</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> =
president, met to=20
decide which of them would be assigned the miserable <BR>task of telling =
Bush he=20
would have to cut short <BR>his summer vacation. <BR><BR>"The =
hurricane's=20
reality, say several aides <BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3Dmaroon =

size=3D4><SPAN style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
maroon">who did=20
not wish to be quoted <BR>because it <BR>might displease the president,=20
<BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">did not =
really sink=20
in until Thursday night." <o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">With each =
of his=20
three trips (so far)<BR>to survey the<BR>toxic floodwaters of <st1:City=20
w:st=3D"on"><st1:place w:st=3D"on">New =
Orleans</st1:place></st1:City>,<BR><BR>Bush=20
drifted farther out to sea. <BR><BR>On his most recent voyage on=20
Monday,<BR>asked about his earlier statement --=20
<BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#40007f size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #40007f">"I don't =
think=20
anybody anticipated <BR>the breach of the =
levees"</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT=20
color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> =
<BR><BR>-- he=20
said, <BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#0000bf size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #0000bf">"When =
that storm=20
came through at first,</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> =
<BR>people said,=20
<BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#0000bf size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #0000bf">Whew. =
There was a=20
sense of relaxation."</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> =
<BR><BR>In fact,=20
the levees began to be breached <BR>even before the eye of the storm hit =
the=20
city. <BR><BR>Queried about the sudden resignation that day <BR>of FEMA =
director=20
Michael <BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#40007f size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #40007f">"Brownie, =
You've=20
Done a Heck of a Job"<BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143=20
size=3D4><SPAN style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><A=20
href=3D"http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/09/10/brown/" =
lid=3D"Brown,"><FONT=20
color=3D#cc0000><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: #cc0000">Brown,</SPAN></FONT></A> =
Bush told=20
the press, <BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#0000bf =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #0000bf">"Maybe =
you know=20
something I don't know."</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> =
<BR><BR>On=20
Tuesday, <BR>all else having failed, he tried a novel tactic to =
<BR>deflect the=20
<A href=3D"http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2005/09/09/blame_game/"=20
lid=3D'"blame game,"'><FONT color=3D#cc0000><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: =
#cc0000">"blame=20
game,"</SPAN></FONT></A> as he called =
it.<BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT=20
color=3D#0000bf size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #0000bf">"To the =
extent that=20
the federal government<BR>didn't fully do its job=20
right,"</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> <BR>he =
declared,=20
<BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#0000bf size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #0000bf">"I take=20
responsibility."</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT=20
color=3D#0000bf size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#0000bf">"Extent"</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT=20
color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> was the =
loophole=20
allowing his<BR>magnanimity to be bestowed on the<BR>distant abstraction =
of=20
government. <o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D5><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 18pt; COLOR: #212143">It was =
easier for=20
Bush <BR>to renounce <EM><I><FONT face=3D"Times New =
Roman">alcohol</FONT></I></EM>=20
at age 40 <BR>than<EM><I><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman"> =
ideology</FONT></I></EM>=20
at almost 60.</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">=20
<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">Bush had=20
radicalized Ronald Reagan's conservatism, but never has <A=20
href=3D"http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2004/06/08/reagan"=20
lid=3D"Reagan's credo"><FONT color=3D#cc0000><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: =
#cc0000">Reagan's=20
credo</SPAN></FONT></A> from his first inaugural rung so=20
hollow:<BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#0000bf size=3D4><SPAN =

style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#0000bf">"Government is not=20
the solution to our problem." <BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT =
color=3D#212143=20
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"><BR>Yet =
social=20
Darwinism cannot protect the homeland. <BR><BR>That 20,000 mostly poor=20
blacks<BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3Dred size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: red">were locked=20
in</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> the =
<st1:place=20
w:st=3D"on"><st1:PlaceName w:st=3D"on">New Orleans</st1:PlaceName> =
<st1:PlaceType=20
w:st=3D"on">Convention Center</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>=20
</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3Dred size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: red">without food =
and water=20
for several days<BR>without the knowledge</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT=20
color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"> of =
federal=20
officials <BR><EM><I><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman">is not an urban=20
legend.</FONT></I></EM> <o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">Poverty, =
previously=20
unmentionable, <BR>has <A=20
href=3D"http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2005/09/01/hurricane_poverty=
/index.html"=20
lid=3D"increased"><FONT color=3D#cc0000><SPAN=20
style=3D"COLOR: #cc0000">increased</SPAN></FONT></A> about 9 percent =
since Bush=20
<BR>assumed office. <o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">The =
disparity=20
between <BR>the superpower's evangelical mission <BR>to democratize the =
world=20
and<BR><BR>its indifference at home <BR><BR>is a foreign policy crisis =
of new=20
dimension. <BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#c00000 =
size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #c00000">Can=20
<st1:country-region w:st=3D"on">Iraq</st1:country-region> be saved if =
<st1:State=20
w:st=3D"on"><st1:place w:st=3D"on">Louisiana</st1:place></st1:State> is=20
lost?</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">=20
<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">Bush's =
credibility=20
gap is a geopolitical problem <BR>without a geopolitical solution. =
Assuming a=20
new mission, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice <BR><BR>wears her =
racial=20
identity to <BR>witness<BR>for Bush's purity of=20
heart.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143"><BR>So =
long as Bush=20
could wrap himself in 9/11 <BR>his image was shielded; <BR><BR>he could =
even=20
justify <st1:country-region w:st=3D"on"><st1:place=20
w:st=3D"on">Iraq</st1:place></st1:country-region> by flashing the =
non<BR>sequitur=20
to his base. <BR><BR>But once another event of magnitude =
thundered<BR>over his=20
central claim as national defender, <BR><BR>the Bush myth =
crumbled.<BR><BR>It=20
would take another event of <BR>this scale to begin to restore it. =
<BR><BR>But=20
it would also require a different set<BR>of responses from Bush.=20
<BR><BR></SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3Dred size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: red">Now his =
evocation of=20
9/11 only <BR>reminds <BR>the public of his failed promise.=20
</SPAN></FONT></B><B><FONT color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143"><o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">The rest =
of the=20
Bush presidency will consist of<BR>his strained efforts to cobble his =
myth=20
together <BR>again <BR><BR>while others cope with the<BR>consequences of =
his=20
damage. <o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: =
#212143">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P>
<P><B><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" color=3D#212143 size=3D4><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13.5pt; COLOR: #212143">The =
hurricane has=20
tossed and turned the country <BR>but will not deposit it on firm ground =
for at=20
least <BR>the three and half years<BR>remaining of the ruined Bush =
presidency.=20
<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></B></P></DIV>
<DIV class=3DMsoNormal style=3D"TEXT-ALIGN: center" align=3Dcenter><FONT =

face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3><SPAN style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 12pt">
<HR align=3Dcenter width=3D"100%" SIZE=3D1>
</SPAN></FONT></DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><FONT face=3D"Times New Roman" size=3D3><SPAN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 12pt">Yahoo! for Good<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://store.yahoo.com/redcross-donate3/">Click here to =
donate</A> to the=20
Hurricane Katrina relief effort.=20
<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></P></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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