There's only one word for our current government: DISHONORABLE

Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 10:12 AM

Sometimes it helps to take a step back from the flurry of news items that spring on you with each and every new day.  Sometimes you need to take a slow and deliberate look at the collection of those items that have sped past you over a period of time.

Which I did this morning. And the only word, short of profanity, that comes close to capturing the spirit, character, and competence of our current government is:

D I S H O N O R A B L E  Defined by the Free Dictionary as:

Characterized by or causing dishonor or discredit.
Lacking integrity; unprincipled.

They are dishonorable people.  They lack honor.  They lack integrity.  They lack conscience. They seem to lack basic decency.

They lack respect for the very system of government that produced them, for the people they now govern, for the basic principles and value of science itself, and for truth.  They lack the capacity for self-criticism or self-denial. They lack skepticism of their own beliefs and theories. They lack knowledge and understanding of the world they seek to control.   They lack judgment.  They lack humility sufficient to allow others to work with them. They lack concern for those who damaged, devastated by their actions.

They lack friendships and contacts with people who have more honor, ensuring that those appointed to or used by the administration will have the same failings.  Just start by perusing this very selective list of names associated with the Bush administration and the national Republicans:

Bob Stein, Jr., the convicted felon put in charge of reconstruction funds in an area of Iraq

Bernie Kerik, the adulterous self-promoter who almost headed Homeland Security

Joe Allbaugh, the former FEMA head who recommended his buddy Michael Brown for that job, never disclosing, according to a RealNews report, several pretty interesting pieces of info about himself and Brown, and the relationship between the two

Michael Brown

David Safavian, an Abramoff crony appointed to a high position in federal procurement

Jack Abramoff--you know that story

Grover Norquist, no-tax demagogue and apparent money launderer to the Republican stars

Ralph Reed, whose true religion appears to be money and power (his)

Paul Weyrich

Pat Robertson

Armstrong Williams

Duke Cunningham and his money-stealing patriotism

Tom DeLay and his cynical use and abuse of non-profit "charities" to play kingmaker to the Republican right

Bob Ney and his voice for hire

Tom Noe & the entire Ohio disaster known as the Ohio Republican Party which treats state monies as their own private piggy bank

Then you can examine more specific aspects of the record, such as:

--The recent revelations from one time admin insiders and intelligence community folks that the intel was cooked to produce a war, that the admin couldn't even be bothered properly preparing for the war, that the failure to guard Iraqi munitions depots probably cost American lives and limbs, that there were too few troops to do the job even though the most experienced military officers warned that more troops were needed, that we blew it by disbanding the Iraqi army, that our initial effort to train a new Iraqi army was woefully inadequate.

--The initial response to Katrina, and the still-nightmarish conditions for many parts of New Orleans.

--The endless lies/distortions about why we went to war, when they learned of the levee breach, whether the White House was involved in the Plame leak, the state of Social Security, the nature of the inheritance tax, the effect of their cherished tax cuts, the magnitude of offshoring American jobs and the consequences for the country, whether the NSA can obtain court orders for their surveillance of Americans, and on and on.

--The two-faced cynicism of the administration in such things as (a) constantly playing on 9/11 to garner support for whatever it wants to do, while harping like mad about Democratic politicization of issues; (b) smothering veterans with love in public while privately making vets' lives harder through the budgeting process; (c) passing legislation hostile to environmental concerns under labels that make it seem like legislation to zealously protect the environment; (d) harping on the need for civility and reason in the political debate while relying on the party's think tanks and on-air propagandists to continue to perform political smears and distortion; and (e) milking emotional issues like Terry Schiavo's plight and gay marriage for purely political purposes.

--The devotion to photo-ops over all else, including the famed landing on the carrier with Bush in full flight gear (though his National Guard flight privileges were revoked), the now-absurd "Mission Accomplished" banner on the carrier, and the infamous fake turkey on the president's plate during his 2004 Thanksgiving trip to Iraq.

--The fact that almost every war hawk in the administration ducked active military duty when their own lives were on the line.

--The destruction of the overall financial health of this nation in order to pander to the richest of the rich (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

--The endless attempts to shield the president from hostile audiences and real questions by preselecting who gets to attend a presidential appearance (see here).

And to finish up, you can compare the actions and desires of this administration with what we know of the think tank The Project for a New American Century.  The group wrote Clinton in 1998, calling for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, in a letter signed by all the major administration officials who pushed for the Iraq war.  In 2000, they published a report titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses" which bemoaned that the American military's "process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor."

--Characterized by or causing dishonor or discredit
--Lacking integrity; unprincipled
--The 21st Century national Republican Party