Bush, the Man Without a Conscience

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 09:36 PM

If you caught our feckless leader's radio address last Saturday, you were treated to one of the worst examples of chutzpah and selective outrage in the history of American politics. Which is obviously saying a lot.

It was a short address, focused exclusively on the outrage of congress having not acted on some 180+ of the prez's nominees. The two parts that made me boil:

1. Touting the quality of his nominees:

One of the most important jobs of any president is to find good men and women to lead government agencies, preside over our courts and provide vital services to the American people.

So I have nominated talented individuals for these positions.

2. Bemoaning the impact that delay in confirmation has on the nominees and their families:
More than 180 of my nominees are waiting for confirmation. Some have been waiting for more than a year. As a result, careers have been put on hold, families have been placed in limbo, and our government has been deprived of the service of these fine nominees.
The first point is ludicrous enough. This president has the gall to say that one of his most important jobs is to find good men and women to lead the federal branch? And no lightning struck, no noses grew like fungus in the monsoon season, no celestial laughter drowned out the joke?


Bush appointees. Famous for their competence, ethics, and dedication to the idea that their job is to serve the president, not the country (unless, of course, you view the country and president as synonymous). From an an April, 2007 story from the AP, running down Bush appointees and other White House warriors who left under a cloud or face conflict-of-interest allegations:
  • Scooter Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice
  • Attorney General Alberto Gonzales faced (faces?) congressional investigations into his role in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. Two top aides have resigned in the investigation into whether the firings were politically motivated. Emails and other evidence released by the Justice Department suggest that Rove played a part in the process. Other e-mails, sent on Republican party accounts, either have disappeared or were erased
  • J. Steven Griles, an oil and gas lobbyist, became deputy Interior Secretary and then became the highest-ranking Bush administration official convicted in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, pleading guilty to obstructing justice by lying to a Senate committee about his relationship with the convicted lobbyist. Abramoff repeatedly sought Griles' intervention at Interior on behalf of Indian tribal clients.
  • Former White House aide, David H. Safavian, was convicted last year of lying to government investigators about his ties to Abramoff and faces a 180-month prison sentence
  • Roger Stillwell, a former Interior Department official, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for not reporting tickets he received from Abramoff
  • Matteo Fontana, a Department of Education official who oversaw the student loan industry, was put on leave after disclosure that he owned at least $100,000 worth of stock in a student loan company
  • Claude Allen, who had been Bush's domestic policy adviser, pleaded guilty to theft in making phony returns at discount department stores while working at the White house. He was sentenced to two years of supervised probation and fined $500
  • Eric Keroack, Bush's choice to oversee the federal family planning program, resigned from the post suddenly after the Massachusetts Medicaid office launched an investigation into his private practice. He had been medical director of an organization that opposes premarital sex and contraception
  • Robert W. Cobb, NASA's inspector general, was investigated on charges of ignoring safety violations in the space program, with an internal administration review concluding that he routinely tipped off department officials to internal investigations and quashed a report related to the Columbia shuttle explosion to avoid embarrassing the agency
  • Julie MacDonald, who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service despite having no academic background in biology, still overrode recommendations of agency scientists about how to protect endangered species and improperly leaked internal information to private groups, the Interior Department inspector general said
And that's actually a pretty small selection of the Bush-appointed and Bush-countenanced sleaze and plunder troop.

Apart from that gall, there's the amazing selective outrage. Judges, lawyers, corporate execs, forced to wait to find out if they will be confirmed to incredibly prestigious and lucrative positions in the federal government. The shame of it. Forced to wait in security, comfort and safety to find out if they will become even more important than they are. Bush feels their pain. I'm thinking they can suck it up and get through this privileged version of hardship.

Know whose pain the feckless one doesn't seem to feel at all? The soldiers being forced to extend their combat tours and, in many cases, their terms of enlistment. Somehow, for some odd reason, the much more immediate and dire hardship of involuntary extensions of combat tours and military service itself don't seem to have bothered our feckless leader. And these involuntary extensions have been legion. For example:

According to a May 2004 Congressional Research Service report, “Military Forces: What is the Appropriate Size for the United States,” there is ample evidence that suggests American forces are stretched thin by the war in Iraq, including:

1. Reserve and Marine Corps tours have lasted longer than a year (shorter tours had been the norm)

2. Many military personnel have come under “stop-loss” orders that have barred them from leaving the service, have been extended in their tours, or have anticipated multiple combat tours

And many of those extensions have been imposed with little or no notice, leaving military members in a hostile foreign land at a time when they expected to be returning to their homes and safety, and causing God knows what kind of grief and dislocation for their families. When the term of military service itself is extended....just imagine having kept the traditional "short timer" calendar counting down to the day you get discharged, only to find out just before that date that you are going to be kept in the military considerably longer, against your will and contrary to the agreement you were led to believe you had made with the military when you enlisted.

President Bush. Swagger, smirk, and say anything. Proud member of the unreality-based community, though God knows his actions and his brain keep raining destruction on those stuck here in reality.


Let's not fergit the fact that Bush filled the DOJ with fourth rate law graduates from Regent including the now infamous Monigoo. They were uberly loyal, underly qualified neo-crusaders and when Obama takes the WH he should make weeding them out a priority. Either putting lobbyists in charge of positions that used to counter lobbyists powers such as at the EPA or DoI or simply installing unscrupulous loyal Bushies sometimes unmitigated biatches like Tim Griffin USA this president is the last guy on the freaking planet who should be whining about not having all of his nominees getting the gigs.

He should feel damn lucky he isn't tarred and feathered and awaiting trial for War Crimes.

Be Well.

/'Feckless' is a good word. People should use it more often.

/'Feckless' is a good word. People should use it more often.

Especially these days, when we're lip deep in circumstances where the term fits.