Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Doofus and the Crank

There's an old saw in politics (and elsewhere) that you can either be a rabbit or a hedgehog. A rabbit knows many things, but hops around with great frequency; the hedgehog knows only one thing...and sits on it.

Shorthand: Bill Clinton = Rabbit. George W. Bush = Hedgehog.

Back in the aftermath of the 9/11/2001 attacks on the U.S., some pundits and maybe even some of the population thought that El President might just be the hedgehog we needed at the time. However, it turns out to be a disastrous assessment. As Harold Meyerson wrote back in January, "Bush isn't merely a hedgehog who knows one thing rather than many things. He's a delusional hedgehog who knows one thing that isn't so."

I'd go further. Bush is, with his alternating smugness and peevishness, a classic crank, with all the loony yet abrasive cantankerous obstinacy that goes with that term. Not only will we celebrate his crank personality with the 4th Anniversary of the Iraq War on this coming Tuesday the 20th, we're afflicted with his "constituency of one" backing of doofus Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:
Republicans close to the White House tell CBS News chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod that President Bush is in “his usual posture: pugnacious, that no one is going to tell him who to fire.”
Pugnacious is great in a smart, on-the-money guy. Especially a rabbit. In a smug, small man who thinks he's king as he fiddles over the fire of his own making, it's just crank.

I call Gonzales a "doofus" because it is now clear he's not a particularly clever henchman, not a mastermind of evil; he's just a loyal, ruthless hack, and one who has slid by on his liege's coattails and his own sliminess for way too long. He's just not very smart:
Recently, a trio of senators—Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy; Arlen Specter, the senior Republican on the committee, and Democrat Charles Schumer—sat down with Gonzales in his wood-paneled conference room to discuss the firings of the U.S. attorneys. Gonzales was initially combative and defensive. "Why do I have to prove anything to you?" he demanded at one point, according to a source who was in the room but does not wish to be identified revealing a private conversation. He insisted that only poor performers had been fired. "Everyone was in the bottom tier," he said. "Everyone?" asked Schumer. What about David Iglesias of New Mexico? (The department's internal evaluations had given Iglesias glowing marks.) Gonzales hesitated. "I believe so," he said, but he seemed uncertain. As the meeting was breaking up, Gonzales suddenly switched tacks and seemed to want to be cooperative. "How can we make this better?" he asked. "What can we do?" According to this source, the attorney general seemed to some in the room to be genuinely befuddled.
Oh, and he's also stupid enough to perjure himself to Congress.
GONZALES: I would never, ever make a change in a United States attorney position for political reasons or if it would, in any way, jeopardize an ongoing serious investigation. I just would not do it.
Great, doof. Too bad about the emails:
Fired San Diego U.S. attorney Carol Lam notified the Justice Department that she intended to execute search warrants on a high-ranking CIA official as part of a corruption probe the day before a Justice Department official sent an e-mail that said Lam needed to be fired, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday.
Lam was investigating convicted bribe-taking GOP Representative Randall "Duke" Cunningham of San Diego, and it looked to take other Republican crooks in government down.

This links to a pattern of actions in the firings that Gonzales was stupid enough to execute under the guise of a loophole inserted at midnight into a bill. How likely is it now that this will eventually be uncovered as a criminal conspiracy hatched in the White House, whether or not we ever have proof of knowledge or involvement by the Crank-in-Chief himself?

Now Gonzales lamely attempts to apologize to all 93 U.S. Attorneys in a doofitious conference call. As if any of them will ever trust him again, which means how much of the People's Business will get properly handled over the next 22 months? In some ways, it's better to have Gonzo stuck in the job for awhile, getting slammed back by his intended fall guy, testifying weekly along with Rove & Co., grinding their various America-damaging plans to a halt while they finally jimmy the Crank and maybe even find a willing replacement.

Of course, what caliber of attorney would want to work directly for this particular President, after knowing what this vicious crank customarily orders his Attorney General to do?


swainchampagne said...

Ouch! He should quit out of embarassment. But then again, it seems that no one in this administration has the capacity to feel shame.

Mark Netter said...

He's going, believe me, as long as they can find someone to replace him...not an easy task!