I always enjoy reading the local L.A. column written by my good pal Andrew Gumbel. Andrew is also a U.S.-based correspondent for The Independent of London.
In his latest take, Andrew laments that while rigor mortis is already consuming the Bush Agenda, the rest of us, nevertheless, have to put up with the rotting carcass for the next three years:
2005 was the year the Bush administration curled up and laid down to die. The president told us a little over a year ago that he regarded his re-election as political capital he was now free to spend, but in retrospect it seems he was handed no more than loose change, or, to extend the metaphor in a slightly different direction, a pile of fool’s gold.
His ambition to dismantle Social Security as we know it -- going nowhere. His continuing itch to extend tax cuts for the wealthy -- denied by the realities of out-of-control deficit spending. His Iraq policy -- ever more floundering and tragic, and now, thanks to Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania and the investigations of Patrick Fitzgerald, condemned to incoherence in the public relations arena, too.
His war on terror -- exposed as both incompetent and morally bankrupt in the wake of the scandals concerning torture and the unauthorized wiretapping of American citizens. His general credibility in the domestic arena -- shot to pieces by the scandalously lackadaisical response to Hurricane Katrina, and by the numerous corruption scandals now lapping at the heels of the entire Republican establishment.
It’s hard to know, in fact, what the administration still hopes to achieve. The president talks a lot about staying the course, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of course left to stay…
And yet, we have a Congress that -- thanks to gerrymandering-- is locked up tighter than a nun's chastity belt, making political sea change a difficult proposition. The antidote to this malaise? Well, says Andrew, start thinking about Jack Abramoff. Or maybe even Dashiell Hammett. Read on...