Monday, December 19, 2005

Too Late to Be Candid

I'm no physiognomist, but this strikes me as the expression of a man who is striving mightily to be believed. It is also the expression of a man who could scrawl "REDRUM" on the mirror at any moment. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

I've been listening to the President struggle to explain himself and to contain his frustration that people are not buying his New Candid Self. I think he's trying, possibly as much as he ever has in his life, to be understood. Or at least, have his actions understood. I mean the actions as they are being rationalized after the fact, at this moment. Until of course, some new overreaching comes to light. But you see, it was justified by some other imperial interpretation of the law. It's not his fault we didn't understand it before. Because, of course, he is trying to keep America safe.

He is.

But it seems like he really thinks that "Congress had the same intelligence we had" means the same thing as "Congress had all the intelligence we had."

He seems to believe that if he said "Americans don't torture," it was okay to let other nations do it on our behalf.

Now we hear that the resolution authorizing force in Iraq meant he was authorized to do anything against a terrorist enemy, including allowing the NSA to eavesdrop in this country without going through established reviews. That's so obvious, why didn't we see that? And besides, he told a few Congressmen they were doing something, so Congress was informed.

Why wouldn't this man honestly think getting the first troops into Baghdad actually meant Mission Accomplished?

I personally get tired when people start rehashing all the missteps that got us into Iraq, even though I'm disgusted by the failures. Even one $260-billion mistake later, we still ought to behave with integrity, and that's what Bush seems to be saying. He's right also about the need to move quickly in response to information about terrorists. He may ultimately be right about Iraq becoming the beacon of democracy in the Middle East.

He's just not the man who should be saying these things any more. Unfortunately, he's still our president and that's his job. Bill Clinton, at least, was not called upon every day to talk to the nation about marital fidelity. The hole this president has dug by not being forthcoming is considerably deeper.

It's going to be a long three years for all of us.


Blogger janinsanfran said...

Three more years, unless he is impeached, which he ought to be for leading an administration that has trashed the Constitution. Obviously the partisan balance of forces rules this out, but the Constitutional crisis is real.

1:04 PM  

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