my pissant two cents

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

hell comes to your house

condoleezza rice speaks for me. condoleezza rice speaks for you.

god help us.

the senate granted its consent to bush's nomination of an inexcuseable liar to the post of secretary of state, the nation's top diplomat, a position requiring an unassailable reputation for candor and fair dealing. the republicans, not surprisingly, voted unanimously to put the president's workout buddy into the position. but 12 democrats and independent james jeffords of vermont put the issue of truth to the test, and found rice lacking.

jeffords said this was the first time in his senate career that he has voted against a cabinet-level appointment. but, he insisted that he was compelled to do so, because rice is "severely handicapped in her ability to be america's chief diplomat" because she is "a lead architect of our nation's failed foreign policy and of the war in iraq."

i find that description quaint and gentle. but then, jeffords is a gentleman.

my capitol hill crush, sen. barbara boxer, (d-ca), toned down her rhetoric some from last week's excoriation of rice, but the message was loud and clear. boxer was moved to vote against rice "so that we don't send our young people into another war based on hyped-up rhetoric and half truths."

even joe biden, (d-de), who voted in favor of rice's nomination, held rice to account to a minor extent. though casting his vote for rice, biden sought to provide cover for his colleagues who could not: "please do not ... read a no vote as not being united in the effort to win in iraq. that's why some of my colleagues are voting no. they think she's undermined our ability to win in iraq."

this followed a day of debate on the rice nomination that showed democratic backbone that many, including me, thought would go awol in the confirmation process. sen. evan bayh, (d-in), on rice's complicity in the iraq fiasco: "the list of errors is lengthy and profound, and unfortunately many could have been avoided if dr. rice and others had only listened to the [congress]. this is no ordinary incompetence. men and women are dying as a result of these mistakes."

sen. mark dayton, (d-mn), said there is an administration cabal that has been "lying to congress, lying to our committees and lying to the american people... who have been instrumental in deceiving congress and the american people, and regrettably that includes dr. rice."

sen. ted kennedy, (d-ma), unassailable in his senate seat and an ardent, vocal bush critic (probably because he was so badly duped and stung in supporting the "no child left behind" act) made the most obvious, and therefore most biting, statement: "the war has made iraq a breeding ground for terrorism that previously did not exist."

sen. dianne feinstein, (d-ca), was among rice's strongest supporters on the democratic side. here's a bulletin for sen. feinstein: your term is up next year. you may want to get your resume together, because you'll be looking for work.

nevertheless, the liar was confirmed. in her confirmation, rice finds herself in a rogue's gallery, and for not exactly noble reasons. her 13 "no" votes puts her well ahead of her post-war confreres. proto-fascist usurper ("i'm in charge!") alexander haig only got six "no" votes in 1981, and indicted war criminal henry kissinger got seven snubs in 1973.

not that anybody should be surprised by any of this. the kool-aid drinkers are in charge, and anybody who questions their hallucinatory worldview is not invited into the discussion. the greater the delusion, the greater the access. so naturally, upon receiving word of rice's confirmation, irony-deficient president fredo said he was confident that a co-author of the shamefully failed and bloody (1400+ dead americans, untold tens of thousands of dead iraqis) iraq occupation would be a "great" secretary of state and that with her, he "look[s] forward to spreading freedom and peace."

this is not the last you'll hear of nefarious, woefully unqualified bush candidates getting the glad-hand from republicans and weak-kneed democrats, while a few voices rage from the left. torture advocate alberto gonzales got the go-ahead, ableit it by a narrow 10-8 party-line vote, from the judiciary committee. with that, his confirmation appears likely. the only outstanding question is whether any-- ANY-- republican has the guts to come out against torture. maybe former prisoner-of-war and all around straight-shooter sen. john mccain, (r-az), will stand up. maybe not. and how many democrats will rubber-stamp the pro-thumbscrew candidate?

stay tuned.

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