UPDATE!: And Cats Can't Drive For Shit.
This “can't-reach-the-pedals” guy'll do 70 clean laps at Talladega before the Bush admin gives the straight dope on a fuck-up. He'll hit the pits sweet as honey, too.
You don't have to look very hard for where it all started to go all lumpy-headed, drag-ass wrong for the Bush adminsitration. Oh, they'd been screwing the pooch like a pheromone-torqued Mickey Kaus at a petting zoo for years and years, but for about five years or so, they'd gotten away with it brazenly, with very few questions asked, and no challenges when exposed. That is, until an uncanny six month span between March and August of 2005 when three sirens of political bed-shittery came a' calling on BushCo LLC. Our mighty compatriot Driftglass (one of the best things outta Chi-Town since Curtis Mayfield), dubbed them exquisitely and perfectly as “The Three Fates”—Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, and I thank him for saving the post where I ran down where the wheels came off and the axles bounced and bit into hard macadam for Bush and his crew of sycophantic salad-tossers. The sweet ride was over. Now there'd be hard, actual driving from here on out. Drifty poetically called' em “The Three Fates”...but I name-checked 'em as Schiavo, Sheehan and Katrina.
"People make much of the "Rovian" strategy of turning your opponent's strength into a weakness, and one of Bush's alleged strengths (as his people like to put out there) is his surrounding himself with supposedly strong women, thus creating a "nanny shield" of protection around himself. From "Quaker Oats Guy" Mama, to dewy-eyed Condi, to Fraü Blucher Hughes, the Bush machine loves to trumpet his confidence in/dependence on these retrograde wet nurses.
This, they declare is one of his strengths.
So...God looks down, and in his infinite wisdom, sense of irony, and penchant for kicking the lead's *ss in the third act, says, "Wouldn't it be funny (apologies to the late Allen Funt) if I were to take this idiot's purported 'strength' and make it the thing which ultimately busts him in his grille? Yeah...that would be funny!"
And with a twitch of a celestial pinky, there appeared three female apparitions...
Oh, no, it wasn't the dems. It was "Beauty" killed the Beast.
Funnier still, is how each of those fists-to-the-face Bush has taken from the three sisters of the whup-*ss convent came while the ignorant little sh*t was on vacation in Crawford.
Schiavo--he flies back to scawl a shaky, DT'ed "X" on legislation to suck up to the christofascists and winds up getting himself crucified.
Sheehan--he hides out in a hay-bale fort reading old copies of "Grit" to get his news while occasionally peering out and wincing at her still being outside there.
Katrina--hung out at Crawford an extra coupla days falling off Segways, leaving bits of skin on bike-trail rocks and clearing brush--copy and pasted from a computer at Pixar while a Great American city drowned.
It was from there that Rove's legendary ‘Math” got all fucked up with the subtrahends, polynomials, postulates and integers colliding, and fusing and fracturing all over the blackboard. The polls got Herve Villechaize on a drunken-crawl low, and have stayed there. A Democratic, but still brush-clearing whipped Congressional majority would come into power (whatever that means)...and the administration's ability to just flat-out hide shit that it didn't want found out faded like Laura's smile once the Vicodin wears off. Katrina's revelation as her flood waters receded, of administration mendacity about Bush's level of engagement, Condi's misplaced priorities (“Ahhhh, The Name Is Bootsy, Baby!”), and most damningly, the lies of FEMA and their cronyism truly knifed the gut of the Bush leadership mystique—exposing his whole crew as little more than half-assed hacks better at covering their asses than at covering logistical bases.
So, here we are...some two years after “Heckuva Job, Brownie!”, and botched, jackleg relief efforts post a national disaster and the same organization—FEMA (where Fallacy Ensnared Motherfuckers Abound)—re-cacas the 'ol guest bed again. “Sigh!”—with a piece of P.R. stupidity that makes the “New Coke” rollout look like the iPod's debut. In the wake of the California wildfires, FEMA botched the scheduling of a progress report press conference so badly that rather than hold off and cancel the thing until it could be done properly...
Goddamn...you'd think that maybe they wouldn't be quite this stupid, but you know what they did...
They FAKED the press conference. By filling the room with hustled-in FEMA staffers coached to play-act the role of reporters.
Via Norwegianity, quarter of a page down:
The agency — much maligned for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina over two years ago —arranged to have FEMA employees play the part of independent reporters Tuesday and ask questions of Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the agency's deputy director.
The questions were predictably soft and gratuitous.
"I'm very happy with FEMA's response," Johnson said in reply to one query from an agency employee.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said it was not appropriate that the questions were posed by agency staffers instead of reporters. FEMA was responsible for the "error in judgment," she said, adding that the White House did not know about it beforehand and did not condone it.
"FEMA has issued an apology, saying that they had an error in judgment when they were attempting to get out a lot of information to reporters, who were asking for answers to a variety of questions in regard to the wildfires in California," Perino said. "It's not something I would have condoned. And they — I'm sure — will not do it again."
She said the agency was just trying to provide information to the public, through the press, because there were so many questions.
"I don't think that there was any mal-intent," Perino said "It was just a bad way to handle it, and they know that."
Now...there's really no need for any level of upset about this story. None whatsoever. You see, when I heard about it, I actually laughed. Maybe my Snark-o-meter ™ (Pat. Pending) was tuned past 8.5 or something, but the first thing that went through my mind was, “Hmmm...a troubled Bush administration department is reduced to trotting out a bevy of “Potemkin” reporters to get across their spin in a time of crisis?”
What the fuck difference is there between that and their trotting out of Hume, and Wallace, and Kurtz, and Matthews and the rest of the scat-tossing Bonobos when the kitchen gets a little hot?
How was Tony Snow's straddling the news/admin flack line in any way unique?
Well...I suppose the difference lay in the blow-dried A-Team's getting a bit more than the flunkie “scale” the FEMA understudies got.
I just can't help but laugh when I think of when the press themselves saw that gaggle and the Blackberries suddenly started heating up on every state and letter-named avenue and street in D.C. with that querying refrain from “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid” running across their text screens—minus the rogue-ish charm of course:
“Who are those guys?”
Bitch of it all is that Bush's people got caught doing it—never mind what the glassy-eyed spokes-bot Perino mewled about “the White House did not know about it beforehand and did not condone it.” These are the people who Rove sat down with—every government agency—and gave them the rundown on how to handle X, Y, and Z in media relations and in covering the president's waggin'-in-the-breeze ass. Post-Katrina, they are not only the gang that cannot shoot straight, but have become the gang that will most likely shoot its own scrotum off unholstering the weapon. This is Bush presidency—Term II policy writ large.
Fuck Doing The Right Thing. Cover Your Ass.
But you knew that already, didn't you? We're all hep-cats down with the scoop and all that. The real lesson here is in the ready ammunition it is against the next wingnut you come across—and there's always one, who runs the “Gimme one—just one example of where this adminstration set out to deceive the American people outright! Give me ONE!” bullshit on you.
Swat this big, sloppy meatball pitch right back into their unprotected gut. And while you're at it, point out this other damning bit of logic to 'em.
If they'll go to the extraordinary length of faking a press conference to avoid looking bad while disseminating what was ostensibly the truth, shouldn't it make you wonder to what levels they'll go to—and have gone through in the past—to cover for what may NOT be the truth?
It's this kind of relatively minor-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things act that is the scraggly thread that when tugged at, causes the whole Goddamned cheap suit to fall apart when they argue against the facts.
The end lesson? No, it's not the ineptitude and cravenness of FEMA, It's the laying bare—unmistakably—of how this administration really works...and works hard...at deceiving the public.
Lie little, lie big.