Bush and Cheney: Not Part of the Conversation Anymore, Just Like They Want:
For so long, George Bush and Dick Cheney have isolated themselves like paranoid neighbors in their backyard bomb shelter, telling the clawing outsiders they don't have enough food or air for everyone. They have spoken, for the vast part of the last five years, only to audiences that are handpicked by lackeys or screened at the events themselves (and this doesn't include those who get to pay for the "privilege" at fundraisers). If you even get into a Bush or Cheney speech with a dissenting or bumper sticker, you will get the bum's rush. And that's been quite the success.

They've treated over half the country like parents who ignore their children, only breaking the silence to discipline the kids when they knock a vase over or refuse to eat their peas, and who are surprised when the kids get older and don't give a shit what their parents have to say. Because right now, when Bush and Cheney speak, they're only talking to thirty percent or so of the country, with the rest of the nation either saying, "Fuck them" or wondering, "Hey, who's the old guys and why are they so mad?"

So debased is the pile of vaguely humanoid slime that is Dick Cheney that Hillary Clinton can say of Cheney's slurping words of condemnation of Connecticut Democrats, "I don't take anything he says seriously anymore. I think that he has been a very counterproductive, even destructive force in our country." A writer with the Washington Post can say, "I'm afraid to say his utterances are losing their news value." And most of us can only nod, a bit sadly, a bit wisely, and say, "So true, so true."

Then the President, who has gone unchallenged by everything except reality, in his radio address this weekend actually said, "Unfortunately, some have suggested recently that the terrorist threat is being used for partisan political advantage. We can have legitimate disagreements about the best way to fight the terrorists, yet there should be no disagreement about the dangers we face." One could argue this or that, things like, "Umm, when RNC chair Ken 'Elastic Cheeks' Mehlman said on Sunday that 'the focus now is going to be who’s on the ballot? What are the choices? And I don’t believe Americans, in the middle of a tough war, as they see these plots, want to weaken the tools and surrender the tools that are critical to keeping Americans safe. I don’t think they want to weaken how we interrogate potential terrorists. I don’t think they want to weaken the surveillance. I don’t think they want to kill the Patriot Act, and I certainly don’t want to think that they give the enemy the kind of victory that the 9/11 Commission had said they would have if we cut and run from Iraq,' had he gotten the memo not to use the threat for political advantage?"

But that's useless. When the goddamn President can say, as he did on Saturday, "On September the 11th, 2001, they used box cutters to hijack airplanes and kill thousands of innocent people," well, what's supposed to be our reaction? Motherfucker's right. They did. Thanks for the fuckin' reminder. We could throw all kinds of crap at his bullshit statement that "Because of the measures we've taken to protect the American people, our Nation is safer than it was prior to September the 11th." We could ask about the attempt to cut money from explosive detection technology. We could ask about how the White House pressured the British to make the arrests early, so it could conveniently come right after primary day.

It's useless because Bush ain't talkin' to us anymore. He's only talking to those who could get into his public appearances, an increasingly small number. You wanna talk about the "polarization" of the nation? There's your bifurcation: those who can see their President speak in person and those who can not. Sure, sure, we can all watch him on the TV, but not when there's all those episodes of Laguna Beach on the Tivo.

The White House knows this - it's Karl Rove's modus operandi: fuck those who disagree. And it's what they want. By so diminishing the value of the public roles of the President and Vice President, they can go about their business in deeper secrecy. Nothing to see here. And we're just gonna keep sayin' the same bullshit, over and over, because you don't matter.