The Motherfuckering of America, Part 2: Keep Your Mothers Away From Christine Todd Whitman:
Democracy is like sex - the messier it is, the better. There's few things as blandly dissatisfying as crisp, clean boinking, a nipple twist, a few martial thrusts, a finish with a towel handy. Sure, you got off, but it was meaningless. Now, if you start with warm massage oil and, eight sweaty positions later, you end up exhausted in a puddle of all kinds of sticky or slick fluids, celebrating the possible combinations of cocks, cunts, assholes, mouths, and fingers, well, you might have experienced something close to enlightenment. Or vicious cramping. Either way, you're gonna know you've been fucking.
Real democracy is about challenging the powerful, calling out the liars, and encouraging dissent, knowing that these are things that strengthen the nation. As The Daily Show pointed out, when Trent Lott sardonically suggested that some lawmakers wanted a British-type parliamentary system where the President was forced to come to the Senate and answer questions, well, fuck, that's not such a bad idea.
So it was that a group of high school seniors, one from each state, Presidential Scholars, were honored by President Bush. The President used the occasion to talk about the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, which had nothing to do with the success of the kids behind him. The teens used the occasion to give the President a letter they had all signed. The letter, handwritten, but thankfully without smiley faces and hearts dotting the i's, called on Bush to end U.S. policies that encourage torture, including, specifically, extraordinary rendition, and "to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants." This morning, CNN took time out of covering the release of parole violator Paris Hilton to talk to three of the scholars, who spoke eloquently about feeling that they needed to take their opportunity to express something to the President, that they would have regretted not doing it.
So it was that former EPA chair Christine Todd Whitman finally appeared before a congressional committee to answer questions about whether or not, or, really, to what degree Whitman and the Bush administration lied about the amount of poison in the air of Ground Zero and the rest of Lower Manhattan in the time after 9/11. It was one helluva lively committee meeting, with five and a half years of pent-up anger occasionally brimming over, with 9/11 responders in the room booing Whitman, with House members visibly and audibly outraged at Whitman, with Jerrold Nadler of New York outright saying that the Bush administration has been "covering up its misstatements and misdeeds in the early days after the attacks." Goddamn, for a little while, it was beautiful, if delayed, like finally getting to nail that guy you had a crush on in high school.
Yes, if these stories ended here, it might appear as if it was time to change the sheets on the bed of democracy. But, ah, the motherfuckering. See, it's not just that we're dealing with motherfuckers in this government of ours. It's that they're motherfuckerers. It's not enough for them to fuck your mothers. They wanna turn you into a motherfucker by association.
It seemed a day before that Whitman was gonna throw Rudy Giuliani under the bus, having said in an interview that Giuliani didn't want responders wearing haz-mat suits, for instance, because "They didn't want this image of a city falling apart." In the hearing room, Whitman had this thrown back at her, as well as all the contradictions in her previous statements on the safety of the air at the former World Trade Center. But Whitman wasn't there to be cowed. She belted on the ten-inch black strap on, the kind that's so heavy it needs suspenders to be held straight, and told the members of Congress, "Line up your mothers. There's fuckin' to be done." And, oh, how she went to work.
According to Whitman, whose testimony sounded like it came directly from a phone call with Karl Rove, don't blame her or the Bush administration. Blame "the terrorists who attacked the United States, not the men and women at all levels of government who worked heroically to protect and defend this country," which is a little like saying to blame smoking-related deaths on the existence of tobacco, not on the corporations who lied for years about its addictive nature. Osama bin Laden didn't make Whitman tell everyone the air was fine to suck down into your lungs.
Whitman, no noble Richard Clarke even out of office, responded to the anger against her with anger of her own. "Was it wrong to try to get the city back on its feet as quickly as possible in the safest way possible? Absolutely not," she said, not acknowledging that often "quick" and "safe" do not go together. "We weren't going to let the terrorists win." She even admitted that President Bush wanted the Financial District open on Friday, after the Tuesday attack, while Lower Manhattan was still hot from the melted buildings. One presumes it was for when Bush was doing his bullhorn-licious visit. Strong leader that she was, she convinced Bush to wait until Monday.
Backing away from her criticism of Giuliani (who must be Rove's chosen candidate), Whitman told the committee, "I don't think the mayor is blaming me, and I'm certainly not blaming the mayor," even though, just a day before, she had blamed the mayor. "I think the city of New York did absolutely everything in its power to do what was right by the citizens of New York." No, no, Christine Todd Whitman was not gonna back down, not gonna admit error, not gonna say that the Bush White House wanted the veil of normalcy in Manhattan, safety be damned. Nope, Whitman said that dissent was not proper because "In times of crisis you need to speak with one voice."
Done with her fucking of mothers, Whitman wiped down her dildo, put it away, and walked out of the hearing room, dragging the rest of us down the motherfucker road with her.
Oh, and those brave students who asked Bush to stop torturing? Instead of just thanking them for their opinions and leaving it at that, Bush had to do some motherfuckering, lying to the students' faces. Hoping to transform the teens into junior motherfuckers, he told them that "the United States does not torture and that we value human rights."
Democracy can't even get a reacharound these days.