Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Les encompetents

From Harold Meyerson in today's WaPo:

Incompetence is not one of the seven deadly sins, and it's hardly the worst attribute that can be ascribed to George W. Bush. But it is this president's defining attribute. Historians, looking back at the hash that his administration has made of his war in Iraq, his response to Hurricane Katrina and his Medicare drug plan, will have to grapple with how one president could so cosmically botch so many big things -- particularly when most of them were the president's own initiatives.

In numbing profusion, the newspapers are filled with litanies of screw-ups. Yesterday's New York Times brought news of the first official assessment of our reconstruction efforts in Iraq, in which the government's special inspector general depicted a policy beset, as Times reporter James Glanz put it, "by gross understaffing, a lack of technical expertise, bureaucratic infighting [and] secrecy." At one point, rebuilding efforts were divided, bewilderingly and counterproductively, between the Army Corps of Engineers and, for projects involving water, the Navy. That's when you'd think a president would make clear in no uncertain terms that bureaucratic turf battles would not be allowed to impede Iraq's reconstruction. But then, the president had no guiding vision for how to rebuild Iraq -- indeed, he went to war believing that such an undertaking really wouldn't require much in the way of American treasure and American lives.

It's the president's prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D), though, that is his most mind-boggling failure. As was not the case in Iraq or with Katrina, it hasn't had to overcome the opposition of man or nature. Pharmacists are not resisting the program; seniors are not planting car bombs to impede it (not yet, anyway). But in what must be an unforeseen development, people are trying to get their medications covered under the program. Apparently, this is a contingency for which the administration was not prepared, as it has been singularly unable to get its own program up and running.
I was just having a conversation about this with someone the other day. Can you think of anything -- I mean anything -- that this crowd has done right? I guess Tom Oliphant's upcoming book is going to be right on target: Republicans are damned good at winning elections and piss poor at governing.

I mean, the Bushies destroyed FEMA, lost New Orleans, and now they won't even help with the inquiry. They put a former mine executive in charge of the agency that regulates mine safety, and religious wing-nuts in charge of all the agencies that help get contraception and AIDS medicines to the Third World.

This crowd is supposed to excell at "keeping the country safe," but as I recall, they were in power on 9/11. Condi Rice was a disaster as National Security Advisor ("I think it was titled, 'Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States..."). And which one of these geniuses is in charge of preventing the Mexican military and a whole lotta low wage slave laborers from invading our southern border -- with maps...??? With the help of Joe Lieberman, they cobbled together this mess called the Department of Homeland Security that spot checks my 10-year-old daughter at the airport and rescues airline passengers from nose hair clippers. ... The Justice Department under Ashcroft spent most of its time on porn and its major terror prosecutions boil down to a Chicago gang member gone wrong who isn't even a dirty bomber anymore, a couple of dolts in Florida who couldn't pull off their dastardly jihad plot because their credit cards got declined a gun show, pathetic Johnny Walker Lindh and wacked-out Zacarias Moussaoui. Under the current JD, they're justifying torture and focus grouping new names for Nixonian domestic spying. Even their spying is screwball -- targeting animal rights activists, Quakers, and people holding deadly plates of peanut butter sandwiches...

They chased Richard Clarke, the one guy who knew anything about terrorism, out of their government, elevated the supremely incompetant and deluded neocons to positions of power, put their faith in Ahmad Chalabi, invaded the Middle Eastern country next to the one that's building nuclear weapons, pissed away a millenia of artifacts and antiquities and they can't find Osama bin Laden, even though they claim to know when anyone in America is phoning his al-Qaida underlings (as opposed to dialing their cousin in Dubai to check on the latest Michael Jackson sighting...)

Yes, I think that counts as incompetence...

Update: They've also damned near destroyed the Army, and the dimwits seem to be getting their GWOT policy from watching "24" ...

Update: How many kittens would Dubya have to bludgeon to get any of the above to matter to Republicans? (or, the winger faithful in the Wizbang comment pool practice their love on the president...)

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posted by JReid @ 12:35 PM  
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