January 20, 2005
I Feel Gypped (or It's My Party
& I'll Cry If I Want To)
Like many of you out there, I enjoy parlaying my birthday into a Birthday Week - that way I can share the love with as many people as possible and go on a weeklong bender. However, this has to be the ultimate buzzkill:
Seriously, look at this parade of assholes. And how did Trent Lott get to be a part of this crew?
I find it hard to accept that my celebrations have to be cut short due to the fact that down in D.C. people are currently celebrating a man that I think should be spending the rest of his life clearing brush, preferably down in Gitmo with electrodes attached to his twinkly bits. Why must people continue to encourage this lying war criminal? When are they going to see the light? Outgoing Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage certainly has:
"I'm disappointed that Iraq hasn't turned out better. And that we weren't able to move forward more meaningfully in the Middle East peace process."It's amazing how many people in the Bush Administration wait until after they leave to tell the world the truth. Apparently job securtiy is the number one priority in Washington.
Then, after a minute's pause, he adds a third regret: "The biggest regret is that we didn't stop 9/11. And then in the wake of 9/11, instead of redoubling what is our traditional export of hope and optimism we exported our fear and our anger. And presented a very intense and angry face to the world. I regret that a lot."
And speaking of job security: I guess we've also witnessed this week exactly how things are going to go with the Democratic Party for the next 4 years. We'll get a couple of shit disturbers like Senators Boxer and Kerry to ask a couple of tough questions; we'll get a number of Senators to "voice displeasure" with Bush Administration policies; hell, we'll even delay a confirmation or two -- but, in the end, these are only symbolic gestures. To get a real take on the "pulse" of the Democratic Party, one need look no further than this CNN interview with "the most powerful Democratic Senator":
PAULA ZAHN: And joining me now is the most powerful Democratic Senator, Joseph Biden of Delaware. So Senator, do you think Condoleezza Rice was truthful in her testimony before the Senate today?I don't know where to begin. This is perhaps the most appalling display of stupidity and cowardice I've ever seen from an elected official (and that's saying a lot). What are the Democrats afraid of? That the Republican attack machine is going to accuse them of being partisan?!?! That they might alienate some voters and lose their jobs? Earth to Democrats: the reason we vote for you is because we expect you to be PARTISAN. The Republicans have no problem being partisan and they seem to be doing pretty well in the job security department. The only time you should be bi-partisan is when you agree with the opposition, not when you think someone is being "disingenuous"; not when you "think we're going in the wrong direction"; not when you don't expect "an epiphany" from the next Secretary of State.
BIDEN: I think she was evasive in her responses to Senator Boxer's questions about what I think was disinformation. She was literally correct when she said that the intelligence community, a portion of it, said those aluminum tubes were for a gas centrifuge system but, like others in the administration, she didn't point out that a significant portion of the intelligence community said no no, they're not for that purpose. But it was, to use the fancy word, it was disingenuous.
ZAHN: So Senator, you've found her disingenuous. Barbara Boxer your colleague basically said Dr. Rice's defense of the war "overwhelmed her perspective of truth". Isn't that going to be a problem for her?
BIDEN: Look. My standard is, if the person is, in my view, if the person is the President's choice, someone who has the competence intellectually and practically to do the job, then I err on the side of giving the president choice, so I will vote for her. But I wasn't particularly impressed by her performance today before the committee.
ZAHN: Senator, as we leave you tonight, I need some help with math here. You asked Dr. Rice a very pointed question about the number of Iraqi security forces that are really trained to do the job. She contended it was 120,000, you say based on your several visits to Iraq it's closer to 4,000. What are we talking about here?
BIDEN: In the field, if you ask any commanding officer over there, how many Iraqi military are ready to supplant an American force on the ground, you will get a number a heck of a lot closer to 4,000 than you will 120,000, and it's because we've had a really, really lousy training problem up until about three months ago when General Petraeus took over, and further because we have not taken advantage of the offers of the Egyptians, of the French even, and the Germans and others, to train Iraqi forces.
ZAHN: But Senator, we're talking about a 116,000 discrepancy here!
BIDEN: Absolutely positively.
ZAHN: So how can you support Dr. Rice if, in fact, her numbers are vastly different from yours? You don't believe her numbers!
BIDEN: Well, I believe her number in this regard. There are 120,000 people in uniform. Are they trained? No! Are they equipped? No! We are not winning in Iraq. The place is more dangerous. Unless there's a serious course change, we're in real trouble.
ZAHN: So how can you support her if she doesn't have a clear assessment of that?
BIDEN: Because that's the President of the United State's policy. You know, she's not the one that makes the policy. The President of the United States is saying the same things that she's saying. And the fact of the matter is I've never seen such concentration of power, within the White House and the Vice President's office, as I'm seeing now. Are they entitled to do that? Yeah! Is it a smart thing to do? No! Does it shut out other voices? Yeah! I think we're going in the wrong direction, I'm concerned about it, but, once she's Secretary of State, maybe there'll be a bit of an epiphany here. But I'm not counting on it.
Oh despair. The only thing I feel cheerful about today are these images of protesters from today's "celebration" (many of whom will be voting in 2006 & 2008, hint hint):