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June 20, 2005

A Lame Duck and an Out-of-Control Dog Pack

Today’s New York Times has an article summing up President Bush’s irrelevancy, which I think is what his entire presidency would have been like except for 9/11 occurring on his watch. 

Irrelevancy is not always a bad thing in a President but in this case, because of the gang he brought with him and his apparent need to outshine his father, the nation as a whole will suffer for generations.

The Carpetbagger Report asked a question yesterday of its readership – “Who is the worst member of the Bush cabinet?”  In the comments, the responses appear to be favoring Rumsfield although there was plenty of competition – Ashcroft, Rice, Paige, Gonzalez.  The general sense was that Cheney would have won had the question been broadened to include anyone in the administration. But in the comments by PW was a particularly astute observation on the lot of them I’d like to pass on:

I've seen — several times, in fact — cases where neighborhood dogs, individually loved by their owners, less well trained than they should have been but well fed and loved, dogs who have never behaved in a vicious manner, run off together and do something utterly awful. The first time I witnessed this was in Europe where the dogs killed a baby sitting in its stroller. You can imagine the horror and grief, including the horror and grief on the part of the dogs' owners. And disbelief.

I keep feeling I'm witnessing something similar in our government. As with the dogs, it has to do with both a missing piece of socialization combined with pack mentality. I think we have to face the fact that Cheney has been described as sweet and humorous, Ashcroft a loyal and kind friend, Gonzales as a trustworthy, decent human being… and on and on. Where they stop being decent human beings is the point at which they become members of a truly dangerous pack.

Our leaders are sociopaths enabled, one might say, by their owners, the people who voted for them. We let them run unattended and are now wondering what the hell has happened. We're the owners of the dogs in that pack. Some Americans love Cheney and Ashcroft. Some Americans also have pit bulls and love watching them savage other dogs in the world's park. Sociopaths? You'd better believe it! As for the rest of us, we've gotten used to government taking care of itself and us. Elected officials? We just have them; we don't take responsibility for them. Unfortunately, they'll be replaced by another set one of these days and it won't be a whole lot different from this bunch unless we teach them some ground rules and keep watch over them. The guys who love to encourage viciousness in pit bulls and presidents? I don't know what to do about them.

Posted by Lynn Allen on June 20, 2005 at 10:15 AM in Miscellany | Permalink


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