We live in treacherous times, not only because of terrorist threats but more importantly because our leaders premise everything according to their ideological wish list asking us to disbelieve what our eyes, ears and common sense tell us and to disregard the constitutional protections most of us believe to be our birthright. The concept of power to the people has been dissolved by a government whose modus operandi is power to the executive
The president still can’t bring himself to acknowledge mistakes made in Iraq except for regrets about comments like “bring it on”. In their joint press conference Tony Blair reflected more concretely on such things as disbanding the Iraqi army. But the humor and camaraderie Bush shared with Blair at the press conference struck a false note considering the terrible state of a war run amuck.
One often hears it said that history will be the final arbiter of the Bush presidency. From a remarkably cynical perspective that ignores real-time events, some pundits seem to suggest that deceiving the American people with manipulated intelligence and un-provoked interventions in other nations’ affairs may, at some future date, be seen in the light of real-politik judgments that constitute statesmanship and forward-looking policy.
But whatever the issue, a cadre of apologists stands ready to foster any myth currently embraced by The White House. If it’s global warming, someone on a talk show will shout that it’s the invention of crazed environmentalists who would foist a “phony science” on the nation. If it’s about national security, wild-eyed alarmists tell us that unchecked domestic surveillance is justified in the war on terrorism – – that it’s only about phone numbers not names or conversations. And they expect us to believe that. Goodness.
Perhaps one of the more amusing insights into the coalition of the deluded was a discussion among various analysts on Fox News regarding the Enron convictions. Most of the panel agreed that Skilling and Lay were properly convicted of fraud. There were two deniers, however, who suggested that such convictions would serve to dampen enthusiasm for innovation and the willingness of people in the business world to “take chances.” Uhuh.
And then there was President Bush comparing himself to Truman during his commencement address at West Point. As Marty Kaplan put it in Huffington Post, the sign on Truman’s desk that said “the buck stops here” “applies to no-one in this administration’s accountability-free zone.” And terrifying for its sang froid was the president’s statement that the war he began would be finished by the graduating cadets. There is something distasteful, in any case, about politicians using commencements to make political statements – – one reason New School graduates were not pleased to have Senator McCain as their graduation speaker.
In both instances politicians disrespected the young men and women they addressed by serving up what resembled stump speeches instead of celebrating the accomplishments of the graduates on their special day.
The country so needs leaders who will get us to a better place, who will stop insulting our intelligence and dishonoring the principles upon which this country was founded and which define us as a people.

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