Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Bush slaps down Jim Baker
A rumor making the rounds among those close to the Bush administration is instructive about both Washington, D.C. and the White House. The story goes that former secretary of state and co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group James Baker was in the Oval Office briefing the president and vice president on what that report would recommend. Vice President Cheney was so upset by what he was hearing that he abruptly stood up to leave the room. “Sit down, Dick,” Mr. Baker growled. “You need to hear this.”While the truth of the rumor is in question, there can be no doubt as to the truth of the matter when it comes to the administrations reaction to the Iraq Study Groups report. While Baker may have slapped down Cheney during the White House briefing, it is Cheney and Bush who slapped down Baker and the ISG's report. It was DOA, and the decision to surge troops into Iraq is the President shoveling the last bit of dirt over the ISG's recommendations.
I can not help but wonder at James Bakers state of mind at this point in history. He is Mr. Republican, wants to be known as the elder statesman of America, and is the veritable godfather of the entire Bush family. It was James Baker that headed the legal team in Florida that stopped the vote counting in 2000, and saw George Bush installed as President despite losing the popular vote nationwide by over 600,000 votes. And there in lies his problem.
Rather than going down in history as the elder statesman, he may be recognized as the architect of the effort to install this nations worst President ever into office illegitimately. We saw the anti-democratic seeds planted in the 2000 election debacle. We have graduated from lawyers trying to stop the vote counting, to lawyers trying to gut the 4th amendment and allow the NSA to tap domestic phone calls. We see the seeds started as the violent intervention of a Republican mob in the canvassing of the Miami Dade votes, grow to fruition as the administration removes ancient rights, older than America itself, such as habeus corpus. Bitter fruit from the seed planted and fostered by Jim Baker, in what was the very first inkling of the short shrift this administration would give to basic democratic principles when it did not suit their interests.
So Baker must have felt a little self interested in the outcome of his effort to pull Bush's fat out of the fire with the Iraq Study Group findings. Baker offered Bush an out, and Bush slapped Baker down by escalating the conflict. This then is the bitter fruit harvested by Baker for spearheading the effort that saw Bush selected to the Presidency, and then trying to provide Bush with the means to extricate himself from Iraq.
Not an antiwar march (important as they are), but a separate march to demand only one thing: the impeachment of George Bush.
You can comment on the idea at http://marchtoimpeach.blogspot.com/.
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