"a short war, with the lads home by christmas"
Just saw that Rumsfeld announced troop reductions in Iraq. What a timing. Peace on earth and merry christmas, dude.
I feel a strange mix of condradictory thought and emotions whenever the Bush adminitration makes one of those totally surreal things that would makes your eyes roll back and sigh "duuuuuh" in even the most over the top, totally turkey Hollywood blockbuster.
Lame and tacky one-liners like 'mission accomplished', 'let freedom reign', 'slam dunk', 'mushroom cloud smoking gun', 'dead or alive', please don't kill me'*, 'bring'em on', flightsuits, surprise turkey to the troops. So cramp, so kitsch, so corny.
You feel disbelief that they bet so many of the US citizenry are such idiots they can get away with it, awe at the outlandish brazenness, comtempt for the bottomless bad taste, amusement at the ridicule cartoonishness, the creeping fear that at least some of them really believe it.
In an essay (don't remember if it was one in Testaments Betrayed or The Art of the Novel), Milan Kundera described how the kitsch of social realism was not an arbitrary style, but a central tool of the totalitarian propaganda of the Eastern Bloc, and this is exactly what I see whenever there's such a moment in the news.
When trying to find that essay online (which I failed, sorry), I found that Matthew Ygglesias and Timothy Burke share my thoughts about the tawdriness of the Bush admin., so go read them, especially the latter's first-hand comparaison of the respective lack of class of the Zimbabwe's and the US government.
Does this mean the US is no longer a democracy? No. It has is a quite a bit to go until you reach the Putin's Russia's level, much less that of a fully-fledged dictatorship.
And although the risk has never been higher since George Washington was offered dictatorial powers, I think all the scandals (torture, extraodinary renditions, the Fitzgerald investigation, the massive warrantless eavesdropping of communications, and probabably more) are building up to an extent that the judiciary system and Republicans (not the Bushist fundamentalist/neo-con movement that has hijacked the party) can no longer tolerate. But it'll be a slow process, and there'll be a lot more of those shoddy shennanigans. Have some pop-corn & enjoy the show!
* although non-scripted, a bad guy line worthy of a Bond villain.
Crossed-posted at Tacitus; for comments please follow this link