Thursday, January 8, 2009

Farewell to the King

A February 2009 VanityFair piece, Farewell to All That: An Oral History of the Bush White House, by Cullen Murphy and Todd S. Purdum, ought to become required reading for future historians.

If you were to distill the gist from books such as Fiasco, Hubris, and The Republican War on Science, you would have the damningly concise chronology of the last, disastrous, eight years. This chronology is built upon the testimony of witnesses to these events:

  • White House communications director Dan Bartlett
  • German foreign minister Joschka Fischer
  • Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and chief of staff to Colin Powell
  • chief White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke
  • Canadian foreign minister Bill Graham
  • David Kuo, deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
...the list goes on and on.

As if I needed further evidence, this article hammers home the incredibly malevolent effect that Vice President Dick Cheney and Karl Rove have had upon this country.

Your own reading of this account will doubtlessly leave you with your own conclusions. The authors chose to end their piece with a quote from Bush’s pollster and chief strategist for the 2004 presidential campaign, Matthew Dowd:

"You know, the headline in his presidency will be missed opportunity. That is the headline, ultimately. It’s missed opportunity, missed opportunity."
For me, however, it was encapsulated by the words of David Kuo, who was one of administration's disillusioned faith-based players. Now understanding how the evangelicals had been manipulated, Kuo speaks about Karl Rove's master plan of a "permanent Republican majority:"
It’s kind of like the Tower of Babel. At a certain point in time, God smites hubris. You knew that right around the time people started saying there’s going to be a permanent Republican majority—that God kinda goes, No, I really don’t think so.
Thank god.

1 comment:

MountainLaurel said...

Eleven days. Not that I'm counting.