You'd think Republicans had the perfect scam going. Having had George W. Bush appointed to the White House, no matter what outrages were perpetrated during his administration no one would doubt the plausibility of his denials of awareness.
Certainly affability has its merits, especially amongst a constituency diminished by the presence of intellectually imposing men and (particularly) women of character. But who could look into that vacant countenance and doubt the man's veracity when he claims he knows nothing about the issue in question? Not me!
It becomes all the more astounding, therefore, when one after another of Bush's senior advisors, former Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill and most recently former counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, publicly repudiate that which has been denied by the Bush league.
My favorite Bush league response to Clarke's claims has to be that the man is naught but a disgruntled employee. Folks, this one's a beaut!
How shocking it must be for the Bush league to discover the man they hand picked for such a critical position turns out to be so phenomenally commonplace.
Should we surmise there is a high probability the rest of Bush's senior advisors are equally devoid of character, the only difference being their slavish willingness to adhere to the party line? Is our country being run by a bunch of losers controlled by a president chosen because he is nice and non-threatening?
One cannot consider the larger scope of such a claim against Clarke and conclude otherwise.
As for me, I view the sudden disparagement of Clarke a glaringly obvious and poorly executed ruse that is simultaneously contemptuous and cognizant of the Republican constituency.
Who would even consider such a claim at face value except those constitutionally incapable of questioning authority? And who would issue such a statement and expect to get away with it except those fully aware of and willing to exploit the lack of conceptual depth among their constituency?
Wake up, America! Pay no attention to the Bush league's attempts to smear Richard Clarke. This is what they do; it's politics as usual.
They are relying upon the majority of voters to remain passive receptors of the high-priced advertising campaigns and insidious character assassinations played out on national television at a cost of millions. They do not expect you to pay attention, only to be led like lambs to the slaughter.
Fool 'em! Pay attention. Attend to the background of guys like O'Neil and Clarke. These guys were chosen because they were the cr?me de la cr?me. When they speak up out of personal outrage at the lies perpetrated at the expense of the American public, they deserve our utmost attention. It is we, after all, who are responsible for our country.
Men and women of character look to history and realize those civilizations that flourished in the past did so because integrity trumped deceit, a concern for the public welfare took precedence over the accumulation of wealth and power.
Ironically, though our participatory democracy was designed to empower us to prevent such abuses our founding fathers could not see beyond their own lofty horizons. Educated and passionately engaged, it was probably inconceivable to them that all were not so.
Never could they fathom the notion that an individual could lose an election because he or she had been branded an intellectual. Likewise, how astonished they would be to discover that rather than campaigning on a platform designed to promote the greatest good, the majority of the human and economic assets of the current Republican campaign are allocated to determining precisely what renders a passive constituency most comfortable.
The founding fathers were men of character. Of those formerly associated with the Bush league and those currently casting desperate and ill-conceived aspersions upon their former teammates, whom do you think are the persons of character?
We cannot afford to be manipulated.
Can you plausibly deny awareness of the presence of skilled media specialists at the forefront of the president's pathetic attempts to maintain credibility?
Can you plausibly deny any reflection at all upon the disclaimers by the Bush league regarding the assertions of O'Neill and Clarke appear so patently desperate as to be laughable?
And can you plausibly deny that the core of the Republican constituency is relied upon to eschew such reflection?
For the sake of America we must pay attention and we must act!
R.H. Joseph is a longtime employee of the News Daily. His column appears on Wednesdays. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 252, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.