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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

cracks in the walls of the citadel

The "hidden meaning" of the Pat Robertson comment has nothing to do with Hugo Chavez.

It has everything to do with the war in Iraq, the price of gas, and the public mood of Bush's base.

You see...by saying "it would be a heck of a lot cheaper" to assassinate Chavez than go to war with Venezuela, what Robertson was really admitting was: the cost of the war in Iraq, in terms of dollars and lives lost, has been too high.

Even the most staunch members of Bush's base have doubts about the quagmire in Iraq swimming around in their brains...so much so, comments like Robertson's just slip out sometimes...especially when they get to thinking about our dependence on foreign oil and the price of gas.

I guarantee you that is what BushCo. took from Robertson's words...what gave them pause. (You don't think they seriously care what Roberston's wacky opinions about foreign policy are, do you?) They do care how Robertson reflects the mood of their base.

You see, GOP support is like a citadel. It's monolithic and built with thick, almost impermeable walls. All sorts of things can "look bad" if you're a Republican....and you can shrug it off.

This isn't the first time Robertson's run his mouth. It's not the first time the President has taken a long vacation in the midst of a war. It's not the first time gas prices have climbed higher than most Americans' comfort level. It's not the first time Bush has faced a grieving mother.

But it is the first time all of this has happened with cracks in the walls of the citadel. And all of these issues have begun to hit home when they wouldn't have previously. It means something that one last wave of National Guard members are getting called up...sending men and women with families and jobs they will leave behind to go fight in Bush's war in Iraq.

The "citadel" voted for Bush overwhelmingly in 2004. The GOP base saved his ass. Yet, in the lead up to the vote last November, just over one thousand Americans had lost their lives in Iraq; today that total stands at 1871 dead in this war. You could interpret Robertson's comments as simply being about the lives lost in Iraq, about the cost of the war; I'm not so sure about that.

You see, the other thing Robertson was doing in taking on Chavez, in talking about Venezuela...was talking about the price of gasoline.

Listen to his words. Ask yourself...why? Why now? Why Venezuela? The whole thing is a fantasy based on the idea we might invade another oil-rich nation รก la Saddam Hussein's Iraq....a fantasy based on folks' very real concerns about the United States' supply of oil...and our very real dependence on foreign oil to make our gasline.

Robertson's comments, like the cracks in the walls of the citadel, have everything to do with the price of gas. And it's hard not to see that as a stark statement of where the moral yardstick of our nation has been moved. At the end of the day, lives lost in Iraq hurt the President less than "pain at the pump" at home.

If you ask me, Pat Robertson just told us everything we need to know about George Bush and the citadel that surrounds him.


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6 Comments:

  • I noticed that too, and wondered at lack of comment. There was a great discussion of the fracas on democracy now this morning.
    http://www.democracynow.org

    By Blogger reb, at 4:49 PM  

  • Jimmy Carter had the answer 30 years ago. Heighten mileage standards, lower speed limits, conserve, develop new sources of energy, turn the thermostat down and so on. He was laughed out of office.

    Now comes George Douche. Insane waste. Waste. And more waste. Great policy.

    As for the war..... here it is in a nutshell. We can't get anyone to sign up. They have an endless supply of people willing to commit suicide to inflict a blow.
    Checkmate.

    Pat Robertson? They only words I have for him is that I hope there is a God.

    By Blogger Ratprick, at 5:27 PM  

  • And the response has been quick. The Hughes-0-Matic has been set on high and they hearded those families in to see Chimpy McCflightsuit lickity split.

    They must really know they're in trouble...when they actually respond to the way the wind is blowing instead of just changing the weather report.

    By Blogger NYBri, at 6:27 PM  

  • Your analysis of Robertson's comments strikes me as right on. The oil/bodybag ratio has reached the tipping point from his perspective. And as we know, no one since Carter has taken energy conservation seriously in this country -- with the exception of California with its dominant car market leverage, striving to drag the nation into mileage and emission standards.

    By Blogger girlinthelockerroom, at 6:32 AM  

  • Heays KO, good to hear your voice.
    I am a Christian, and because of our work with non-profits, my wife and I run in fundy circles.
    Pat is a loser nutcase, who validates the loser nutcases who tend to gravitate to that sphere.
    Let me be clear--- I see plenty of loser nutcases on the left, too.
    But none of them have theiown TV network.

    By Blogger IsraelHand, at 12:18 AM  

  • I've been watching the walls of the citadel crack for some time now (great analogy btw). The thing is that Bush's with us or against us is a political statement as well. It applies to Americans as well as foreigners.

    Rove's tactics have always been to divide the country he demonised those who aren't with him, that tactic worked great for them after 9/11 when 90% of us (well not me) were with him. But there is a decay.

    His tactics make it more difficult to switch sides, but as Bush's glow fades it repels even those who are slightly off the Ranch. When Bush's numbers finally dip below 50% in any given demographic and geographic his position becomes very unstable. That is why his collapse has been so swift from 50-40 even though he stayed at 50 for so long.

    The need the safety of conformity to maintain their world view, each person who leaves the ranch is more evidence that there is a world outside the crumbling walls. Their only defence against dissent is ignorance or hatred.

    By Anonymous Luam, at 6:19 AM  

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