Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Frank Rich explains why I can't keep up with Bush Administration malfeasance

Frank Rich, who writes a Sunday op ed column for the New York Times, writes from a perspective that involves taking a step or two back so he can view the “bigger picture.”

In my March 19 post, I excerpted from Rich’s op ed, The Ides of March 2003, a chronology “of some of the high points and low points in the days leading up to the national train wreck whose anniversary we mourn this week.”

This past Sunday, Rich’s column, Earth to G.O.P: The Gipper is Dead (subscription required but reposted here) cleared up why I’m having such a hard time saving, reading, and trying to write about what the Bush Administration is doing.

The focus of the article was the first Republican presidential debate and the prospects for any Republican Presidential candidate in 2008. According to Rich, “Aside from tax cuts and a wall on the Mexican border, the only issue that energized the presidential contenders was Ronald Reagan.”

Rich then takes a step back and looks at the Bush Administration through a telephoto lens: “… it could be argued that the Iraq fiasco, disastrous to American interests as it is, actually masks the magnitude of the destruction this presidency has visited both on the country in general and the G.O.P. in particular.

“By my rough, conservative calculation — feel free to add — there have been corruption, incompetence, and contracting or cronyism scandals in these cabinet departments: Defense, Education, Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development. I am not counting State, whose deputy secretary, a champion of abstinence-based international AIDS funding, resigned last month in a prostitution scandal, or the General Services Administration, now being investigated for possibly steering federal favors to Republican Congressional candidates in 2006. Or the Office of Management and Budget, whose chief procurement officer was sentenced to prison in the Abramoff fallout. I will, however, toss in a figure that reveals the sheer depth of the overall malfeasance: no fewer than four inspectors general, the official watchdogs charged with investigating improprieties in each department, are themselves under investigation simultaneously — an all-time record.”

No wonder I’m having a hard time keeping up!

(photo of Frank Rich – ColbertNation.com)

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