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Yes You. Worry.


How do you separate a good politician from a great one? Well, reaction – the ability to manage things beyond your control – is one very good test. Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan had that skill.
Just to get an idea of how hard it is, take a look at President George W. Bush’s September ‘to-do’ list. You do not want to be this man. Why? Mid-term Congressional Elections are coming up in about a year and while most states have jerry-rigged their Congressional districts to prevent any sort of sudden change-over in representation, it’s looking more and more like the Republicans – particularly the outspoken conservatives – are going to have a hard time of things.
But back to George Bush’s list of stuff to do:
1. Solve Katrina fall-out by doing something this administration has never done: Anticipate problems. Specifically the problems arising from the real fear that the flooded City of New Orleans is the Love Canal of the 21st Century (Rebuild it? Uh, yeah. A city that was built on tourism, a love of visiting pretty places? What’s so pretty about a football stadium where babies died of dehydration?)
2. Nominate a new Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (bearing in mind that there are a lot of pissed off Black folks and not too many happy white women out there these days…). And see that the white man you nominated already as a sop to your “conservative” base through his now sure-to-be-tough, rough and not-too-easy confirmation hearings to be Chief Justice.
3. Get the boys home from Iraq in time for November, 2006 elections so you and your party don’t lose the House, which, if Rep. Tom Delay gets indicted, could well happen. At times like this I want Jon Stewart to publish transcripts of his shows. A few week ago, Sy Hersh was on predicting that “external events” would get the U.S out of Iraq. Fast. He was, as he often is, correct.
4. Keep Democrats – specifically that not-so-nice Senator from New York – from deciding that it’s not a good time to stretch their national political ambition and see how far they can push you on Judge John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court, Plan B and Katrina. Class and race in the right hands – the extended reach of a southerner like former President William Jefferson Clinton – is a powerful tool.
5. Worry about normally conservative Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the sole woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee who was recently reminded of her Roe-v.-Wade duties. The possibility that she and California will do well if a woman is elected president can’t have escaped her. And hope she hasn’t had this thought: If Republicans are happy to abandon the good, God-fearing black folks of New Orleans ’cause they don’t vote the “right” way then what is this White House going to do for us Godless atheists in California when our earthquake hits?Not a Goddamn thing. That’s what.

6. Hope Sen. Arlen Specter stays alive. If you’re the Lone Ranger in the U.S. Senate, he’s your Tonto.
7. Worry about Sen. John McCain. To stop this administration dead in its tracks and make sure that it carries into history the legacy of having undone its much-loved conservative agenda, all McCain has to do is walk through the Houston Astrodome and say to the folks who spent a week in the squalor of the New Orleans Superdome: “I know what it’s like to be trapped in a place you don’t want to be…” Don’t think McCain, the former Vietnam POW, doesn’t know this, either.
8. Hope that if McCain goes to Houston and San Antonio, he doesn’t take former Secretary of State Colin Powell with him. Special Note: Sen. Clinton can put this one on her list, too.
9. Take that “political capital” that you boasted about in January to the bank.
10. Listen to America laugh.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 1:41 PM | Permalink

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