Fashioning Deadly Fiascos
By MAUREEN DOWD
New York Times November 5, 2005
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Men are simply not biologically suited to hold higher office. The Bush administration has proved that once and for all.
These guys can’t be bothered to run the country. They are too obsessed with frivolous stuff, like fashion and whether they look fat. They are catty, sometimes even sabotaging their closest friends. They are deceitful minxes and malicious gossips.
And heaven knows they’re bad at math. Otherwise, W. would realize that a 60 percent disapproval rating, or worse, means that most Americans would like some fresh blood in the administration. It’s appalling to see ringleaders of the incompetent, mendacious crew who rushed into Iraq but not New Orleans getting big promotions and posh consulting jobs.
Let’s first consider the astonishing new cache of Brownie e-mail released by the Congressional panel investigating the heartbreaking Katrina non-response.
Batting away the frantic warnings of death and doom in New Orleans, bubbleheaded Brownie boasted of his style sense, replying to a staffer who told him his outfit looked “fabulous” on TV: “I got it at Nordstrom.”
In another e-mail to staffers, he preened: “If you’ll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you’ll really vomit. I am a fashion god.”
Brownie had other things on his mind besides managing the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history: restaurants and dog sitters, and marshaling spin for stories about his past management gaffes at the International Arabian Horse Association.
By Sept. 4, with disaster apartheid in full view, Brownie was getting e-mail advice from his press secretary: “You just need to look more hardworking,” Sharon Worthy wrote the FEMA Fashionista. “ROLL UP THE SLEEVES!”
It may seem unfathomable that W. has kept Brownie, one of the biggest boobs in U.S. history, on the federal payroll as a $148,000-a-year consultant.
But President Bush may be empathetic to Brownie’s concerns about looking good. Obsessed with losing the seven pounds he’d gained around his waist, W. was so focused on getting back his hourglass figure that his staff had to compile an emergency DVD of Katrina news stories before he could be dragged away from biking.
Unless it’s some catty attempt to undermine someone you’re pretending to like, how to explain the Mean Girls cabal headed by Dick Cheney, Rummy and the Rummy aide Douglas Feith? These hawkish Heathers lured W. into war with hyped intelligence and then clawed out Colin Powell’s eyes to take charge of the occupation, only to bollix up the whole thing beyond belief and send the president’s ratings cratering.
The former Powell chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who often verbalizes what Mr. Powell does not say because the ex-secretary of state does not want to be in a public catfight with the cabal, charged on NPR that the cabal issued directives that led to the abuse of prisoners by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It was clear to me,” he said, “that there was a visible audit trail from the vice president’s office through the secretary of defense down to the commanders in the field that in carefully couched terms – I’ll give you that – that to a soldier in the field meant two things: we’re not getting enough good intelligence and you need to get that evidence – and, oh, by the way, here’s some ways you probably can get it.”
Colonel Wilkerson called David Addington, the shadowy Cheney counsel who has been promoted to Scooter’s chief of staff job, “a staunch advocate of allowing the president in his capacity as commander in chief to deviate from the Geneva Conventions.”
Heathers have their own rules. Having ignored the warnings that an invasion would cause an insurgency, the Vice squad stepped up the torture to try to stop an insurgency born amid the arrogant, incompetent occupation.
The colonel also described how Vice shaped war policy. Mr. Cheney’s fiercely ideological staff monitored the National Security Council staff in such Big Brother fashion that some of the N.S.C. staff “quit using e-mails for substantive conversations because they knew the vice president’s alternate national security staff was reading their e-mails now.”
Colonel Wilkerson said that there was an N.S.C. memo that made a compelling argument for a large number of troops being necessary in Iraq, “and to this day, I don’t know whether that memorandum ever got to the president of the United States.”
Women are affected by hormones only at times. Vice’s hormones rage every day.”