Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yet another scapegoat

By Michael J.W. Stickings

As CNN is reporting (via Think Progress, which has the video), "the White House is now blaming the anonymous intelligence briefer who presented the information" on alleged "Iranian arms shipments into Iraq" last Sunday. That was the evidence-free briefing that was supposed to provide the smoking gun of Tehran's direct connection to the violence in Iraq, you'll recall. (And the one that was supposed to give Bush the cover he needs to launch some sort of military action against Iran.)

For this White House, as we know all too well, the buck stops anywhere but there. Bush's presidency is a culture of irresponsibility where blame for whatever goes wrong -- and a lot has gone wrong -- is conveniently heaped on scapegoats: Democrats, the media, the CIA and the intelligence community, Iraqi puppets, the U.N., war critics, etc. Above all, it's never Bush's fault, never the fault of the policymakers around him.

Failure in Iraq has been and will be blamed on these and other scapegoats, and now, with war against Iran looming out there on the horizon, the scapegoat is some poor schmuck who was most likely only doing and saying what he was told to do and say.

Remember the Simpsons episode where Bart becomes an instant celebrity on Krusty's show when he blurts out, upon knocking the set over, "I didn't do it"? His celebrity quickly wanes as his line grows old and the public moves on, but what we have with Bush is a presidency of which such irresponsibility, the unwillingness to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong, is a defining feature. The line has grown old, but nothing has changed.

You expect it from Bart, rascal that he is. And maybe you even expect it from Bush. It just makes a difference when it's the president of the United States and the matter at hand is war.

[Creature's Note: Once again, Michael's words, my cut-and-paste. Ignore all references to me below.]

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