This House of Card’s…

9/22/2005

Was not built for a perfect storm.

You have to wonder what Andy Card is up to these days. These can’t be good days for the White House chief of staff. As anyone who has ever held such a position knows, while you may be the “chief” you are only as good as the “staff.” Similarly, the whole enterprise, of which you are ostensibly the number two, is only as good as its number one.

In both regards, Mr. Card has been dealt a very bad hand. And for a guy whose principle job is to keep an eye on the playground and make sure all the president’s men’s watches are synchronized, these must be hard and troubled times.

Card never seemed a good fit for this outfit. Hardly the back-slapping, cow-poking Texan, Card is from the land Bush loyalists equate with Gomorrah–Massachusetts. Got that “gonna get the cah and go down to the bah for some chowda” thing going on. The man even attended Harvard, a place where they think “hook ‘em horns” has something to do with orchestras.

It is beyond ironic that Card’s main claim to a place on the Bush mantle dates back to his service as daddy’s transportation secretary when he was tapped to skedaddle down to Florida after the first Bush’s FEMA had made a hash out of the response to Hurricane Andrew. He must have done a passable good job because three months later Bush carried the state even as he lost the White House to Bill Clinton.

It seems like now would be a great time for Andy to have some “idears” about how to put this Bush’s house in order as it faces crises from the Big Easy in Louisiana, to the Big Awful in Iraq, to the Big Zero in the Oval Office. Forget reforming Social Security, just getting through a day without a new disaster would be a breakout performance for this crew. Hell, even Nixon had accomplishments. It’s high time for the chief of staff to kick some ass.

But it’s hard to take the “Bad Cop” seriously when it says “Keystone Police” on his badge. Perhaps that’s why Mr. Card seems to have disappeared into the place formerly known as “Dick Cheney’s bunker.”

Maybe the White House chief of staff knows that this ship can’t be saved. He has to realize that his beloved Red Sox did the trick last year because it had the “playas.” And while this White House suffers no shortage of assholes and audacity–when it comes time for someone to do some governing, they got nothing.

Need a FEMA director? “Get that Arabian horse guy, what’s his name, Brown.” Director of Federal Procurement? “How about Abramoff’s buddy Safavian–he’d be good.” Secretary of State? “Call Condi and see if she can break away from shoe shopping at Ferragamo–and tell her to bring a bucket.” And where’s Karl Rove our political director? “Oh yeah, that Plame thing…”

Yes, it would a great time for Andy to play the trump card and get this thing turned around. They tried sending Cheney to Mississippi to show his conservative compassion and he was greeted by a local doctor screaming, “go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney. Go fuck yourself.” And apparently most of America shares that sentiment as Bush’s approvals are hovering just above Enron in the opinion polls.

Who could blame Andy for going missing as a special prosecutor, Cindy Sheehan and Hurricane Rita close-in on the White House. If you thought it couldn’t get any worse know that this morning’s National Enquirer is reporting that W has fallen off the wagon and Laura has issued an ultimatum: “Jim Beam or me.”

The problem is Andy’s boss is not a particularly good listener. Card tried his best to get W’s attention that dreadful morning when he whispered “Mr. President, the nation is under attack” to Bush as he was reading “My Pet Goat” with school children.

It was a call to action, but what he got was Bush, dumbstruck, looking as if he was being mounted by his pet goat.

We can only hope that this nation will withstand W’s wars, fiscal calamity and botched hurricane response. The most definitive thing he’s told us in the past few weeks is that he “needs a bathroom break.” And we now know that the only prerequisites to serving in his Administration are possessing a pair of cowboy boots and perpetual state of suspended disbelief.

Godspeed to you Andy. This house of Card’s was not built for a perfect storm.

More on the state of the union’s president: “Mission Demolished

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