You da Lamb!


Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An’ if I stay it will be double

Should I stay or should I go?
The Clash, 1982

Capitol Hill legend has it that a prickly congressman replied thusly to a constituent who’d called him an “incompetent fool” in a letter: “Dear sir, thank you for the compliment, I’d hate to think of myself as being competent at being a fool.”

That clever twist of phrase holds about the only solace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales can find these days as he gropes for vindication for his role in the peculiar firings of eight U.S. Attorneys, because he has without doubt distinguished himself as a most incompetent liar in the affair.

We could go into the nuance of serving at the will and pleasure of the president and executive privilege and congressional prerogative and dissect this festering mess, but that would make my ass hurt and you wouldn’t finish reading this. Since neither one of us want either of those outcomes, let’s just stipulate that his evolving explanations have so failed the smell test that Republicans are running for the air freshener and Gonzo’s own White House liaison told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she’ll plead the Fifth if called to testify on the matter.

So if you think those black silhouettes swirling round the Department of Justice headquarters are nifty new homeland security terror lookouts, think again. They are vultures of the sort that feed on the soon-to-be-rotting flesh of soon-to-be-resigning-to-spend-more-time-with-my-attorney political appointees.

It’s happening with alarming frequency these days in Washington, these vulture sightings. So many are team-Bush’s scandals that Democrats are pulling hamstrings running to microphones to demand resignations and Republicans are swamping travel agents in an effort to distance themselves from the wreckage.

If John the Baptist had a cable show he might say of Gonzales, “behold, the lamb of George, who takes away the sins of the White House.” For it’s all a part of the cold calculus of protecting the president from the fatally flawed product of his making, an Administration without compass, rudder or itinerary.

It’s not even ironic that one year ago on EWM, you were reading in “Connecting the Dolts” the story of how Bush’s top domestic policy advisor had been arrested for a $5,000 shoplifting spree. And that wasn’t ironic because, at the time, that story was slipping through the cracks because Bush’s top procurement officer had just been arrested for colluding with Jack Abramoff and his Department of Transportation had turned over control of domestic port facilities to an Arab nation that had provided a financial base for the 9/11 hijackers and, oh, his Vice President shot a man in the face and went into hiding.

To use a phrase Gonzo made memorable as a characterization of the Geneva Conventions, those episodes were “rendered quaint” compared to the subsequent conviction of a Bush national security advisor for grand jury perjury in connection with the outing of a CIA agent and the firing of a Secretary of Defense who turned Iraq into a cataclysmically fucked-up enterprise after those halcyon days of toppled statues and missions accomplished.

Irony connotes an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected. There is nothing unexpected in the performance of the Bush administration, if he didn’t convince us with his “My Pet Goat moment” at the moment he learned the “nation was under attack” he surely showed us with his slam dunk WMD. And if you are a slow learner there’s always the “heck of a job Brownie,” Katrina response.

If there’s a smattering of irony here it’s that our coxswain in chief is still steering the ship of state as yet another deck hand falls prey to the vultures that eat the dead without prejudice. Another lamb of George to the slaughter, another day without accountability, but, thankfully, another day closer to the end of this amazingly incompetent fool’s reign.

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