It’s going to be a long, hard slog

With Republicans holding all the cards, most people are coming to the realization that our long national nightmare won’t be ending soon.

The other day, a friend of mine remarked that he just can’t get up to writing these days, and I realized that he’s not alone. I personally had a couple of Shinbone Star pieces begun but not going anywhere, and I’ve spent more time worrying about why I’m not writing than I’ve spent writing anything at all.

I think we’ve reached the period of malaise that was bound to come when we realized this particular national nightmare is apparently nowhere near over. As The Current President (TCP) rolls up on 100 days in office with nothing to show but a failed airport bombing and a serious golf habit, that’s — pardon the expression — SAD! And chances are that it won’t get better for a while.

Before the pre-emptive war against Iraq, Vice-President Dick Cheney and consummate yes-man Paul Wolfowitz told us that our troops would be welcomed as liberators when we went into Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Some time later it was left to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to tell us that we’d win, but “it will be a long, hard slog.”

So we’re in another decade, and we’re facing another slog — but without the wherewithal to end it quickly.

The Republican Party holds all the power in Washington, and they seem content to watch everything fall apart. The only card they know how to play is to screw things up and then blame Democrats. The people might tire of that eventually, but there is a segment of the population that will need more than seeing the outrage on our side before they’re willing to admit that something’s not right.

A couple days ago, David Gergen wrote a piece on CNN.com about TCP’s learning curve.

John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all had rocky first 100 days. But those, Gergen pointed out, “were learning organizations that got much better on the job as they went.”

No, TCP and his folks are more in the Karl Rove mode, and they’re not even very good at that.

Rove was quoted as saying: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

I think that in the case of the current administration, “study” might be too strong a word. “Gape at” is a phrase that comes to me quickly, but there might be a better one.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are hunkering down against the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community investigations of their seemingly endless ties to Vladimir Putin. There are polls now that show Americans are concerned over those ties, but do you know who doesn’t seem to care? Republicans in Washington  don’t care. After mounting investigation after investigation of Hillary Clinton, they at first declined to “study” the Russian ties. They certainly have yet to “gape at” those ties.

They’re not wasting investigators here. They’re just using staffers who have no sway with people, and certainly no subpoena power.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe that when the chickenhawks come home to roost at the end of this debacle, the GOP will be tarred for a long time. It took Democrats years to shake off Republican taunts about “acid, amnesty and abortion.”

How long do you think references to Russian dolls and the Manchurian candidate will linger?

But it’s gonna take a while, and we have to hope that we have the stamina.

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