Keep your hands and feet inside the tram, please, and welcome to Bush'ist World
Bush v. Reality
by Tom Engelhardt
2006 is sure to be the year of living dangerously - for the Bush administration and for the rest of us. In the wake of revelations of warrantless spying by the National Security Agency, we have already embarked on what looks distinctly like a constitutional crisis (which may not come to a full boil until 2007). In the meantime, the president, vice president, secretaries of defense and state, various lesser officials, crony appointees, acolytes, legal advisers, leftover neocons, spy-masters, strategists, spin doctors, ideologues, lobbyists, Republican Party officials, and congressional backers are intent on packing the Supreme Court with supporters of an "obscure philosophy" of unfettered presidential power called "the unitary executive theory" and then foisting a virtual cult of the imperial presidency on the country.
On the other hand, determined as this administration has been to impose its version of reality on us, the president faces a traffic jam of reality piling up in the environs of the White House. The question is: How long will the omniscient and dominatrix-style fantasies of Bushworld, ranging from "complete victory" in Iraq to nonexistent constitutional powers to ignore Congress, the courts, and treaties of every sort, triumph over the realities of the world the rest of humanity inhabits? Will an unconstrained presidency continue to grow - or not?
Here are just a few of the explosive areas where Bush v. Reality is likely to play out, generating roiling crises that could chase the president through the rest of this year. Keep in mind, this just accounts for the modestly predictable, not for the element of surprise, which - as with Ariel Sharon's recent stroke - remains ever present.
Who, after all, can predict what will hit our country this year? From a natural-gas shock to Chinese financial decisions on the dollar, from oil terrorism to the next set of fierce fall hurricanes, from the bursting of the housing bubble to the arrival of the avian flu, so much is possible � but one post-9/11 truth, revealed with special vividness by Hurricane Katrina, should by now be self-evident: Whatever the top officials of this administration are capable of doing, they and their cronies in various posts throughout the federal bureaucracy are absolutely incapable of (and perhaps largely uninterested in) running a government. Let's give this phenomenon a fitting name: FEMAtization. You could almost offer a guarantee that no major problem is likely to arise this year, domestic or foreign, that they will not be quite incapable of handling reasonably, efficiently, or thoughtfully � to hell with compassionately (for anyone who still remembers that museum-piece label, "compassionate conservative," from the Bush version of the Neolithic Era). So here are just four of the most expectable crisis areas of 2006 as well as three wild cards that may remain in the administration's hand and that could chase all of us through this year - adding up, in one way or the other, to the political tsunami of 2006. READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE