Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Shaggy Administration

Remember the hit reggae song, “It Wasn’t Me,” from a couple of years ago?

To be a true player you have to know how to play …
Never admit to a word when she say
And if she make a claim, tell her baby “no way!”

But she caught me on the counter (it wasn't me)
Saw me banging on the sofa (it wasn't me)
I even had her in the shower (it wasn't me)
She even caught me on camera (it wasn't me) …

Yeah, that one, by Shaggy.

Kind of reminds me of president Bush’s leadership style.

No, I’m not talking about his excuses for launching a costly, non-winnable war. Everyone knows by now it wasn’t the president’s fault when he told the world Saddam was a chemical and nuclear arms–building, America-hating, Al-Qaida -training, madman intent on world domination.

Bush was operating on the same “faulty intelligence” as the CIA, FBI, Congress, and every other country in the world that didn’t push for the invasion of a sovereign country and the removal of its leader.

No, that’s old news.

I’m talking fresh, new, just-last-week news that the president had no knowledge of his administration’s most recent controversial actions.

(it wasn’t me)

The day after Bush’s “State of the Union Address,” his energy department cut $28 million from its primary renewable energy laboratory in Colorado. Let’s remember that this cut came on the heels of the former oil pusher’s promise to help “addicted Americans” get the petroleum monkey off their backs.

The laboratory researched alternative energy like solar and wind power and ethanol from plants – you know, the sort of stuff Bush promised to fund in his speech.

Due to the budget cuts, the lab laid off 32 workers. As divine irony would have it, the president was scheduled to visit the lab recently. Quick, fast and in a hurry, the Energy Department transferred $5 million back into the laboratory's budget and the 32 employees were reinstated -- but not in time for the president’s appearance.

(it wasn’t me)

His administration sent "mixed signals" to the Energy Department, the president said.

Just days later, the White House told reporters Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations to a state-owned United Arab Emirates business. The $6.8 billion sale of six major U.S. seaports had already been approved by his administration, a White House spokesman told reporters.

Bush staunchly defends the deal, but faced with backlash from Democrats and rebellion from within his own party, his “wasn’t me” defense gives him just enough wiggle room if the whole smelly deal winds up swirling down the toilet.

You’d think the American people would be bored with Bush’s tired song:

The spiteful, partisan outing of a CIA agent …

“To be a true player you have to know how to play …”

Secret memos detailing plans to build “crisis” for war …

“Never admit to a word when she say…”

Planting a porn star playing a reporter in the White House press corp.…

“… tell her baby “no way!”

Torturing and sexual humiliation of Abu Ghraib detainees …

(it wasn't me)

Insensitive, inept management of Hurricane Katrina relief …

(it wasn't me)

In one of my columns last year, I compared the country’s love affair with Bush to one of the comedy routines of the late, great Richard Pryor. Pryor told a story of a woman, so in love with her man, that even after catching him in bed with another woman, she was persuaded to believe he did nothing wrong.

"Who you gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?" the man asked.

The “wasn’t me” line provides love-struck Americans a way to deny their “lying eyes” despite the obvious indiscretions of this shaggy administration.

Like the disillusioned lover, I guess we deserve what we get. As my elders used to say, if you lie down with (shaggy) dogs, you better expect some fleas.
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