Bush League Players in Big League Uniforms

Michael Brown, failed head of the Arabian Horse Association made his mark in emergency management, didn’t he! He proved that access to the world’s largest pool of resources and the ear of the President of the United States himself could not keep a hurricane tragedy from becoming a hurricane travesty. He couldn’t handle those rogue mayors and governors of New Orleans and Louisiana well enough to get that 82nd Airborne quick reaction force down to N’Orleans in time to prevent a thousand drowning of people in their own homes, despite the fact that the hurricane was tracked from the Caribbean through Florida, then into the Gulf of Mexico, where it gathered strength, before finally slamming into the New Orleans metropolis. Welcome to the Bush Leagues!

Karen Hughes is the ultimate political hack, who can use words to turn George W. Bush himself from a buffoon to a neo-conservative icon. She helped Bush the most by keeping him from being himself, from making sure that he said only the words she put in his mouth, and keeping him relentlessly on message. It works pretty good for a distracted and disinterested American public (except the other political hacks). But put Karen Hughes in a high position in the State Department and send her off to Turkey and other parts of the Middle East and watch the Bush League player at work. Karen Hughes, struck out swinging in Turkey when she tried to remind the Turks to just get to know America better, and they would just love us. Perhaps she was thinking of the swell advice from another (Iraqis expatriate) Bush Leaguer who said that the Iraqis would welcome us with welcome arms and bouquets of roses if we just liberated them from Saddam’s custody at Abu Graib to our own custody at Abu Graib. Ms. Hughes may have forgotten that the Turks get their news from sources other than Fox and rightwing National Public Radio. The Turks weren’t fooled any more than the Afghans and the Iraqis have been, in contrast with Kansas, which still hasn’t learned, even after Thomas Frank spelled it all out for them.

Harriet Miers is another Bush Leaguer about to be fitted for a Big League uniform. Ms. Miers is like the little stunt midget that Charlie Finley tried to put in as batter in a big league baseball game, thinking his strike zone would be so small that nobody could strike him out. Ms. Miers has a small strike zone, too, having never served as a judge and keeping herself well-hidden the past few years running interference with Bush shenanigans in the effort for Bush to achieve (by hook or crook) and maintain public office. Harriet helped hide those Air National Guard records and even destroyed some of them, but only enough to get her work-husband elected (by hook or by crook, mostly by crook). Harriet Miers promises to be the only Supreme Court Justice in history who will spend more time working on wording for pardons for her former associates in the Bush Administration than in hearing cases brought before the Court itself. She will appoint interns to monitor the Supreme Court hearings until she gets Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney and Rice and Gonzales and Powell and Wolfowitz and Perle and Armitrage and the rest of the gang pardoned, and then she will probably be ready to retire before she actually gets involved in any real casework on the court.

We could go on and on. Condi Rice is the perfect Bush League Secretary of State. She has no ability to exercise forethought or wisdom, but she sure knows how to attack democracy in Venezuela. Condi couldn’t figure out Russia or the Soviet Union, despite her advanced degrees in Soviet Affairs, but she does have the basic understanding that American democracy sprouts forth from the point of the gun, and so she is perfectly willing to sacrifice diplomacy in favor of the "Shoot first, talk later" approach to diplomacy.

The Bush Leagues belong in Mad Magazine, not in Foreign Affairs. But, unfortunately, the Bush Leaguers know all about power plays and little about finesse. They understand how to steal a sign and how to cork the bat and juice the ball and do anything and everything it takes to win. And, for the most part, the Bush League Bumblers have been winning, while America and the rest of the world loses. We need an umpire who sees the plate clearly and calls the game with integrity. Unfortunately, the Bush Leaguers have influenced the umpires, too, and are stocking the umpire crew with myopic bumblers who are on the take.

Will America take the game back from these bozos? It often looks like the opposing team is Bush Leaguers, too, at least they play like them. If we don’t get some better calls soon, the game will be over and the season kaput.