Losing Cokie Roberts

When you’ve lost Cokie Roberts, who has been known to put the brown lipstick on her nose and go snorfling around the hindquarters of BushCo in search of approval, perhaps it’s time to pack it in before America wakes up:
Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Thibodaux, La.; Pflugerville, Texas; Presque Isle, Maine; Westerville, Ohio; Marysville, Wash.; Redding, Calif.; [...]


Commentary By: Brendan Skwire

When you’ve lost Cokie Roberts, who has been known to put the brown lipstick on her nose and go snorfling around the hindquarters of BushCo in search of approval, perhaps it’s time to pack it in before America wakes up:

Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Thibodaux, La.; Pflugerville, Texas; Presque Isle, Maine; Westerville, Ohio; Marysville, Wash.; Redding, Calif.; Stokesdale, N.C.; Bapchule, Ariz.; Oxford, Ala. These are the hometowns of 10 American troops killed recently in Iraq, 10 of almost 3,000 fatalities. And there will be many more. The good folks of Pflugerville and Westerville and Marysville no longer believe their sons and daughters are dying for a good reason, but President Bush seems in no mood to hear them.

Yes, he fired Donald Rumsfeld. And yes, he will announce next year “a new way forward.” But listen carefully. It’s clear the president is not really interested in a “new way” at all. He still firmly believes that his old way is right, that the war was justified, that “victory” is the only way to keep Stokesdale safe.

His own words reflect no doubt or regret: “Iraq is a central component of defeating the extremists who want to establish a safe haven in the Middle East, extremists who would use their safe haven from which to attack the United States. This is really the calling of our time, that is, to defeat the extremists and radicals.”

But the president has not only lost the “battle for hearts and minds” across the Arab world, he’s lost it across the United States. The people of Bapchule and Oxford no longer believe his words or trust his judgment. Virtually everything he ever said to them about the war – from “Mission Accomplished” to “absolutely, we’re winning” – has been wrong.

Ouch. And it just gets worse.

Yet beyond the smackdowns and snark, there is one paragraph that is more interestimg than the rest. It is the closing paragraph, marked by the kind of ambiguity that is irresistible to a literary critic like me.

The nation is facing an enormous tragedy. Bush can’t or won’t leave Iraq, but staying means Pflugerville will keep burying its children. Only a new president will be able to stop the dying. (emphasis mine)

“Only a new president”? Is the Cokester talking about two years from now? Or is she making a subtle imperative statement?

Update: Apparently Bob Barr’s out too…

Monday, December 18th, 2006 by Brendan Skwire |
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