Into yesterday's daily meat grinder of news went a little bit of everything, the Madoff debacle, the shoes tossed at Bush, Caroline Kennedy's political aspirations, the already by now daily dump on Obama & Co., the Iago Blago, and what a recipe it was. But hello? Seemingly lost in the proverbial shuffle, but for Keith and Rachel, the two worthiest guardians at the gates of our collective conscience, and what knocked the very wind out of me, were just two little words petulantly uttered by Bush to the ever-formidable Martha Raddatz in this lame duck's lamest, latest cheesy attempt at anthropomorphism: "So what?' said the man in charge of the free world, when asked about whether or not Al-Qaeda was in Iraq before we were. So what? Huh? Were chillier, crueler, more cavalier words ever spoken? Somehow, this seems to be lost in the news today but my brain refuses to flush it. Perhaps because my blood is still boiling.Isn't it the truth?
It seems to me that with those two extraordinary, positively barbaric words, we finally got to see the true Bush, without artifice, without the smug, sneering frozen mask of pre-prepared, freeze-dried answers to questions, which he always seemed so infuriated at having to answer.
Indeed, he is the very epitome of a So What President. So what if the Katrina victims rot? So what if the world hates us? So what if our actions resonate everywhere with dire, catastrophic consequences? So what if people are starving and have no health care in one of the richest nations in the world. And so what if we leaped into an unnecessary war with manipulated "evidence", in which thousands have perished, utterly pointlessly? After all, we are not permitted to see the caskets anyway, right? And so what if the veterans come home to outrageously disgraceful medical care as well as, at best, precarious financial circumstances? There is no end to the list and no end to the "So whats", because this is a person who checked out years ago, if indeed he ever checked in. The difference now is that with only 35 interminably long days left to this hideous sham, he no longer has to even attempt to try to seem concerned, involved, present.
And I am left to wonder for all 35 of them, and surely way, way beyond, how this imposter can possibly be headed off, untroubled, unfettered, into the sunset, bound for a cushy life in Dallas, instead of a brutal trial in The Hague. I mean, is anyone accountable here? Responsible? Officially culpable?
Or will history's inevitable response to all this be just more of the same?
Will it also whisper: "So what"?
And his legions of admirers and enablers are just as hideously guilty. They checked out of the human race 14 years ago when Gingrich and pals, playing upon fears and anger, first rode to power. Since then they've plundered the economy, created more fear and anger based on ignorance, unleashed an unnecessary war, and set back foreign relations 60 years.
A generation from now I hope we will be able to look back and be thankful that most of the damage has been undone. I hope I'll be able to say when I hear a conservative lament that the Bush years are unfairly treated by historians – So what!