Nixon never did quite understand why he went down. Sure, he knew his actions were “wrong”. But he did lots of things that were “wrong”, and lots of other people did the exact same stuff. He only did what everybody did. LBJ did it. JFK did it. I’m assuming he thought that Eisenhower did it, though I don’t think I’ve ever read that he’s said such a thing (Republicans only get justification out of pinning their sins on Democrats).
To him, it was all just dirty pool. He played dirty. They played dirty. And the fact that he got taken down was just dirty. He didn’t do anything that anybody else wouldn’t have done. He didn’t think he was doing a bad thing; not relatively speaking, anyway. Having his guys spy on his political enemies was just how it was done. And to allow the investigation to go unabated was simply unthinkable. And bribing the burglars was a no-brainer. These weren’t crimes; this was self-defense.
And I’m thinking that the same logic was applied by our Bushies when it came to firing those US Attorneys. They didn’t think they were pulling some unpardonable sin. This wasn’t a big thing. Of course prosecutors are supposed to do dirty work. Of course they’re supposed to be partisan. That’s the whole point. I mean, why hire a guy to do a job, if he’s not going to do it how you want it done?
And it all seemed so obvious, yet ingenious. Get rid of the “bad” prosecutors and give the spots to some loyalists. Loyalists who could use some resume padding to eventually be good choices for lifetime federal judgeships. And the fact that these guys will want to impress their bosses in order to get those lifetime appointments will ensure that they’ll do what they’re told. What’s not to like?
And now it’s all falling apart and the Bushies haven’t a clue what to say. Even their damage control is in bad need of damage control. The PR machine is broken and they were beyond flatfooted. Because they didn’t see this action as a bad thing. It just didn’t occur to them. It’s just how the game is played, and the fact that nobody else does it like this is just proof that nobody else plays it as well as they do.
And so now the Dems are making a big deal about it, and these dopes can’t quite figure out why it seems to be gaining traction. But they never can. They went nuclear over the Joe Wilson column, but hadn’t created a cover-story for why they fired eight US attorneys at the same time. They tried to hide the fact that Cheney accidentally shot a dude, but allowed some of these fired prosecutors to be told the truth on why they were being fired. And for as much as they insist on getting our soldiers shot-up, you’d think they’d at least give a rat’s ass how they were being taken care of after getting shot. Their moral compasses are so broken that they have no idea which crimes to hide or which shouldn’t be done at all.
And the same goes for their accusations. Every time a Democrat breaks a fingernail, these guys go apoplectic and insist that the world would end if the guy doesn’t resign in disgrace. And for as much as that feeds redmeat to the base, it really ends up annoying everyone else. Even their impeachments backfire!
But this isn’t a fluke. The reason they’re so good at cunning and deceit is because they’re absolutely tone-deaf on morality. They just don’t know when they’ve done something wrong, or how wrong it might be. Sure, they know our standards for morality. But they find that quaint and incomprehensible. Imagine someone who’s never seen a baseball game thinking that there’s no need to run around those stupid bases. Just stand in place, put your foot on home plate, and you just scored. They’d think they were geniuses.
And so it is with our Republicans: They just don’t get it. They don’t understand why we have rules, why they need to be followed, or why anyone bothers doing so. Nor do they think anyone does. They think that everyone’s crooked and they want to be the most crooked. And by their way of thinking, it’s worked perfectly. Sure, they’ve had a lot of setbacks, but those are just due to enemies playing dirty. And not having done what they did would have been the greatest setback of all. So they might as well cheat all the time and accept a few lumps here and there, rather than to play by the books and lose all the time.
But fortunately, life really doesn’t work that way, and for as much as they never understand why natural consequences are natural, they end up screwing themselves every time anyway. They’ll go on blaming Dems for their downfall, but the majority of America will know exactly who’s fault it was.
Oh, and if you’re bored and in good need for a brainbursting, try reading this Ann Coulter column on the Libby verdict, which was partially the inspiration for this post. You’ll wish you hadn’t. I know I did.