One of the sad things about the Nixon Whitehouse was how totally dysfunctional it was. For as much as it seemed to be an all-powerful machine from the outside, we now know it was a just a bunch of isolated scared men who were much too afraid to trust each other enough to form an effective cabal. That they were as scary as they were just shows how effective they were at manipulating power, but it was their ability at being so mean that also undermined their ability to sustain it.
And that’s what’s so sad about this story about how Bush supposedly told Rove that he was being fired during a church service. Because I always kind of imagined Rove and Bush as being kind of tight. I don't know why I'd assume that, as I'm sure Bush resents Rove's brainy image and I find it hard to believe that Rove would actually enjoy being around anyone as dull as Bush. But all the same, I always thought they'd be fairly close, even in bad times. I mean, Rove first worked for the guy in 1978 and had been by his side for at least fourteen years. You'd think in all that time they'd have grown close enough that this sort of thing wouldn't be necessary.
But again, that's what's to be expected from Republicans: They really don't like each other. More importantly, they don't trust each other. Because that's what the entire Republican system is about. It's about selfish greed and screwing everyone else over. And sure, they can buddy up when it's to their advantage, but in the long run, you're likely to get screwed.
The Republican Pyramid
Of course, that's not to say that all Republicans are aware of this game, as the party wouldn't work if they did. But the entire system is based upon a certain level of exclusionism and the higher up the Republican pyramid you are, the more exclusionist you are; while the people lower down don't notice that they're being excluded. That's just the way it is.
And so on the low end, you've got lowly bigots who are just happy to exclude blacks or Mexicans or gays or whatever. And it moves on up through the people who exclude anyone who gets in their way, like feminists or liberals or people of other religious beliefs. And then there are the ones who want to screw the non-rich. And it moves up to only helping rich people who give to the party. And it eventually ends up with some tiny little group of rich old a-holes who are laughing at everyone underneath them. And the higher up you are, the more direct benefit you'll receive from the party. While the rich a-holes at the top save millions in taxes, the bigots at the bottom don't get a god damn thing besides the satisfaction of believing they got to vote for a bigot.
Now, that's not to say that everyone higher than the bigots are also bigots; far from it. Just that the people higher than the bigots have exclusionist lines which transcend race. But they'll still be screwing many of the same people the bigots want to screw, as well as the bigots themselves. You have to remember that Republicans don't woo bigots because they like bigotry. They like bigotry to woo bigots. And they've got them all so well trained that hating bigots is now considered politically incorrect for them. But all the same, the bigots are getting as screwed as the people they want to discriminate against, so the joke's really on them.
But, wow, that really wasn't where I was going with all this. My point is that being exclusionary and not trusting people isn't a symptom of a handful of Republicans like Nixon and Cheney; it's in their very DNA and they all suffer from it to varying degrees. It's what makes them Republicans. They feel that it's all about screwing the other guy, and the "other guy" ultimately is everyone else. They'll accept you into their group for as long as they need you, and then you become the enemy. Just ask Scott McClellan about that.
The Very Odd Couple
And so it shouldn't be surprising that after thirty years of working together that Bush and Rove still don't know each other well enough that Bush could be open about Rove's dismissal Hell, I don't even know if the story is true, and actually think it sounds too weird to be real. But all the same, it really got me thinking about Bush's life and how sad and alone he must really be.
Not only is it unlikely that Bush and Rove were still chumming it up on a regular basis, I bet they never had that sort of relationship. I bet there was always a certain level of resentment between the two of them. Bush is so competitive that I'm sure he hated the "Bush's Brain" jokes and the fact that Rove really was much smarter than Bush. And I'm sure Rove was always upset that he could only be the puppet-master and never the master in his own right. Plus, I bet they're both total assholes and nobody likes a total asshole. And so even at their closest, they could never be too close; and they probably haven't been that close for years.
And that really is sad. Even Laura Bush probably isn't the solace Bush needs, as she seems like a very shallow person who lacks empathy almost as much as Bush does. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure she's nice enough, but just very empty inside and not much comfort when things go wrong. And things have gone very, very wrong for Bush and I doubt he can talk openly to her about it. I'm sure he's just kicking himself that Jeb wasn't the one who got to be President, making him the blacksheep brother who kept mooching off the Bush name forever. And even that makes me sad.
But what's saddest of all is that I'm sure there are very few Republicans who can understand the sadness I'm talking about, because they have the very core defects that I was just describing. And that's what makes me a liberal, because I care about people, including those who get all the bad things they deserve. I'm definitely glad that everything fell apart for George and the Republican Nightmare, but all the same, I really do feel sad for them.