It was the worst outcome imaginable.
They lost the House and the Senate in one night with one savage blow. Even the Confederate flag at Senator â€œMacakawâ€™sâ€ house was flying at half-mast. Suddenly the Reich that was â€œbuilt to last a thousand yearsâ€ had been reduced to small blocks of dusty-rubble extending from sea to shining sea. At the very epicenter of the twisted-iron and smoldering wreckage; was George W. Bush, President Hologram, the celluloid executive whose smirking puss had appeared daily on every American TV and in every American newspaper spreading the â€œgood newsâ€ of domestic repression and nonstop war. Now, here he was, once again, convening a news conference, dazed and ashen, propped up amid the scattered debris of a midterm massacre; his party left in utter ruins.
In a moment worthy of Shakespeare, the Fraudster-in-chief had been scuttled by his own party; knifed in the back by his own friends and family who knew that it was finally time to extract the drunken driver from behind the wheel of a Mack Truck.
The Democrats didnâ€™t win anything; thatâ€™s all hogwash. Bush was buried beneath an avalanche of bad news which was timed to begin with the release of Bob Woodwardâ€™s book â€œState of Denialâ€, followed by the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Lancetâ€™s Iraqi casualty report, the Mark Foley page fiasco, and a barrage of ethics-scandals, corruption investigations, and intensified coverage of the war. It was a carefully-coordinated coup intended to install â€œadultsâ€ (like Robert Gates) in positions of power, change the policy in Iraq, and remove Rumsfeld and Cheney from office.
One down; one to go.
The â€œvanillaâ€ Democrats had nothing to do with Tuesdayâ€™s results. It was a â€œplanned demolitionâ€ from the get-go.
Robert Dreyfuss said it best in a recent article when he opined that Bush was handled in the same way â€œa family confronts an alcoholic. You bring everyone in, and you say, â€˜Look, my friend, itâ€™s time to change.â€™â€ (And then you remove the bad influences)
Elite powerbrokers and Republican Party kingpins extended their hoary grip all the way into the Oval Office and took the country back from the teenagers. But the boulder is still only half way up the hill. After all, what are their plans for Cheney?
Cheney wisely decided to go hunting when he discovered that friend Rumsfeld was being led to the gallows. Cheneyâ€™s no fool. He knew that if he hung around, heâ€™d be blamed as the co-conspirator of the Iraqi debacle and the subsequent destruction of the Republican Party.
So he did what Cheney always does; he skedaddled. He suddenly discovered that he â€œhad more important things to doâ€; just like Vietnam.
He said he was going hunting, but thatâ€™s rubbish. He wanted to be as far from the political fallout as humanly possible, so he vamoosed. Thereâ€™s nothing more to it than that. Besides, thereâ€™ve been no reports of â€œdowned lawyers full of birdshotâ€ this week in Wyoming so we know that Cheneyâ€™s firearms are still safely tucked-away in the family vault.
Right now, Cheney is probably huddled somewhere with his national security team, rubbing his sweaty-hands together, figuring out how he can get back in the game and keep his fetid plan moving forward.
Cheney is smart; real smart. Smart like a cobra. Heâ€™s not going down without a fight and he doesnâ€™t give a damn if he takes the whole country with him.
This is all about Cheney now; Dick Cheney, political survivor and skilled bureaucratic infighter. If anyone thinks that heâ€™s going to sit around waiting for the Democrats to start sniffing around the Republican corruption-cesspool; theyâ€™re crazy.
He knows whatâ€™s going on. He knows that Bush Senior, and Brzezinski, and Baker, and the rest of the â€œold orderâ€ Republicans have muscled in and are taking over. He knows he wonâ€™t be able to bomb Iran, kill another 650,000 Iraqis, or declare martial law at home. And, he also knows that Conyers and the rest of them will be nosing-around the Halliburton â€œno bidâ€ contracts; going through every sordid detail with a fine-tooth comb, and dredging up new scandals on a daily basis.
He grasps all of that. He understands the political climate and he knows that he only has two choices left; offense or defense?
Either he steps down or he collects his wits, gets his team together; Addington, Abrams, Chertoff, Gonzales etc; all the guys who are â€œone step ahead of the hangmanâ€; and slaps together one â€œlast-ditchâ€ effort to establish absolute-dictatorial power that will put him forever beyond the reach of the law or of any future accountability for his war crimes.
Itâ€™s a tough task. Bush is teetering and heâ€™s probably left the Cheney-Rumsfeld orbit already. Robert Gatesâ€™ job is to influence Bush, to win him over with reason and, thus, move the country away from the brink of disaster. Cheney has been removed from the policy-making apparatus and he knows it.
So, whatâ€™ll he do next?
What will Cheney do now that heâ€™s been backed into a corner and his power is oozing away like the blood from a sucking chest-wound?
Will he quietly retire and disappear into the political vapor or â€œlock-n-loadâ€ and go down with both guns blazing?
Hereâ€™s a clue: Cheney is a â€œdead-enderâ€. He wonâ€™t go peacefully.