Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Credibility "gap?"

It's August, which means all the congresspeople are communing with constituents around the nation. I think it's safe to say they're getting an earful. The other day here in God's country, Senator Ron Wyden held a town meeting on Iraq with the good people of Portland. The senator probably expected a rational discussion, but what he got was a lot of anger, even rage, at the course of events in Iraq. The crowd accused him of complicity in allowing the debacle to continue, of showing insufficient interest in impeachment of the individuals responsible, of letting more young Americans die for no clear outcome. All that was familiar. But I was taken aback by the reaction to Wyden's remarks about the dangers posed to the US by Iran and Iran's alleged role in making IEDs that are now killing US soldiers in roadside bomb incidents. Immediately, much of the crowd began either booing lustily or laughing at the Senator. They didn't believe him because they felt he was aping the Vice President. "You've been listening to Cheney too much!" exclaimed one woman above the din.

I think there's quite a bit of evidence that Iran is meddling in Iraq--after all, Iraq is a Shiite nation, just like the Shia now governing Iraq--and I think we have every interest in trying to prevent (another) Holocaust-denying, repressive, lawless regime from getting a nuke bomb. But you wouldn't know it from listening to that derisive laughter--whatever this administration says is automatically discredited in many quarters because of its years of exaggerations and lies: WMD in Iraq, Iraq-as-cakewalk, the insurgency-is-in-its-last-throes, mission accomplished, terror threat maximum(only in times of embarrassing news for the admin and/or elections), the surge is working, we just need six more months, etc. etc., ad nauseum. I only dimly remember those times, but I do recall people in my household waving their hands in disgust when Lyndon Johnson assured us for the tenth time that month that "the light is at the end of the tunnel," that "the enemy is on the run and has no hopes" in Vietnam. No one would listen to him, either, after awhile. Then came Nixon, who promised peace, then escalated the war, then did a lot of "other stuff"...bad news.

I'm just wondering what will happen to us if this President learns of a REAL threat, like an Al-Quaeda nuke device set to detonate near the Capitol in DC, and tries to sound the alarm? I know I won't be inclined to snap to, and neither will an awful lot of people. In fact, we're likely to do the exact opposite. Maybe that's the most serious damage done by the Bushies, the complete depletion of Oval Office credibility, the Boy Who Called Wolf Writ Large.

What will the next President do to convince people to believe him or her? What we've got here is not a credibility gap, but a yawning abyss!

2 Comments:

Blogger LaPopessa said...

You're right, I wouldn't trust them to tell me the sun was up or the sky is blue. And I'm sitting here in bulls-eye city, DC.

1:57 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

I walked to the meeting, but by the time I arrived, it was full. I disagree with Wyden, but I think the crowd went a little overboard.

Clearly, we need a President capable of restoring trust.

3:59 PM  

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