Delusion And George 'Dubya' Bush ...
Here at home in Britain one would be hard pushed to produce a more conservative publication than the Daily Telegraph.
Yet, today it told everyone this.
The road to delusion
By Niall Ferguson, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated:11:30pm BST 28/10/2006-Page 1 of 7
Next week, George W Bush faces his last, critical electoral challenge. Niall Ferguson assesses a failed presidency.
In the aftermath of George W Bush's re-election as president two years ago, his campaign manager, Karl Rove, amused himself and his boss with a battery-powered "Redneck Horn". At the touch of a dashboard button, the device would yell insults in a raucous Southern accent, providing automated road rage for "red state" Republicans.
The toy's abusive messages ranged from the relatively mild "Slow down, dumbass!" to "Hey, hogneck, who taught you how to drive?"; "What the hell was that manoeuvre?"; "Are you freaking blind?" and "You're a goddam moron!" How they all laughed in the White House, if the Bush administration's renegade court historian, Bob Woodward, is to be believed.
Today, however, the joke is on them. For the Redneck Horn could now just as easily be used by ordinary Americans to express their frustration not merely with Mr Bush but with the entire Republican Party. With a little over a week remaining until the congressional mid-term elections on November 7, some opinion polls indicate that "You're a goddam moron!" is precisely the message voters intend to send the White House.
Certainly, "freaking blind" sums up the majority view of the administration's policy in Iraq. And, after the bewildering scandals that have ended the careers of three Republican congressmen in the space of six months, Americans have any number of reasons to ask their elected representatives: "What the hell was that manoeuvre?"
And that's not this extremely telling tale in total. See some more of the same as you scroll.
After all, some issues can still be counted on to rally the Republican "base" in America's sprawling exurbs. Yes, they hate gay marriage. No, they don't mind torturing terrorist suspects. And no, they'll never vote for a Democrat.
But the crucial question is: Will they vote at all? Forty-eight years ago, in a very similar political situation, less than 20 million votes were cast for Republican candidates in the mid-terms.
That was little more than half the number who had voted for Eisenhower two years before. Could today's GOP end up being FUBAR in the same way? Only a dumbass – or a hogneck, or a moron – would rule it out completely.
Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, at Harvard University.
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