Tuesday, April 24, 2007
There's a great scene toward the end of The Shawshank Redemption, in which the warden -- having just had his ass handed to him by Andy Dufresne -- realizes that he's pretty much finished. He locks himself inside his office and, as the police pound away on the opposite side of the door, pulls a pistol from his desk drawer and decisively puts a bullet through his own head.
I bring this up because it really seems to be turning into that kind of day for America's own figurative "warden" -- the lying, calculating, stubborn, arrogant and thoroughly malicious entity known as the Bush White House.
The administration's Andy Dufresne, in this case, is a man named Kevin Tillman -- he's the little brother of the late Corporal Pat Tillman, who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan after quietly leaving behind a huge NFL contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the army and serve his country. Just moments ago, Kevin Tillman (himself a soldier who was there the day of his brother's death) got up in front of a senate panel and delivered an absolutely blistering attack on the U.S. Army and the campaign of misinformation which its leaders have engaged in as part of an effort to shore up the steadily declining support for their wars. The younger Tillman blasted the army, accusing it of covering up the truth about his brother's death and doing so for poltical reasons.
It was, quite honestly, one of the most mesmerizing scenes I've ever witnessed -- certainly the most stirring presentation Capitol Hill has seen in quite some time.
Tillman's testimony was followed by a quieter, but no less impassioned speech by former Private Jessica Lynch; she stated flatly that the entire story of her defiance in the face of incredible odds -- that she went down fighting before being taken prisoner by Iraqi troops -- was nothing more than an elaborate lie perpetrated by the military to create a hero for America to rally around.
As I watched these two hammer away at the once-foreboding castle keep which has stood large around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the past six years, I remembered that congressional Democrats were launching their own attack from a different direction -- in the form of both an investigation into the Justice Department's firing of eight U.S. Attorneys, likely for political reasons, and a bill which threatens to take the wind out of the sails of a bitter and frightened President's ridiculous war.
Then I remembered that as of this morning, the Los Angeles Times has confirmed that the Office of Special Counsel is about to announce a sweeping investigation into the White House's questionable political operations for the past six years -- in simpler terms, all those nasty little under-the-table dealings of one Karl C. Rove.
Then I remembered the final insult to the once all-powerful Bush Administration.
A 33% approval rating.
I wonder if the door to the Oval Office has a lock.