What Does the President Know, and Does He Know He Knows It?
We have reached the point, apparently inevitable in second-term Republican presidencies, where the lies begin to unravel and the scum rises to the top. For the third time in 33 years we must ask the question, What did the president know and when did he know it?
This is a particularly difficult question in the GWB era, where it’s unclear whether the president knows anything at all. This is a man who boasts of never reading newspapers or watching television, save for ESPN. Thanks to careful screening at town hall meetings and “public” events he has never had to encounter anyone who disagrees with him. He is surrounded by lackeys afraid to tell him he has to sacrifice two days of his five-week vacation because Hurricane Katrina is destroying one of the world’s great cities. He is the Boy in the Bubble.
And yet it’s likely he knows something--for example, the score of Texas Ranger games. He knows how My Pet Goat ends, because that’s what he was reading while the towers were falling. He probably knows he f**ked up bigtime over
After that, things get kinda sketchy.
For example, is
Does he know that more than 100,000 war protestors camped on his doorstep two days ago? Probably not, because he wasn’t there to see it.
Has he ever heard of the Downing Street Memos? Is he aware that even
Does he know that the
Does he realize that the investigation into the outing of
I’m guessing the answer to most of these questions is no. (Well, maybe not the one about the turkey.) Ignorance this broad and deep cannot be an accident. You do a much better job of selling something if you believe in your heart it is true.
The Reaganauts introduced “plausible deniability,” creating a chain of command so layered and serpentine it would be impossible to prove the president knew anything about Iran-Contra.
The Bushmasters have extended this concept into “plausible gullibility,” creating a president so ill informed that every bit of news comes as a surprise.
The intelligence was flawed. No one knew the source for information about
No one knew the storm would be this bad. No one knew the levees would break.
“No one,” of course, is
So when Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld created the Office of Special Plans -- fabricating evidence, twisting intelligence, browbeating the
Was it all done just so
No one knows. And, so far, he isn't talking.