The Master of Lowered ExpectationsShrubie was once alleged to have said, "I'm the master of lowered expectations." I know I didn't expect much from him when limped into office with a contested and razor-thin margin. My expectations were already so low you couldn't have slipped a sheet of paper between the floor and the limbo pole. I fully expected him to spend the next four years staring at the pole like a not-too-bright basset hound, trying to decide whether to jump over it or walk around it. In the end, he pissed on the pole and dug a hole under it rather than take either of the more obvious paths. The bitch is, he was rewarded for this idiotic behavior with a second term.
Administrations often lower expectations in advance of important events. For example, in advance of a summit where it's abundantly clear that nothing of substance will happen. It's a way to squeak though unpleasant events without doing undue political harm to yourself. As he has throughout his life, the Presidenterator decided to take a shortcut and just let his performance set expectations in lieu of the messy staff work required to voluntarily lower them in a controlled, rational way.
As each new crisis presented itself, he simply did a poorer job than he had on the last. The rousing, and surprisingly on-target response to 9/11 begat Afghanistan. Before Afghanistan was firmly under control, he lowered expectations by charging into Iraq with guns blazing and no map to win the peace. And just when you thought he'd bottomed out, Katrina caught him on the toilet in Crawford with his pants around his knees and the toilet paper at the other end of the house.
I can remember sitting dumbstruck in front of the television as people died live on CNN and thinking, "this can't possibly get any worse".
Clearly, I was wrong.
Today we find ourselves virtually friendless in the international community, pissing away billions on a war in which he can't even define the criteria for victory. We're pinned down, lacking the ability to move forward or the avenue to fall back. Meanwhile, he blames everyone but himself, chips away at Constitutional freedoms, and acts so very surprised at why people seem so unwilling to believe him. He appears to have lowered expectations so much that even he no longer has any of himself. He just shows up for the occasional speech, says everything is going swimmingly, and retires for a PB and J with a glass of milk for lunch.
Look at his response to events unfolding over the past few days.
When the National Intelligence Estimate leaked word that people aren't nearly as safe as he's incessantly chanted over the past five years, he response was, "Aw, that don't matter none. Ya dint see none of tha rest of it. That secret part said ever-thing's just fine."
When more Generals line up to tell him yet again that the bumbling of Iraq is Rummy's fault, his response was, "Ah always gived them soldier fellas 'zactly whut they asked fer." But George, if you gave them what they asked, why do they keep saying you didn't. If you gave them all they asked, why are things going so poorly? Are you saying that your Generals are incompetent ninnies?
George never seems bothered in the least that he can profess something while all evidence to the contrary is piled in front of him. New Orleans sits like a festering boil on the ass of Louisiana and his talk is about the great things that are happening in Carbuncle City. His much vaunted Iraqi government moves with all the grace and efficiency of an Abrham's tank trying to swim the Tigris at floodstage. His response, "Aw, them things'll float." Iran is strutting around him like a boxer who's laid his opponent low with a sucker punch. His reaction is to reach for a sabre to rattle only to discover al Maliki is using it for a skewer at the Eye-Raq Bar-B-Q, Hoedown, and Lootfest.
I keep thinking my expectations cannot possibly get any lower and every time, George manages to ratchet them down yet another notch. My expectations have become so low that I figure I'm ahead of the game if we haven't all been vaporized in a nookular cloud. But, I suppose such a stunning performance is the mark of a master I find myself having to agree with him...
He is "the master of lowered expectations".
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, September 26, 2006