People Might Remember 2001

THAT THE CLINTON/BUSH transition was hampered by Al Gore’s temper tantrum at having been beaten at the polls and in the Electoral College (remember Sore /Loserman?). The transition from campaign to governance was leg-ironed with the massive, petulant ball-and-chain of Gore v Bush (Should have been U.S. v Gore on charges of electoral fraud, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.) Then, in the true spirit of bipartisanship (that means that the partisan feuding swings both ways, I suppose), the Democrats did everything up to and including suborning near-treason to scotch the approval of incoming presidential appointees.

The result of which, the Bush administration was barely getting up to speed when 9/11 happened.

And yet, as the news reminded us tirelessly on Wednesday, in less than a month, they managed to get an invasion together of Afghanistan.

Fast forward eight years, and we have The Won and his kack-handed, politically tone-deaf, would-be kleptocrats and tin-pot dictators, unable to get together on the simple proposition that the general you appointed should be — you know — supported in his generalship.

“The latest spin-filled explanation for the stalemate on our Afghanistan war strategy comes from the Washington Post. You see, the civilian leadership didn’t really understand that a full counterinsurgency strategy meant, well, a full counterinsurgency strategy… If so, this is a fundamental breakdown in policy formulation and communication that makes the Guantanamo debacle look like small potatoes.”


One is reminded of a similar amateur-hour administration, back in ’93. And another one in ’77. And yet another in ’61. And one feels moved to wonder: is there a pattern here?

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