The Biscuit

Saturday, November 12, 2005 6:43 AM

Remember Hudson, the scrupulously honest, arch-conservative British butler of "Upstairs, Downstairs" at 165 Eaton Place? When a member of his staff or somebody "above stairs" did something which he regarded as truly reprehensible, Hudson would exclaim "That takes the biscuit!" Well, that's precisely the way I feel about the 2005 Veterans' Day speeches of  Messrs. Cheney & Bush in defense of their Iraq fiasco. These speeches were brazen, shameless, devoid of reality and hence scary. Cheney and Bush Jr. demonstrated once again that politics is everything in Washington, and nothing is sacred.

The very idea of politicizing Veterans' Day with partisan, flag-waving flapdoodle in defense of a scam is over the top. It proves that Cheney & Bush could be just as ignominious as their most ardent critics have suspected all along.

The occupants of the White House appear to be in denial. They are repeating the same non sequiturs, nonsense and stale distortions which they employed in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. One wonders why. Evidently, they figure it worked so well the first time around, it will work a second time. But we all know now that it was bilge, so how can repeating it be of any help to anybody? Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

You can bet your bottom dollar that this demented strategy is the product of "Bush's Brain", the as yet unindicted co-conspirator, Karl Rove. His successful track-record would seem to indicate that a good offense, no matter how mendacious or misleading, is the best defense. In this case, the strategy has crashed into the outer limits. Cheney & Bush are, in effect, saying "Whom are you going to believe? Us, or a mountain of evidence and indications which contradicts us?" Has prosecuting attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald been put on notice? This far, but no further?

Bush is a speech reader, a rather effective one at that. He read the following: " is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began", referring to the two-timing Democrats on Capitol Hill, many of whom, most especially the leadership, voted for "Wolfowitz's War" a few years back. Much has come to light between then and now about the tremendous White House campaign to con America into a war. History is not being rewritten. History is being discovered, reported and corrected.

Some of what was deliberately kept hidden by Bush's "neoconservative" handlers back in 2002-03 has been unearthed and examined. No matter. Bush is saying in effect, "Forget all that. Stick with the falsehoods which we sold you; I can't help it that you did not do your homework. You bought those lies, or pretended to; now we are stuck with them. We can't go back; the false picture my ‘neocon’ operatives and I sold you is nonreturnable. In any case, Saddam was a bad guy, right? So stop complaining."

Bush may have a point there. The Democrats jumped on the  war wagon when they felt it was in their political interest to do so. Now that events have gone horribly wrong and the enterprise has turned out to be a very expensive, open-ended nightmare, the Democrats want to jump off the wagon. Cheney and Bush feign outrage. The Democrats feign shock that they were misled. One thing is certain: neither side in Washington has a shred of credibility left.