Morning Report 10/18/05The Declension of the Bush Administration


Stuff about flack attacks that your grammar never taught you


Harkavy/White House


Practice makes past perfect: Flack Corine Lombardo, acting serious when coached by flacker Allison Barber (left) and then smiling live for flackest George W. Bush (right).

Think of “flack,” “flacker,” and “flackest” not as comparative adjectives but as nouns, or as pronouns in full declension.

They’re impersonal pronouns, but you are the object of their copulative action. In other words, they’re trying to fuck you.

I’m talking about the Bush flack attack, of course, and I know I’m taking a lot of liberties with grammar here. So what? I often do that unintentionally. I have a typical American education, so I learned grammar real good. Besides, the Bush regime takes a lot of liberties with truth.

That’s why you have to keep peeling back the layers of Bush regime propaganda. The tears in your eyes — from laughter and despair — may help wash away illusions.

Despite the press of substantive crises — Iraq, the avalanche of budget cuts, Hurricane Katrina and its whitening strikes, and the topical storms of Wampumgate, Plamegate, and Harriet-Should-Get-The-Gate — we must keep talking about the style of George W. Bush and his handlers.

As I first reported here, thanks to Voice foreign correspondent David Axe, Corine Lombardo — one of the soldiers in the POTUS’s preposterous videoconference last week — was nothing but an U.S. Army flack following orders to make Bush look good.

The estimable Tim Karr of Free Press has been a tiger when it comes to sussing out the Bush regime’s agitprop.

He quickly came up with much more about Lombardo — and about Gregg Murphy, another of the soldiers in the goofus POTUS bullshit that the regime’s flacks, flackers, and flackests tried to pass off on us.

Maybe Bush inherited his daddy’s “vision thing.”

For an alternate universe that’s closer to reality than the vapid videoconference, check out Paul Reickhoff and the other Iraq vets at Operation Truth.

Reickhoff and staff took the same questions rehearsed with Bush’s stage of stooges and posed them to Iraq vets Perry Jefferies and Bobby Yen. The answers they gave are, well, different:

PRESIDENT BUSH: How do you feel the operations are going?

BOBBY YEN: Violence is on a constant increase and our troops are spread thin. I’m hoping that the elections will change the mind and attitudes of the Iraqi people, but there’s no logical reason that it really would. Troops could use more support, be it international or just more troops on ground.

PERRY JEFFERIES: Unevenly — to maintain the level of security like around this perimeter for the shoot — we’d need a lot more people.

BUSH: One of the things that people in America want to know is, one, do the Iraqis want to fight, and are they capable of fighting. And maybe somebody can give us an appraisal.

YEN: Honestly, from when I was in Iraq training with the Iraqi National Guard, I would say they were extremely poorly prepared. They all seemed far more interested in the money than the job, and they were in poor physical shape. Their equipment was inferior and their training was rushed in order to make US deadlines. Maybe by now they have trained cadre and more time and better equipment, but I somehow doubt it …

JEFFERIES: Some Iraqis can fight but they aren’t trusted and their equipment sucks. We don’t have enough resources to treat them like the Americans and it sets up a have and have-not group. If you want to count on something getting done, you must rely on Americans.

Clearly, lots of other people are covering us while we’re being shelled by Bush’s flacks, so let me focus on the grammar of the situation.

You ask: What be “declension”? The dictionary sez:

In certain languages, the inflection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in categories such as case, number, and gender.

But the same dictionary also sez it means other things as well, and they are all apro-fucking-pos.

Digression: Regarding “tmesis,” my OED cites an explanation from way back in 1678:

… a figure of Prosody, wherein a compounded word is, as it were, cut asunder, and divided into two parts by some other word which is interposed, as Septem Subjecta Trioni, for Subjecta Septemtrioni. …

Or, in modern parlance, “holy fucking shit.” End digression.

Anyway, some other definitions of “declension”:

“A descending slope; a descent.”

“A decline or decrease; deterioration: ‘States and empires have their periods of declension’ (Laurence Sterne).”

“A deviation, as from a standard or practice.”

Yes, yes, and yes.

And in that spirit, here’s the word “declension” in context, courtesy of Polonius, the kind of often-wrong windbag who would fit in nicely as one of the Bush regime’s advisers. His dead-on inaccuracy reminds me of Doug Feith’s.

To make a long story short, Polonius ratted out Hamlet to Claudius. He got it wrong, but the language is great:

And he [Hamlet], repulsed — a short tale to make —
Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,
Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness,
Thence to a lightness, and, by this declension,
Into the madness wherein now he raves,
And all we mourn for.

Never mind that Bush probably thinks that a Hamlet is just a doubleplusgood omelet.

With Tom DeLay about to be fingerprinted, and Karl Rove being grilled again and again, I’ll just remind everyone that you can’t make an omelet for this president without breaking yeggs.