Rice as Prez?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 17, 2005

A couple of housekeeping items before we move on to this week’s topic.

I see on the Internet that the price for a barrel of crude oil set an all time record on Wednesday at more that $56 per barrel. Just remember, if you will, that less than two years ago the price per barrel was somewhere around $30.

We’ve nearly doubled the price at the source, but the price at the pump hasn’t quite gotten that high. It will. Soon. Expect a gallon of gas to cost $3 by summer 2006.

On the good side, if you enjoy guzzling gas and don’t give a flip about pristine environmental landscapes – Congress has voted to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Hooray! There’s a drop in the bucket that won’t affect the cost of gas at the pump and will effectively remove a possible backup oil reserve for the real crisis that, as I am wont to warn, is coming.

I know folks get tired of hearing me harp about the needless dependence on oil this nation has because we failed to take action back in the ’70s to develop alternative energy sources. That bothered me at the time because you didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that if we didn’t do something we’d have huge problem in the future. I thought we had until about 2050, but I’m beginning to think we’re going to start suffering a lot sooner than that. I was even in favor of nuclear power plants (so much for being a bleedin’ heart, tree-huggin’ liberal). But we’ve all but abandoned nuclear energy.

Well, enough on the looming economic collapse that will one day be traced to energy policies of the past three decades and Bush’s insane domestic policies that will bring it about decades sooner unless Congress comes to our rescue (ha!).

The big news over the weekend was a possible run for president in 2008 by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Although she denies having any ambition to run for president, I find it interesting that such a rumor got to the level of being a lead story on the Sunday talk shows and that websites have sprung up to encourage her to run and raise funds for her future campaign.

What I’m befuddled about is why in the world anybody would want Rice to be our president? Sure, she’s smart and attractive and a very good public speaker, but her track record in public service leaves a lot to be desired. I was appalled when the former National Security Advisor was nominated to become the Secretary of State, but not really surprised since obviously President Bush values blind loyalty to him above what is good for the nation.

Let’s review. As National Security Advisor, Rice ignored warnings that al Quada should be considered the nation’s primary security concern. She was told this during the first days of the Bush administration, but chose to ignore it. She was again warned in August 2001 when a presidential briefing was entitled, and I paraphrase, Al Quada Plans to Attack Inside the United States.

Then there was Sept. 11, 2001 – the biggest attack on U.S. soil by foreigners since the War of 1812. No, I don’t blame her for 9/11, but as the president’s advisor on security matters she should have listened to the experts who told her about the threat. She should have sounded the alarm inside the White House. She did not. For that kind of failure by you or me, we’d be fired from our jobs. She was sent forth to make speeches declaring how outraged we were by the sneak attack.

Skip forward a year. Rice was the president’s cheerleader for going to war in Iraq because of the weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein had manufactured. She even warned the American people of the dire threat Iraq posed because it was actively engaged in building a nuclear bomb.

Let’s not forget, for those of you who keep buying into revisionist history, that creating a free and democratic Iraq was way down on the list of why we were going to war. The reasons were all about the dire threat Saddam posed to the United States. Not only did he have chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, he was going to give them to his good friends, the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists of al Quada.

Oops. He didn’t have any al Quada friends. There had not been an alliance between Iraq and al Quada. There never was a connection and it was darned unlikely there ever would be one since al Quada thought just about as highly of Saddam Hussein as it did the United States.

All this was wrong. Were the people who didn’t foresee 9/11 fired or at least disciplined for their failures? No. Not at all. Everyone involved in failing to protect the nation from the threat was lauded by President Bush. The CIA director was even given the nation’s highest civilian award last year for his &uot;honorable service&uot; to the nation for his total failure.

Rice was then promoted to Secretary of State for her utter and complete failure to protect the nation from terrorists and for getting more than a thousand American troops killed for reasons that never existed.

And now people want her to become our next president?

Okay. Okay. I get it. The Republicans want the nation to be destroyed. I have trouble understanding why this is, but I’ve been reading a book lately that may have inadvertently given me a clue. The evangelicals all think the Apocalypse will happen in this lifetime, so reelecting Bush and getting Rice to succeed him if the Rapture hasn’t happened by 2008 is a way for them to speed up the destruction of the world so they can all go to heaven.

Oh. That makes perfect sense. Go, Condie, Go!