George doesn't have foreign policy. He looks into the soul of a leader like Putin or Musharraff and places his confidence in them, seemingly confused when they rule like despots. When the people of, say, Pakistan turn against the leader he's bet on, he's left alienated and ineffectual. While Pakistan has been brewing as a major issue, George trusted his friend Musharraf to quell riots there while he pushed to attack Iran, showing a gift for multitasking through even the most important events of his administration. At this point, he could easily leave the next president with military conflicts and / or civil wars raging in a row of contiguous countries stretching from Egypt to China, an unprecedented swath of policy failure which boggles the mind, including as it does Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan - countries that are home to about a third of the world's Muslims. It would be hard to have intentionally created so much chaos.
Meanwhile, here at home, George made only his fifth veto. In addition to vetoes against funding for stem cell research (twice), troop withdrawal, and health care for children, he's decided to veto a water bill. Water issues constitute a quiet crisis, something we're acutely aware of here in southern California. "Today, mankind is using about 160 billion tons more water each year than is being replenished by rain. If this water were carried in water trucks, it would require a 300,000 mile-long convoy of trucks every day - a convoy length 37 times the diameter of the Earth. This is how much water we are using and not replenishing." [from James Martin's The Meaning of the 21st Century] Whether George's environmental legacy would best be represented by an ostrich or Dodo bird is an argument I'll leave for others.
George is also appointing an attorney general, a supposed advocate for the people of this country, who believes that torturing and wire-tapping citizens is perfectly fine - showing a casual disregard towards the individual not seen since King Charles was beheaded for thus ignoring the rule of law and the rights of citizens.
I could go on, but I'm just tired of it all. Tired of the former frat boy cheerleader who seemingly seizes on every policy decision as an excuse for doing a cheap imitation of Alfred E. Newman. Tired of the press taking him seriously and acting as if anything he and his advisers said still makes sense. Quite simply, I've got outrage fatigue.
All that to say that Lowell George (a southern California boy) and Little Feat were my favorite band when I was in high school. One evidence of genius is that its products don't age. Lowell was more than a wicked slide guitar player with funky white overalls. He was a songwriting genius. This song in particular seems to capture my current political funk. Sing along if you care.
"Telephone is ringing.
Tell me it was Chairman Mao.
I don't care who it is ...
I got the apolitical blues."