January 16, 2007

The Cracked Egg

By Mary Lyon

Wow, thanks, George, oh ye Giver of Many Nicknames! I've literally been dumbfounded by the events of the last week - after watching his pathetic "Let's Keep Feeding the Meatgrinder" speech. George likes to give out nicknames to people. I was never fooled when that baloney started, as most of the rest of the press corpse fell all over themselves at his feet upon his arrival in Washington . Oh, PLEASE, Mr. President! Can I have one of those cutesy, folksy nicknames you've been giving out like so many autographs? I wanna be one of your pets! Can I be in your in-crowd? Oh, you're SO adorable! PLEEZE?? My kingdom for a nickname! My credibility for a nickname!!! PLEEEEEEZE!!! OOOOhhh - he gave me one! He likes me, he really likes me!" YUCK. I can give out nicknames, too, Junior, and "President Pandora" was starting to sound pretty good. See Pandora. See Pandora do the Texas Two-Step. See Pandora play armchair warrior. See Pandora pick a fight. See Pandora throw another 21-thousand American lives away. See Pandora start picking ANOTHER fight - in Iran this time. Pandora Gone Wild. But after the idiocy recently on view opposite interviewer Jim Lehrer, see Pandora move over. I think Humpty Dumpty is far more fitting.    

MR. LEHRER: Is there a little bit of a broken egg problem here, Mr. President, that there is instability and there is violence in Iraq - sectarian violence, Iraqis killing other Iraqis, and now the United States helped create the broken egg and now says, okay, Iraqis, it's your problem. You put the egg back together, and if you don't do it quickly and you don't do it well, then we'll get the hell out.  

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, you know, that's an interesting question. I don't quite view it as the broken egg; I view it as the cracked egg --  

MR. LEHRER: Cracked egg?  

PRESIDENT BUSH: -- that - where we still have a chance to move beyond the broken egg. And I thought long and hard about the decision, Jim. Obviously it's a big decision for this theater in the war on terror, and you know, if I didn't believe we could keep the egg from fully cracking, I wouldn't ask 21,000 kids - additional kids to go into Iraq to reinforce those troops that are there.  

What's different is an Iraqi attitude, and it is - look, failure last time was not enough troops in Baghdad , and the rules of engagement were such that our troops couldn't move when given an order. Their order was countermanded by Iraqi politicians - in other words, you need to go get this guy in a particular neighborhood, and they would be moving in toward him, and then the Iraqis would pull - say, well, we'd better not make that move right now, we'd better - it may be too much politics. And Prime Minister Maliki has assured his commander and our commander that the rules of engagement will be different this time. And so things have changed. In other words, I'm not putting troops into a situation where there hadn't been enough changes to assure me that we can make progress.  

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Mom must have dropped Junior on his head back in the day. THAT'S the cracked egg, alright. Unbelievable. "The cracked egg"??? Like that's any more savory than a flat-out broken egg. Or any more salvageable. You can't do squat with a cracked egg except break it all the way, as any cook or rowdy movie reviewer would know. All the king's horses and all the king's men won't improve things, even as they diligently fanned out all over the Sunday talk shows to "sell" the extremely cracked Bush Escalation Plans for Iraq . They did as well as though they really were selling cracked eggs.  

Humpty Dumpty and his lamebrain scheme to save his Extreme Iraq Makeover now smell as badly as a cracked egg does after being left outside the refrigerator for awhile. At best, a cracked egg is a mess-in-progress, the leaky egg slime demanding extremely fastidious clean-up so as not to spread bacteria and sticky stuff all over the kitchen counter. At its worst, a cracked egg is damned dangerous. It can lead to salmonella poisoning for someone reckless enough to try making use of it. What does one do with a dozen eggs when you get the egg carton home from the store and find there's a cracked egg in it? Get out the "Crazy Glue"? (Or maybe, considering the thinking in this administration, duct tape and plastic sheeting?) Break it and fry it up first while it's still "fresh"? Most of us with any sense throw it out if thus surprised at the end of the shopping trip. More likely, most of us would check out the contents of a carton of eggs while still AT the supermarket so we know what we're buying BEFORE we get stuck with a clinker. Gee - why does that sound so familiar - or more like a modern-day foreign policy cautionary tale?  

Humpty Dumpty's plans aren't the only things with big fissures opening up in them for all to see (except for himself and his closest allies/apologists/spinners/excuse-makers). His entire presidency is cracked from top to bottom. His facade as the "popular wartime president" long ago went splat on the ground like a loser in the kids' egg-toss game at the company picnic. Every cliche he and his pals have egg-rolled out - about finding WMDs, about Saddam being connected to al Qaeda or 9/11, about cakewalks and being greeted as liberators, about "Mission Accomplished," about the insurgency being in its "last throes," about "when they stand up, we'll stand down," about how we're winning in Iraq, and victory this and success that - it's all as stinky as a carton of week-old, room-temperature rotten eggs by now. And it is cracking us up as a nation.  

All the king's horses and all the king's men already tried to rescue this hapless Humpty from his perch too close to the edge. He rebuffed them all. He still thinks he knows best. Evidently, all that "more power to the presidency" unitary executive crapola has gone to his head. As he recently shared with Jim Lehrer, he seems convinced that he's so omnipotent by now that a mere crack in an egg CAN be dealt with successfully, and the egg, as a whole, CAN be saved.  

Every minute of Humpty's posturing deserves to go straight into the Dumpty at this point. His Iraq War is a loser. Everybody knows it - even those who can't face it or don't want to admit it. So is his legacy. So is the sorry state of this no longer perfect union. All are cracked, split wide open, rotting, and dropped through greedy fingers, splat on the ground. All lost. All unsalvagable. All very likely to make one seriously ill from exposure to the food poisoning a cracked egg threatens to bring on. You cannot fix a broken eggshell any more than you can fix this broken war, or the many broken hearts, broken dreams, broken Iraqi neighborhoods, broken infrastructure, broken bodies or entire broken country that this war has caused. You sure can't fix it with some signing statement, fancy speech, folksy smile, or cutesy nickname. You can't call it something mundane like a cracked egg and figure the rest of us will just shrug it off as though it were little more than the common egg carton you just picked up in the dairy section on the average, uneventful day.  

This Humpty Dumpty thinks a cracked egg is no big deal. Bush doesn't have to sweat the big stuff, like the 21-thousand troops he's effectively sentenced to an early death or a lifetime's disability and/or post traumatic stress disorder will be forced to endure. He's never known combat, up close 'n' personal, as they already have - over how many extended and additional tours of duty by now? Cracked eggs are as messy a mess as he ever has to see, up close. He'll sit home in his comfy chair and spin with his crooked smile and sales schtick when the next round of interviews to push the next lame-brained escalation becomes necessary after this surge fails. He ought to count himself lucky that the only shell fragments to spoil his day will come from the egg on his face. Too bad the rest of us are nowhere near as fortunate.    

Had enough?

Visualize IMPEACHMENT!!!
Then go DO something about it.


Mary Lyon is a veteran broadcaster and five-time Golden Mike Award winner who has anchored, reported, and written for the Associated Press Radio Network, NBC Radio "The Source," and many Los Angeles-area stations including KRTH-FM/AM, KLOS-FM, KFWB-AM, and KTLA-TV, and occasional media analyst for ABC Radio News.  Mary began her career as a liberal activist with the Student Coalition for Humphrey / Muskie in 1968 and helped spearhead a regional campaign, The Power 18, to win the right to vote for 18-year-olds. She remains an advocate for liberal causes, responsibility and accountability in media, environmental education and support of the arts for children, and green living. Mary writes for,, World News Trust, and's We! Magazine. Mary is also a parenting expert, having written and illustrated the book "The Frazzled Working Woman's Practical Guide to Motherhood."

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