Published on
Times Herald-Record (New York)

666 Days Left For The Devil Down In DC

Beth Quinn

It's time for another party.

Last time we got together for a drink, we were celebrating a milestone — we'd broken a thousand days left in the Bush administration. It was the 999 party.

That was last April. About a hundred people showed up, including the Raging Grannies and some members of my Apostrophe Posse.

It felt great to be in the same room with like-minded people, even if what we had in common was despair. We were filled with anger at the damage Bush had done to our country and could not imagine that things could get worse.

But we also felt hopeful that the midterm elections might change things for the better. And we fantasized that we'd be getting together again before too long to celebrate an impeachment.

No such luck.

Instead, here we are with the devil's own 666 days left until the Bush presidency ends. And things have, indeed, gotten worse. Since we last had a drink together, our nation has moved that much closer to ruin.

Since we last had a drink together, Bush has ordered a surge in Iraq, a purge at the Department of Justice and a funeral dirge on democracy as wire-tapping of Americans continues unabated.

Since we last had a drink together, New Orleans has not been rebuilt.

Since we last had a drink together, 2 million more Americans have lost their health insurance.

Since we last had a drink together, prisoners at Guantanamo have still not seen a lawyer.

Since we last had a drink together, our veterans' health-care system has been rotting away to its moldy core.

Since we last had a drink together, fear, anger and contempt for America has spread worldwide and hardened to cement.

Since we last had a drink together, another $92.9 billion of our money has been spent in Iraq — and who knows where that money came from, really? We know where a lot of it went, though — to Dick Cheney's Haliburton.

In the 333 days since we last had a drink together, another 819 American soldiers have died in Iraq.

And I STILL don't know what we're doing there.

The one thing that's changed for the better since we last had a drink together is that far more Americans have seen the light. The vast majority now oppose the policies of this president.

Not that it matters. Not that he cares. He appears to be on some sort of incoherent mission, and who knows, really, what goal lies behind his empty, zealous slogans? Power for power's sake, maybe? Hard to say. Perhaps even he doesn't know.

As for the few remaining people who still think this president is doing a jim dandy, good gosh almighty, wooly bully job of running this country, I can't imagine what he'd have to do to lose their support.

Have sex in the Oval Office with a consenting adult, maybe? Think that would do it?

I wish he would. Then maybe we could get on with an impeachment, even if it's for the wrong reason.

But there appears to be no hope of that despite the many genuine impeachable offenses this president has committed. And that is the true obscenity of this presidency — that Congress continues to allow this bull to run amok in our china shop.

At this point, to paraphrase Douglas Cunningham (my conservative, formerly-a-Bush-fan-but-not-so much-now colleague here at the paper), we can only hope Bush doesn't break anything else before his time is up in the White House.

So let's meet again and drink a toast in hopes for " what?"

Damage control, I guess. No more dropped pottery, maybe. A cleanup crew to sweep through Washington and collect for safekeeping what's left of the fragile shards of our democracy until we can elect someone to glue it all back together again.

Let's get together at 7 p.m. this Friday at the old Orange Inn bar (now called Limoncello) at 159 Main St. in Goshen.

If you plan to make it, please drop me an e-mail or call the number below so I can give Victor and Luigi down at Limoncello an idea how many to expect.

Meanwhile, who knows? Maybe I can convince Douglas to join us.

Beth's column appears on Monday. Comment at

Copyright 2007 Times Herald-Record

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