In the latest polls, Bush rose four percent. Is there anyone knowledgeable enough out there who would explain the mercurial rise, fall, and then rise again of an irrefutably failed Administration? How is it that one morning Joe Six Pack gets up and decides, yes by God I'm now positive about the President's performance? Did he hear a nugget of talk-radio chatter that changed his mind? Was it one of Bush's beautiful blue ties that turned the tide? Or maybe it was John McCain's plea to Stay the Course. Or how about that unexpected hike in the markets? You know what they say about a fat wallet.

How could Mr. Six Pack imagine that progress is being made in the War on Terror? How can he expect a nation riddled with decades of sectarian strife, Baathist brutality, Shia restrictiveness, and Kurdish separatism to become truly democratic, or even remain a nation for that matter? Does he really believe, as Bush promised, that New Orleans will be rebuilt via the federal government? Is he convinced that the economy - and not just the welfare of corporations - is doing well? Is he truly content that the bill to hike the minimum wage was defeated? Does he believe that the federal government is generally being run as competently as it should be? Is he happy with the minuscule tax return that allowed him to buy a new cell phone and a carton of cigarettes? Apparently, the answer's yes.

Five more points and Bush'll be over 40%. It's mind boggling. And indicative that this country has a far deeper problem than a woeful Administration on its hands. Blumenthal's review refers to the Republican guidebook, a text obviously composed based on the premise, you can fool most of the people most of the time.

You can now hear the main talking point - Cut and Run - echo over the valleys and through the villages. Oh no, the logic goes, we don't want to Cut and Run, that would be horrible - something only cowards do. We've got to stay, and what? Build up more resentment? Kill more civilians? Create more martyrs? Bomb more sacred sites? Escalate the animosities? Create unease for Turkey? Tilt the region's balance toward the Shia? Institutionalize a theocracy and call it a democracy as if people are never going to find out just what happened? Create a friendly neighbor for Iran and a breeding ground for terrorists who will one day be assigned to cross the Atlantic?

How is it possible that the leaders and politicians supporting this tragedy imagine that history isn't going to reveal the record of events clearly for all to see? Or do they also have a guidebook explaining to them that Joe Six Pack doesn't really give a damn? Apparently, they're operating according to the presumption that the War on Terror can be sold like soap, e.g., New and Improved = Cut and Run. Why? Because American society does not comprehensively and profoundly examine its place in the world. And unfortunately, in this milieu, Mr. Six Pack and friends, as well as many educated people who should know better, including many politicians "discussing" this war now, have enough political clout to cling to a superficial slogan - Cut and Run - as if it really means anything substantial.

This kind of pathetic sloganeering has transmuted the power of positive thinking from a traditional American custom appealing to the best in people to a specifically targeted campaign to prompt society's most unreflective constituents to blindly go along with essentially unexamined policies. What's now positive in this type of pandering is the act of seeking approval from the unknowing, uncaring, and the unconcerned in order to further the neoconservative agenda. It's the Nearly All Thinking Left Behind Policy that now carries this Administration's ethically bankrupt policies forward in the world.

And, yes, though Mr. Six Pack and friends are in a self-induced stupor, they are responsible for these activities, particularly when they're expressing their approval of this Administration. But those educated individuals who can see through the shallow sloganeering, whether Republican or Democrat, and nonetheless perpetuate this madness - they have blood on their hands. And as time goes on, history is not going to let them forget it. Indeed, if they were wise, they would Cut and Run from this folly they're pursuing - Gut and Ruin - and the stupid lies they're telling themselves in order to believe in its merits.

- Wacky Rascal