The Lurita Kiss Good Night

When it comes to amnesia, Geena Davis has nothing on Lurita Doan. She can’t remember anything.

The above clip is long and to “get” it requires wading through a lot of senate-subcommittee interrogation stuff, so let me talk you through it a little: Lurita Doan, a woman I’d never heard of before today, works for the GSA, an office I’d never heard of before today.  The GSA, as I understand it, is an administrative office (that’s the “A” part) that provides “general services” (that’s the GS part) to federal offices.  Like, they handle requisitions for staplers and “Hang in There, Baby” posters.  It appears that the GSA has, lately, been concentrating on using its budget mainly to try to get Republicans elected in 2008.  Lurita Doan appears to be a significant part of this effort, yet remembers nothing about it.  She organized meetings and presentations and convened meetings to brainstorm about how to better use GSA resources to help elect Republicans in 2008, but remembers none of it.

As I was watching the above clip, I was growing more and more disgusted with this woman and her pale, transparent lies, when suddenly it hit me: maybe she doesn’t remember.  Maybe she’s just a stupid, fucking moron.

I get the whole thing about Dick Cheney invading Iraq, destroying our nation’s economy and killing hundreds of thousands of people to make money for Halliburton.  I get that.  I get putting a cheerful idiot in charge of FEMA and hoping no major American cities would be destroyed.  I get it.  But somehow it never occurred to me that the Bush administration would staff all of its offices with corrupt, incompetent morons whose sole job is to figure out how to take the taxpayers’ money and use it to keep themselves in power, while not providing any actual, um, governance.

Back when I was a downtown playwright, I often worked in a small theater run by a cheerful, feckless young man who, upon closer examination, revealed himself to be a drunk, a liar and a thief.  His lies were pathological; they began the moment he awoke in the afternoon and they didn’t stop until he went to sleep in the morning (after the bars all closed).  He would lie about anything, whether is was about a contract or the correct time.  He would simply say whatever he had to in order to get you to do whatever he needed you to do at that moment, and was always charming and self-effacing, and the second your back was turned he’d steal your money, fuck you over andsell you out.  He often spoke of high ideals in art and ideas, but he didn’t care a fig about art, he was merely a tin-pot Colonel Tom, exploiting the energies of young artists to further his career.  Today I realized that if that young man had been born into an oil-based political dynasty instead of being raised by hippies in San Francisco, he might be president today.
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8 Responses to “The Lurita Kiss Good Night”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Ah for the days when it was just a few minutes of missing tape recording because of a President’s secretary (with the help of some nearly impossible if not improbable complicated incidental movement, stepping on recording-pedal, reaching for buttons and gesticulating all at the same time, or something like that)

  2. kornleaf says:

    ok. this woman is an idiot, yet is a sly one;

    “i assume you know what a target is?”
    “i think we can assume I am one right now….”

    She is evading the questions utilizing plausible deniability; she, as a gov. worker sees many random papers and many random meetings, but this type of stuff is bullshit.

    You CANNOT utilize state and federal time to engage in campain work. It is illegal. This woman thinks she can get off by denying it, no, she is going down.

  3. greyaenigma says:

    I appreciate your interpretation of this video, Senator.. I mean Congressman… I mean Todd.

    I miss the good old days when a couple of scrappy reporters, sniffing just the mere hint of a scandal, didn’t rest until they dragged the whole damn thing to light.

    The damn thing these days is so monstrously huge, it’s been impossible for its slimy tentacles to remain in the dark — and yet the most utterly horrifying thing is that no one seemed to care. If this were in a horror movie the audience would be shouting, “Idiots — it’s right there!” at the screen.

    No one seemed interested in exposing or even combatting the corruption. It’s changing now, but so slowly and with such a blind man’s zoo approach, it’s hard to imagine it’s not all part of some bigger show of amelioration.

    (Speaking of which, I should probably finish my write-up on terrifying monsters.)

  4. urbaniak says:

    An accomplished businesswoman and software expert with a Masters in Renaissance Literature, Ms. Doan will happily play stupid to protect her beloved Bush Administration. And herself.

  5. noskilz says:

    I’m having a little difficulty running down the exact article, but there was an assessment of the Bush/Cheney/Rove governing scheme a few years back that suggested that their thinking was that it didn’t matter if you filled posts with flacks and hacks, as long as these flacks and hacks could be relied upon to do the White House told them to do. A sort of administrative thin-client model, perhaps. Needless to say, that notion seems to have been badly flawed in many mostly unsurprising ways. This would certainly explain why many of the unfolding scandals seem to track directly back to Rove and/or the White House.

    You’ve alluded to the school of thought that suggests that actually governing was never really something they gave much thought to, as most of their energies seemed to have been devoted to perverting everything they could get their hands on for their own benefit. This one puzzles me the most, but also seems to be extensively supported – I mean wouldn’t being able to deliver go some way towards cutting down on the amount of heat from critics? Sort of a “but the trains are on time” angle. It’s like they discovered image management can be a powerful tool, and then decided it was the only tool.

    I suspect its probably both, and several more.

    I assume you’ve heard about Lurita’s fingerprint concerns(“telling one of her people to take her glass, cause she doesn’t want “them to have my fingerprints. They’ve got me totally paranoid!””)

    • Todd says:

      their thinking was that it didn’t matter if you filled posts with flacks and hacks, as long as these flacks and hacks could be relied upon to do the White House told them to do.

      It is a far cry from Kennedy’s “Best and Brightest” concept, isn’t it. And it works for them because the fucking morons they put in the positions are too stupid to realize that Bush/Cheney/Rove’s notion of loyalty is strictly a one-way street.

      The Bush administration, it is becoming abundantly clear, has no plan beyond ripping off the taxpayers and maintaining their power to a wide enough extent that all the possible checks and balances, all oversights against it, are eliminated. Now that plan is coming to light a couple years ahead of schedule. If our nation had a motivated populace this sickening perversion of civil service would signal a seismic change in our attitudes toward government. Well, I was a young teen during Watergate and the story fascinated me, and it did fundamentally alter my attitude toward the government: it told me that the federal government is my enemy, does not have my interests in mind and must be guarded against at every turn. And Nixon was an ideological pussycat compared to these savages.

  6. r_sikoryak says:

    Part of the Bush administration plan is to use powerpoint presentations as often as possible.

    Have you ever been able to retain any information gleaned from those mediocre charts and graphs? The type is boring, too.
    I wouldn’t have remembered any details of those slides, either.