“We’re not leaving so long as I’m president.”

And there you have it. We all knew this was the way it was going to play out. That little spot in the backs of our brains that just can’t be compromised by denial kept up its steady murmuring, and today our President gave conscious voice to our worst fears.

So long as he is president, until January 20, 2009, there will be nary a plan to end what will by then be almost six years of war in Iraq. Not for another 883 days will there be a steward for our nation who is willing to put one of the greatest strategic blunders in our nation’s history to rest. Not until then, after 883 more precious days are lost, will our government begin repairing the damage left behind by the mismanagement of a lost presidency. It would be a comforting thought indeed would we be able to wipe the slate clean on that day, steer our weary nation back to a forthright course, and pretend that the wayward Texan had never found his way to Washington, but who in the rest of the world would be willing to cooperate in such a rewriting of history? There are no do-overs in politics.

What makes our president’s stoicism even more tragic than need be is the resolute determination to continue to make mistakes while at the same time refusing to correct the mistakes of the past.

With the above words, our leader has announced his intention to all the world to continue to fuck up. There’s no glossing over such a pronouncement, nor is there any reason to attach elegance to such lunacy. Such a profane administration deserves no less of a profane and simple analysis. 883 days from now, when we breathe a sigh of relief as a Marine helicopter whisks George W. Bush off to retirement, we will no doubt look back on the past years with boggled eyes. Did it really happen? Was it really possible to inflict so much damage to ourselves in under a decade?

After two and a half more years of the same from the Bush administration, will melancholy settle over America’s vision of itself? Two and a half more years of cowboy determination could very well leave the American people weary, with our anger and indignation having given way somewhere between now and November 2008.

The Bush administration is unique in that it has met America’s adversaries predictably and disastrously. What we lack in innovation we make up for in our ability to unerringly give long-term solace to our enemies.

Wide eyes and high expectations will greet the next president as he or she takes the rostrum on Capitol Hill that day. The task will be nothing short of deliverance, to lead this nation towards the rebuilding of its political will, and reinstating our confidence, but most importantly our humility, in the righteousness of our causes and beliefs. The next president will not have the luxury of passing off America’s problems to the next administration.

Until then, we have 883 days of a presidency we can no longer afford.