Sunday, January 04, 2009

Can They Just Go, Now?

Adding Up Bush's Damage

Bush's catalog of his transgressions against the nation's interests would keep him in a confessional for the rest of his life.

Bob Herbert, NYT:

When Mr. Bush officially takes his leave in three weeks (in reality, he checked out long ago), most Americans will be content to sigh good riddance. I disagree. I don’t think he should be allowed to slip quietly out of town. There should be a great hue and cry -- a loud, collective angry howl, demonstrations with signs and bullhorns and fiery speeches -- over the damage he’s done to this country.

This is the man who gave us the war in Iraq and Guantánamo and torture and rendition; who turned the Clinton economy and the budget surplus into fool’s gold; who dithered while New Orleans drowned; who trampled our civil liberties at home and ruined our reputation abroad; who let Dick Cheney run hog wild and thought Brownie was doing a heckuva job.

The Bush administration specialized in deceit. How else could you get the public (and a feckless Congress) to go along with an invasion of Iraq as an absolutely essential response to the Sept. 11 attacks, when Iraq had had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?

Exploiting the public’s understandable fears, Mr. Bush made it sound as if Iraq was about to nuke us: “We cannot wait,” he said, “for the final proof -- the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

He then set the blaze that has continued to rage for nearly six years, consuming more than 4,000 American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. [...] The financial cost to the U.S. will eventually reach $3 trillion or more, according to the Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz. [snip]

And then there’s the Bush economy, another disaster, a trapdoor through which middle-class Americans can plunge toward the bracing experiences normally reserved for the poor and the destitute.

Mr. Bush traveled the country in the early days of his presidency, promoting his tax cut plans as hugely beneficial to small-business people and families of modest means. This was more deceit. The tax cuts would go overwhelmingly to the very rich.

The president would give the wealthy and the powerful virtually everything they wanted. He would throw sand into the regulatory apparatus and help foster the most extreme income disparities since the years leading up to the Great Depression. Once again he was lighting a fire. This time the flames would engulf the economy and, as with Iraq, bring catastrophe. [snip]

There seemed to be no end to Mr. Bush’s talent for destruction. He tried to hand the piggy bank known as Social Security over to the marauders of the financial sector, but saner heads prevailed.

In New Orleans, the president failed to intervene swiftly and decisively to aid the tens of thousands of poor people who were very publicly suffering and, in many cases, dying. He then compounded this colossal failure of leadership by traveling to New Orleans and promising, in a dramatic, floodlit appearance, to spare no effort in rebuilding the flood-torn region and the wrecked lives of the victims.

He went further, vowing to confront the issue of poverty in America “with bold action.”

It was all nonsense, of course. He did nothing of the kind.

The catalog of his transgressions against the nation’s interests -- sins of commission and omission -- would keep Mr. Bush in a confessional for the rest of his life. Don’t hold your breath. He’s hardly the contrite sort.

And then, we've still got this "save Bush's legacy" campaign going on, with the Bushies trying to rewrite history (in their own alternate reality, of course) and it's enough to make you want to barf:

"He's a good decision-maker"

Joe Sudbay, America Blog:

Everything you need to know about the interview conducted by the Washington Post with two of George Bush's top aides, Josh Bolten and Stephen Hadley, is summed up in this quote from Bolten:

"He's a good decision-maker," Bolten said.

Yes, the man who brought down the U.S. economy and destroyed our reputation in the world is viewed by his staff as "a good decision-maker." What's their definition of someone who makes bad decisions? So, you can read the full article, but you get the gist. This is the Bushies trying desperately to salvage their reputations. That can only happen if we ignore the facts of the past eight years. If you really want to hurl, read the last two paragraphs of the article:

Bolten said another of his goals when he took over was to try to get the country to see the likable boss he and other aides saw in private, convinced that would boost Bush's popularity. "I failed miserably," he conceded. "Maybe in the beginning of the sixth year of a presidency, that's a quixotic task. . . But everybody who has actual personal exposure to the president, almost everybody, appreciates what a good leader he is, how smart he is and, especially, how humane he is."

Hadley invoked Bush's 2000 campaign theme in summing up the president's personal qualities. "He has got this great compassion which was not just a slogan, 'compassionate conservative.' It is who he is. It is one of the great things he brought to this office," Hadley concluded. "This is the one thing that just drives me crazy, that somehow this is an arrogant administration, an arrogant president running an arrogant policy. This guy -- one thing he is not is arrogant."

We'll see a lot of this pablum over the next couple weeks. But, we know all we need to know about George Bush. He is the worst president EVER. And, Bolten, Hadley, Cheney, Rove, Hughes, Fleischer, Bartlett ...the list goes on and on... they all had a role in the worst presidency EVER.

Why is anybody still foolish enough to be buying what they're selling?

I guess I answered my own question, didn't I? Sigh.


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