1/6/09

George W. Bush's Legacy

I have pointed out to my friends at Lucianne.com many many times; this Republican administration, in its death throws after two unfortunate terms, has been an abject failure in all matters foreign and domestic. Furthermore its failures are solidly rooted in the political and economic philosophies of movement conservativism dating back at least to the Reagan administration. In short, modern Republicanism has been a slow train wreck culminating in the failed administration of George W. Bush.

Now, interestingly, Dubya thinks that he and his administration will be vindicated byhistory. That is mainly because of his unfortunate overindulgences with alcohol and possibly other drugs in his youth..... obvious brain damage.

Here is a nice article to set the record straight...... the record that history, undoubtedly, will not ignore:

Published on Monday, January 5, 2009 by The Guardian/UK
George W. Bush's Legacy of Failure

The president's defenders are puffing his record in a positive light - but reality keeps getting in the way

by Cliff Schecter

With only days left until his term expires, it appears that the Bush legacy project, an attempt by the usual corps of serial sycophants to rehabilitate the lame-duck generalissimo's image, is falling upon the deaf ears and self-gouged eyes of an American public sickened by the last eight years.
Yes, the Bush cabal just couldn't clear out of town without trying to complete one last propaganda project for the Gipper, or the Decider, if you will. Karl Rove, the genius who predicted a permanent Republican majority right before destroying a temporary one, and Karen Hughes, who likes to create mutual understanding in the Middle East
by explaining that God appears in the US constitution, have been unleashing a wave of their finest shock and awe talking points. To listen to them is to hear how black is white, up is down and Bush has been more Churchill than Ceausescu.

Condi Rice, the very Siren Song of Security who thought a 2001 presidential daily briefing entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" meant the al-Qaida leader was thinking of investing in beachfront property in the greater Fort Lauderdale metro area, has also added her prescient voice to the chorus.

Our fearless chief diplomat's latest missive,
reminding us that "the war on terror has failed to eliminate al-Qaida and its leader Osama bin Laden, but the US-led coalition and Iraq are close to defeating the group's Iraq branch", would be pretty cool if it weren't for the tiny hiccup that there was no "Iraq branch" of al-Qaida until she and her superiors chose to idiotically invade that country, and then do everything just short of providing al-Qaida in Iraq with an infusion of venture capital.

But the biggest problem for defenders of Bush's vast array of "accomplishments" is not even the cast of nincompoops trying to portray him as the "misunderestimated" heir to President Harry Truman. Their biggest obstacle appears to be reality itself. The American people have a way of getting it right, if not always immediately, and Bush's handlers haven't quite been able to force us all into the Matrix. Yet.

Right on time, CNN has come out with a poll that proves we know more than Mr Permanent Majority after all.

When asked whether Bush was "tough enough for the job", 49% of Americans responded yes, and 51% said no (even though he cleared brush in a very forceful manner! And wore a really tight flight suit! And said "Bring 'em on!"). That, by the way, is the best he performed on any question.

Is the president a person you admire? Seventeen percent yes, 72% no, but perhaps Bush legacy project peddlers can win over that 1% still thinking about it. Does Bush inspire confidence? Twenty percent said yes, and 80% said no. Did he manage the government effectively? Only 25% think he did, while 75% said not so much. Finally, did Bush bring the kind of change the country needed? A whopping 13% answered in the affirmative.

This is the way the rest of the poll goes. Whether it is about "getting things done" or "uniting the country" - two of Bush's campaign pledges - he is lucky to approach a 33% positive score. Saying these numbers ain't pretty is in the same range of euphemistic happy-talk as claiming the economy has hit a rough patch or the Cubs haven't won a World Series recently.

So when their two-page document of talking points comes your way reminding you that "Bush kept us safe after 9/11" (except for the anthrax attack, the shoe-bomber plot foiled by alert airline passengers and the more than 4,000 American kids unnecessarily killed in Iraq) and "Bush lifted the economy with tax cuts after 2001" (try Googling in succession: "sub-prime mortgages", "Bernie Madoff" and "Enron" for Bushenomics in action), much like CNN poll respondents, you can take the antidote by just refusing to close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and scream "nah, nah, nah, nah nah" until no longer cognisant.

As for history exonerating Bush 43 (as Laura Bush claims will soon occur), Herbert Hoover somehow doesn't elicit evocations of ecstasy 80 years later, and LBJ is still remembered more for a very bad war than his landmark legislative accomplishments. Now try combining starting a stupid war with overseeing an economic meltdown.

See where this is going, Laura?

Just two months ago, I met with Julie Blust, communications director for the National Bush Legacy Bus Tour sponsored by Americans United for Change. Upon it's arrival in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, she took me aboard this 45-foot long, 28-ton monument to Dubya's impact on the country and planet, from Katrina to corrupt no-bid contractors, economic destruction to "enhanced interrogation techniques".

Upon seeing the real record, as it appeared in video, picture and chart form on the walls of the Bush bus, it would be impossible to draw any other conclusion than that this man was a one-man wrecking crew (well, two and a half if you include Cheney). And that he'll saunter up alongside James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Warren Harding as the very definition of Oval Office calamity.

There is really only one arguable legacy of Bush's White House tenure that is a step forward for the US and all mankind. It's called President Obama.

Cliff Schecter is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the author of The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him And Why Independents Shouldn't.

10 comments:

SaoirseDaily2 said...

History will only show all the corrupt under handed dealings of an imbicile.

We are getting ever closer to the inauguration!

Have a wickedly wonderful Wednesday.

Ghost Dansing said...

always nice to see you Saoirse.... thanks for dropping by....

simstone said...

I agree with most of this post, Ghost, it has most definitely been a clusterfuck over the last eight years, but do you really think that Obama is going to lead us to greener pastures over the next four years?

Like everything else, time will tell.

Good post.

Ghost Dansing said...

i see the Republican Party as a proto-fascist influence on American politics.

the Republican Party has to be crushed and born again as a Liberal Democratic party, because America is a Constitutionally a Liberal Democracy.

Obama will probably govern center-center-right overall. things are never perfect, but this will be a definite improvement..... starting with at least some modicum of competence...

Daisy said...

I am at a loss to name a single good thing that has come out of Bush's time in office. The list of the horrors that have resulted from his Presidency, by contrast, is exceedingly long. The end of his term can't come quickly enough, the way I see it. Well done, Ghost!

I enjoyed the new song you added to your music player by the way. Have a good weekend. :)

Mary Ellen said...

I always laugh when I hear about how Bush kept us safe after 9/11. They forget to mention, 9/11 happened on his watch and because of Bush and his administration's mishandling of national security, we lost thousands of innocent lives on that day. He owns 9/11, free and clear.

I agree with simstone, I doubt very much that Obama is going to be much of an improvement over Bush. From what I'm seeing in his appointments of people with as little experience or knowledge as himself, it's going to be a long four years. I mean really, Dr. Gupta as Surgeon General? Rumors of Oprah Winfrey as Ambassador to Great Britain? When does Dr. Phil get his appointment?

Ghost Dansing said...

well jeeezzz...... i certainly hope he's better than Dubya.....

we'll see :)

Mojo said...

When the opposition beat their chests and wailed over Obama's "lack of experience" I said that having a president that wasn't steeped in the intricacies of the Washington power games might be a good thing. And I'm sticking with that theory as long as it doesn't lead to constant head-butting with his supporters on the Hill. If he breaks all the rules of "How Things Are Done Here", so much the better. Because we've seen how well those work!

As for his positioning, I think by comparison to the last 8 years he'll appear to be a screaming Leftist. But then again, the term "conservative" has changed drastically since the Regan Administration, so things that might have been considered "center-right" 25 years ago would be considered left of center or even extreme left today.

At the end of the day, if we can even bring the seats of power back to center I'll call it a huge win. Because ever since 2001, "mainstream" has been equated with "Bushist".

As for his "legacy", I think Dubya will leave the white House the same way he came in. Ducking and covering from a hailstorm of eggs and rotten tomatoes.

1.19.2009: The End of an Error

PS: Is that Urdu in the captions of your pictures? It's not large enough for me to be able to tell (especially since I can't actually read Urdu).

MadMike said...

When George Bush was elected I thought of the 1962 novel title by Ray Bradbury: "Something Wicked this Way Comes." As 2009 enters its first few weeks and we look to the Obama inauguration and the end of the Reign of Bush I think: Something Wonderful this way Comes....."

Peace to all of us who believed....

rdl said...

Great post! 1/20/09 - YES!!!!