by Jeff Siegel
How do you say goodbye to someone who never should have been president in the first place? How do you say goodbye to someone who was one of the two or three worst presidents in U.S. history, who leaves behind a failed foreign policy, a failed domestic policy, and a failed economic policy? And, for good measure, if you’re a Republican, how do you say goodbye to the man who almost single-handedly destroyed your party, leaving it little more than a regional shell of what it was, its future dependent on southern Anglo men when the country is becoming less white?
You don’t. Just be damned glad he’s leaving.
George Bush’s un-accomplishments are mind-boggling:
• The fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush attacked the former for no reason at all, and allowed the latter, which really needed our help, to waste away. We won World War II in five years at a cost of $5 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars. So far, Iraq has cost us $3 trillion over six years, and we didn’t have to fight battles all over the world and take on two of the biggest powers of the day. And this doesn’t include the human cost, which is too damned depressing to note.
• The United States lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008, the worst year since 1945. During Bush’s eight-year, pro-business presidency, we netted only 3 million new jobs. By comparison, 21 million jobs were created in Bill Clinton’s two terms. Which, given how little I think of Clinton, should show how truly abysmal Bush’s performance was.
• The Bush Administration employed at least two attorneys general who figured torture was par for the course and pushed an intelligence bill through Congress that allowed it to spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant. The last president who diluted our civil liberties so severely was Abraham Lincoln, and at least he had an excuse — the enemy army was an afternoon’s march from Washington.
• Bush’s reaction to anything that didn’t include making war, like Hurricane Katrina, was half-hearted and aimless. It’s almost as if he was bored. Or, as the late Molly Ivins once wrote: “What you end up with is a guy who sees himself as a perfectly nice fellow — and who is genuinely disconnected from the impact of his decisions on people.”
Those of us who remember Vietnam always thought Richard Nixon was the worst president the country ever had — and the worst we could ever have. Bush has made many of us reconsider that position. My pal Jim Schutze, who writes for the alternative weekly in Dallas, is convinced Bush is not only a war criminal, but should be tried as a war criminal.
Maybe Jim is right. But if we do that, Bush won’t go away. And I want nothing more than for Bush to go away as quickly as possible. We’ve suffered enough.
(Political graphic © copyright DarkBlack and used with permission. For more material like this, please see DarkBlack's blog.)
War on Terror
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by Jeff Siegel