Friday, April 26, 2013

Editorial: A Rush to Judgement about G. W. Bush?

Warning: I am holding back my real feelings in this essay.  You may wish to read between the lines to imagine what I really think.

Various Republicans have taken the opportunity of the new Bush Library to claim that George W. Bush is being judged harshly, and that we should not "rush to judgment" about his presidency, the implication being that he will be vindicated with time.  Well, it is true that time does change some judgments. For example, Richard Nixon seems like a fucking genius relative to Bush, do you suppose that is the kind of vindication that these people mean?

Two such editorials can be found here and here.

I have reread these things and I have gone from merely annoyed to actually quite annoyed, even outraged at their no doubt sincere, corrupt beliefs.   Their views lower my opinion of this country which was already low enough, believe me, and makes me wonder if one should even care.  The Republicans through their insanity either have or will destroy the country.  Depends, I suppose, on your point of view.

Lets go over the facts of the so-called Bush Presidency, shall we?

1. George Bush was not legally elected.

Everyone in the world knows that Bush was not elected. If the votes had been counted in Florida, Gore would have won the state and the election. Everyone in the world knows this ... except the Republicans. They don't know it. I personally believe that the USA lives in a world of denial about the dark side of their own history in many ways. I think that they/we fail to realize their involvement in the genocide of Native Americans, in their responsiblity to the policy of slavery in this country, and the absence of due process when the South was forcibly rejoined to the so-called republic. You may not agree with all this, I understand. But even though the election process has been notably flawed throughout American history, we had not, to the best of my knowledge elected the chief executive in a way that was obviously fraudulent. Now I realize as I type this, that I might be wrong about this because I am also woefully ignorant of certain periods of early American history. Certainly there has been fraud in important presidential elections, but in my lifetime as an adult I watched Bush being put into office illegally and I know, from personal experience, and most Americans know from personal experience, that elections dont matter and voting doesn't matter because the rich are going to put their friends in power whatever the vote says. And they proved this by refusing, flat out refusing, to count the votes in Florida. Good job guys.

2. The Supreme Court dishonored themselves permanently.

When the Supreme Court unilaterally decided that Bush was president using an argument that no one believes, they ceased to be the Supreme Court. To be the Supreme Court you have to have moral integrity. The court has none. You can pretend there is a supreme court if you want to, but I don't. And quite a few Americans do not either. Every decision made since the one that put the Bush Administration into power needs to be examined by a real supreme court if one ever exists. Sorry to have to tell you this. I dont think it will ever happen. The Supreme Court proved in my lifetime by this event that they are just a tool of the right wing and will compromise any principle at the call of their masters. Thus Bush destroyed the justice system in this country.

3. The USA is now permanently associated with a policy of torture.

In all the wars and conflicts of this nation's history, we never resorted to torture as an official policy. Now, I can tell you that I am quite sure that there were individual exceptions to this rule. I am sure that there were prisoner interrogations during WWII that used excessive force, but these were not policy, in fact, they were against policy. I am also quite sure that during various periods of the Cold War that we would regularly turn prisoners over to countries that did use torture. But we did not use those kind of methods ourselves, directly, as a matter of policy. Perhaps this is a subtle distinction, we were certainly compromised by the use of torture of our allies. But I think that there was some value to be had in the principle that we did not use torture ourselves.

But now and for all time, the American moral position has been stained and demeaned by the policy of torture of the Bush Administration.

4. The war in Iraq

Whether or not the war in Afghanistan was justified by the events of 911  (1), there is no justification for the war in Iraq that I can see. The Bush administration deliberately lied about why we should be there but even more important, they were wrong that we should be there.  In other words, Iraq was not strategic for us. Saddam Hussein may have been an asshole who killed people, but what else is new? This war did nothing to protect America, it cost a fortune in all the ways that one can measure costs of a war, and it diverted attention and resources from other problems that needed that attention and money.

And now we are associated historically with the sewer that is Iraq.  Before our intervention we had plausible deniability for that train wreck.   Now we don't.     And I am not even going to the issue of the Sunni/Shiite power struggle with Shiite Iran right next door.  Jesus, didn't these people read even one book about the history of the region before they started this little intervention?

5. The Deficit

When Clinton left office we had a surplus. When Bush left office we were in a major depression with a huge deficit.

6. Tax Breaks for the Rich

Increase taxes on the middle class to destroy them, give tax breaks to the rich to increase inequality in this country. 

7. The Economic Breakdown and the Bailout

The financial system committed gross financial malfeasance. The Bush administration failed to regulate them properly and then bailed them out when they failed to the tune of ... how much money did we spend? Does anyone really know? Not less than a trillion dollars. Some people think that is a lot of money.  Where is my bailout?  I am waiting.

8. Denial of Global Warming and Science in General

By denying Global Warming and failing to act, millions and probably hundreds of millions of people will be impoverished or killed. Probably. Global Warming is real, it is not clear where it will all go, nor is it clear what we should do about it, but denying it for 8 years did not help. The Republicans in general and Bush in particular should be held accountable for this as time goes on. We were the most powerful country in the world at the time when the world needed to act, and we denied its existence.

9. Criminal Judges, Environmental Disasters, the List Goes On

From right wing judges who perjured themselves to get approved, to animals taken off the endangered species list by right wing scum appointed by Bush to the EPA, the list of crimes of the Bush Administration goes on and on.

A rush to judgement?

There are very serious issues with the Republican failure to see what a disaster Bush was.  It may mean the destruction of the Republican party (which would be a good thing) or it may mean that we are so polarized as a nation that we can not govern ourselves, which is the current state of affairs.   


1. Afghanistan was and is a nightmare, and one that, contrary to popular belief, we did not have that much to do with creating.   After 911, and the Taliban's refusal to act on Bin Laden and his organization, no administration could have survived that did not act.    On that point at least the Bush administration did not fuck up.  Thereafter, in their management of the conflict, things are less clear.

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