Belaboring the Obvious

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Let's Review, Shall We?

George Bush promises in his inaugural address that the United States will be a "humble nation." Now, even Kalihari Bushmen hate us for our arrogance (more specifically, Bush's arrogance).

George Bush promises to abide by the Kyoto Protocol, then waffles after the Supreme Court awards him the top job, and greenhouse emissions are higher than ever.

George Bush visits Walter Reed for the purpose of creating photo-ops promoting his compassion, but half-blind, brain-damaged soldiers are wandering around the complex lost because there's no one to help them get to their appointments--and Mr. Compassionate Conservatism never seems to notice. (Of course, we find recently that Bush's passion for privatizing everything in government for the profit and pleasure of his cronies also just might have something to do with the atrocious conditions at Walter Reed.)

A city drowns and a year and a half later, Bush is still using it for photo-ops and the Ninth Ward is still a mess. Detecting a pattern here?

On 9/11, the most expensive and most sophisticated early warning and intelligence systems in the world fail, utterly, and Bush can barely bring himself to speak to the public--and when he does, it sounds like the script from a bad 1930s B-movie. Then he spends years fighting off a full and open investigation of the day's events and what led us to them, finally getting an "independent" panel with more conflicts of interest than a pedophile priest supervising a pre-school.

Within a few months of taking office, it becomes a standing joke that if he praises a government program, cuts in funding to it will be announced the next week.

By the 2006 election, with his "legacy" gone into the shitter, the boy wonder from Crawford is reduced to saying, out of sheer desperation, that if the Democrats win, the terrorists win.

It's almost four years since "Mission Accomplished" and Iraq has been a busted jalopy with no brakes hurtling downhill toward the trash heap every year after that. The "surge" turns out to be a stealth escalation.

In a stinker of a re-run of the Reagan administration, Bush uses tax cuts for the wealthy and ever-increasing defense spending to send the national debt into orbit (thus giving Grover Norquist a woody that he couldn't get otherwise). And, right on the Reaganite schedule, his administration is buried in scandal and corruption--K Street lobbying scandal, bribery, mismanagement or destruction or corruption of almost everything in sight that has "U.S. Government" stamped on it, lies about the wars, and almost-certain lies about the wars to come, cronyism that would leave Boss Tweed slack-jawed in admiration of the audacity of the Bushies, a Vice-President's office so wrapped in secrecy that you'd think they'd learned how to make a Klingon cloaking device.

Outing a spy for political payback. Habeas corpus a distant memory. Spying on Quaker grannies because they dare think the war might not be a good idea. Spying on the rest of us, just for drill and to fill the databanks. Wholesale firings of U.S. Attorneys for political purposes. Turning the EPA into a smoking hulk, dripping toxic waste. The Interior Department trying to sell off federal lands with as little notice as possible. Six years wasted in trying to bring North Korea back into the NPT inspection regime. About two hundred al-Qaeda #3s captured, but Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri are still sending videotapes, and the message of each is, approximately, "fuck you." Torture and kidnapping and secret prisons have become national policy.

The number of desperately poor is way up, the number of people with good health care access is way down, but, Bush's base--the "haves and have-mores"--is doing right well. Private jet manufacturers are doing a brisk business.

All three major domestic automakers are shedding workers and watching their stock prices circle the drain.

NCLB turns out to be an underfunded scam designed to make robots of the nation's kids and to defund public education--and to keep Bush's otherwise unemployable brother, Neil, in the chips selling software to teach the tests. The "faith-based initiative" is exposed as little more than a ruse to reward right-wing religious wackos delivering votes to Republicans. The FDA is turned into a tool of the pharmaceutical firms and a dumping ground for the ethically-impaired, while religious right-wing ideologues whose medical education seems to have extended no further than the application of leeches are snuck into HHS. NASA scientists' work is censored by a 24-year-old whose credentials for the job were religious fundamentalist orthodoxy and some half-assed work on the Bush campaign. And Bush still hasn't given up trying to privatize Social Security.

The truly unfathomable in all of this is that Bush is still at 29% approval in the polls, and that the rather more shameless members of the press are still making excuses for him. Of course, he's always led a charmed life, being a Bush and all. (Anyone who believes God is truly just needs to think real hard about this--if he/she/it were, Dubya would at this moment be tyrannized by high school students as the evening manager of a Taco Bell in Midland, TX, instead of making fart jokes in the Oval Office and threatening to bomb any country that doesn't stoop way down and kiss his low-to-the-ground bony ass.)

All that doesn't even get to the bloodier details of wholesale changes politicizing the regulatory procedure of every agency in government, or the influence-peddling conviction of a member of Bush's OMB, or that one of his White House lawyers gets caught doing five-and-dime scams on a Target store in his neighborhood. Or that a certain hooker-cum-Republican shill signs in and out of the White at all hours and gets a daily pass into the White House press pool for almost two years, even though his journalism experience is, well, about as close to zero as one can get, and his "news agency" is just an RNC talking points regurgitator funded by some wacko Texas Republicans. Or that his DOE is in the midst of plans to revitalize the nuclear industry at taxpayer expense in what may be one of the biggest under-the-radar boondoggles to appear in his time in office.

The other truly unfathomable thing is that the Democrats haven't already nailed this faux Christian to the cross of his own making and thrown him and his tubby surrogate father out of office and into jail, if only to convince the current Republicans--the crooks, the cranks, the crackpots, the religious wackos and the assorted and sundry morally defective hangers-on of this country--that all of the above is not acceptable behavior, no time, no how. If the Dems don't do it, the next Republican in the Presidency will be that much worse, difficult as that is to imagine now.

Give `em an inch, and they'll take everything we've got, and then whine that it's not enough.

Okay, yeah, there aren't enough votes to convict on impeachment because there are too few honorable Republicans and too many gutless Democrats in the Senate. (Honorable Republican? What the hell have I been smokin'?) But, just add up all of the above, every cynical diminution of rights, every calculated usurpation of power, every theft from the national treasury, every disregard for the Constitutional function of government, every goddamned lie leading us into a bloody war of attrition for no good reason. By comparison, it makes Nixon look like the baby Jesus, and we forced his ass out, and for damned good reasons. If George Bush and his Texas mafia skate on all of this, lord, help us. We're in a heap of trouble in the future if we let this sort of dictatorial authoritarianism pass without challenge.


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