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This Is What Democracy Looks Like
Today's Note From a Madman
January 14, 2009
Beating an Almost Dead Horse Named "W"
So what is it about President Bush that makes so many so mad so often? First, it's his overall brashness. Now brashness can be a very good thing or a very bad thing. In his case, it's the latter. Brashness is what makes bad decisions permanent. There is no compromise in this President because, when one is always right, there is no need to compromise.
And President Bush is always right... Just ask him.
Watching Bush's "The Last Press Conference" was like watching a child play the last game of a particularly bad little league season. It's finally over and the relief is obvious. And like that child, President Bush is simply going through the motions of being President rather than actually being a President.
In a nation full of serious and qualified people willing and wanting to make a meaningful contribution, we instead chose this guy. While all Presidents have their faults, most are able to change for the better of the nation. Even Ronald Reagan - the President George W. Bush tried to compare himself to the most - when faced with climbing deficits and economic issues of his own, knew that he had to raise taxes in order to make the economy better. But when one doesn't admit to any mistakes and says things like "mistake were made" without taking responsibility for those errors, one cannot correct those errors.
And in the case of George W. Bush, there was never, ever a time when even the specter of correcting a wrong was in the making.
For example, take the Iraq war. It was still the right thing to do, according to President Bush. Sure, the reasons might have changed (from WMD's to Saddam is a bad person to freedom and democracy, etc.), but the end certainly justified the means.
Bush distanced himself even when faced with his responsibility for the failure of his economy. Just take a look at his take on "the" (not "his") economy:
"In terms of the economy, look, I inherited a recession, I am ending on a recession. In the meantime there were 52 months of uninterrupted job growth. And I defended tax cuts when I campaigned, I helped implement tax cuts when I was President, and I will defend them after my presidency as the right course of action. And there's a fundamental philosophical debate about tax cuts. Who best can spend your money, the government or you? And I have always sided with the people on that issue.
"Now, obviously these are very difficult economic times. When people analyze the situation, there will be -- this problem started before my presidency, it obviously took place during my presidency. The question facing a President is not when the problem started, but what did you do about it when you recognized the problem. And I readily concede I chunked aside some of my free market principles when I was told by chief economic advisors that the situation we were facing could be worse than the Great Depression.
"So I've told some of my friends who said -- you know, who have taken an ideological position on this issue -- why did you do what you did? I said, well, if you were sitting there and heard that the depression could be greater than the Great Depression, I hope you would act too, which I did. And we've taken extraordinary measures to deal with the frozen credit markets, which have affected the economy. Credit spreads are beginning to shrink; lending is just beginning to pick up. The actions we have taken, I believe, have helped thaw the credit markets, which is the first step toward recovery.
"And so, yes, look, there's plenty of critics in this business; I understand that. And I thank you for giving me a chance to defend a record that I am going to continue to defend, because I think it's a good, strong record."
-Bush from the press conference
As he had done during his whole time in office, Bush led off with the good - or, at least what he presents as good. In this case, it's "52 months of uninterrupted job growth". It doesn't matter that the jobs being created helped take people from good paying jobs to minimum wage jobs; or full time work to part time work. In his mind, it was all about being able to claim something... anything.
As for the tax cuts for the very wealthy, President Bush still defends them in spite of the part they played in relation to our current record deficit and the debt which will haunt our children and grandchildren even after many of us are gone. It wasn't a "philosophical debate" - it was just rhetoric used to give back to his real "base of haves and have mores".
Twice in this qualifying statement, President Bush mentioned that the hard economic times began prior to his entering the White House. The fact remains, however, that President Clinton left Bush a budget surplus which he not only squandered away, but then had the gall to say he didn't do it.
It's as if Bart Simpson were running the country.
The American people weren't fooled, and no matter how much he tries to fix his legacy, it's all there for us to see and history to judge.
And judge, it certainly will... harshly.
In response to George Bush's, ""I've thought long and hard about Katrina - you know, could I have done something differently, like land Air Force One either in New Orleans or Baton Rouge. The problem with that and - is that law enforcement would have been pulled away from the mission," Robert Scardapane writes:
Madman, I saw most of the interview. I was struck at how defensive Bush was. He truly can not admit that he made many terrible errors and is disconnected from reality. The part about landing Air Force One actually went on painfully for minutes. Bush misses the point that no one cared if he landed in New Orleans. It was the response of FEMA that was poor.
The right wing is in full spin mode now. They still can't admit they lost in 2006, 2008 because conservative policies were rejected. They mistakenly believe it was all a matter of an unpopular President yet don't look deeper into why he was unpopular. They think that all they need to do is wait for the Democratic party to make mistakes and then they will be back in power.
The Republicans are sadly mistaken. The disgust with conservative policies is real.
And Sheila Burleson writes:
Hapless Harry Reid and Pearls Pelosi have turned out to be Republicans in Democrat's' clothes. They rolled over for Bush on everything and pulled impeachment from the table.
Bush will be remembered for tearing up the Constitution, tearing up Iraq, tearing up America, tearing up the Republican party (I give him a thank you for that one actually) and he is tearing up the truth about his awful decisions the last 8 years. All things considered, I would just as soon FORGET Bush. Unfortunately the rubble he leaves behind makes it hard to forget him.
And David W. writes:
Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow both mentioned that that was the work of thousands of volunteers that Bush is trying to take credit for.
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