Friday, July 10, 2009

Sorry seems to be the word I heard

So there's this car ahead of me yesterday morning, all festooned with bumper stickers such as "You Can't Blame Bush Anymore", "1/20/13," and some nonsensical acronym for O B A M A. Clever, except you CAN blame Bush for a lot of things. His culpability didn't end when he swaggered out of the White House that cold day this past January. I'm going to turn to involuntary guest columnist

Paul Cummins from the Huffington Post for his list of things for which you CAN blame Bush, and take note: this list was compiled while the ol' bronco buster from Yale had three years left in office!

The Emerging Bush Legacy

The following list is, in my opinion, the Bush legacy. It is offered without footnotes, without elaboration or argument, but simply as a list. Perhaps by gathering together these twenty disparate (yet, I believe, related) items, the legacy will be seen for the mean-spirited, unenlightened, arrogant, plutocratic-cronyistic agenda that it is. Never in American history, I believe, has such a disastrous set of principles been enacted. Each of the twenty has far reaching, negative consequences.
1. Tax cuts leading to massive, unprecedented deficits
2. Preemptive wars against non-aggressive nations
3. Sanctioning of torture
4. De-regulation of environment protections
5. Weakening of the separation of church and state
6. Exempting the gun industry from lawsuits
7. Weakening of individual privacy protections
8. Rejection of international organizations - U.N., World Court, etc.
9. Increased hatred of the U.S.A. in Islamic countries
10. Increase in terrorist attacks since 9/11
11. Neglect of poverty in the U.S.A. and abroad
12. Shifting the tax burden from wealthy corporations and individuals to wage earners
13. Reducing (hoping to abolish) estate taxes thus creating "a permanent aristocracy" in America
14. Furthering anti-intellectualism - a president who admittedly does not read and is embarrassingly inarticulate
15. Increased military spending; hostility to spending for social services
16. Increased number of Americans without health care
17. Rejection of minimum wage increases - five consecutive years
18. Applying the principle of awarding lucrative contracts to crony companies without competitive bidding
19. Attempts to privatize Social Security
20. Four consecutive years of increases in the percentage of Americans living in poverty

And he doesn't even mention the horrific death toll - our side and others - of these insane wars and incursions and invasions of sovereign foreign nations. You'd be plenty steamed if Afghan marines landed on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, but Bush sent our troops to invade other countries over less than nothing. He was going to have his war, by Crackey. Or, by Cheney.

To me, this whole thing of "my responsibility is over when I walk out of here" is pure nonsense. It's like the old thing where someone is an utter bore, or boar, or just a nasty old offensive, foul, hateful, contemptible, unpleasant fool. They do something like toss a punch bowl at the host, throw food at a ball game, throw invectives in a food store, or I don't know what-all else, and their friends will always say, "Well, that's just the way Percy is. You gotta take him as he is." No, you don't. I mean, take that to its extreme. Berlin. Spring of '45. "You must follow...that's just the way Adolf is!" Nein.

And I'm sorry, but "I'm sorry" isn't always good enough right away. "Uh, sorry I busted your punch bowl/retirement savings/heart. I didn't mean it. Huh." does not make it all better. Yes, we forgive, but not right away. And not Bush, not yet.

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