Thursday, September 25, 2008
Requiem for a Nightmare
I've never been one of those people to proclaim that George W. Bush is the worst president in the history of this country. I didn't live under the presidencies of all those who came before him so I can't speak from any sort of real time experience. That said, it is true -- despite what Bush firmly believes his legacy will be -- that as time fades, the only real measure anyone in the distant future will have of this particular administration is the series of events that defined it.
I'm talking about what happened during George W. Bush's eight years in office.
Years from now, there will be no nuance or ability to debate the pros and cons with any sense of context; there will only be those historical landmarks consigned to the history books with an absolute authority.
And they are:
The attacks of 9/11, the inability to catch the man most responsible for those attacks, a preemptive war in Iraq sold to the American people through faulty intelligence and questionable misdirection, the intentional and vengeful exposure of a CIA agent and the commutation of the sentence handed down against the one person charged in the case, the expansion of "extraordinary rendition," a war in Afghanistan (right or wrong), Abu Ghraib, the weakening of America's position in the world community, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center scandal, the Constitutionally dubious nature of the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, the authorized waterboarding of prisoners and the debate over whether or not to torture, an incompetent and apathetic response to Hurricane Katrina that cost the lives of hundreds.
And now this, the final domino: the collapse of the American economy -- a potential second Great Depression.
All of this happened on Bush's watch.
You know something, I stand corrected -- I actually do believe that George W. Bush may very well go down in history as this country's worst president.