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.


Anonymous said...

I have been following your site for weeks now. Another blogger linked to it and I am so glad. I do not live in the States but in Canada and know that eventually what happens there is going to trickle over the border. I came across this link and thought maybe you might find it interesting Of all the rhetoric I have heard this video simplified it for me.

Duane said...

While not exactly a student of the American Presidency, I am familiar with a number of them. Hands down W. has caused the most long-term damage and IS America's worst President to date.

One particularly harmful item of his presidency that you did not mention is the precedence of getting away with all this shit. Seriously, he's rewritten Executive Privilege to the point that he has almost dictatorial freedom to do whatever the hell he wants. And nobody has held him accountable. Congress has had its balls swiped cleanly off. Fuck off, Pelosi. The Supreme Court? Fuck off again. I'm the President. 30 million person world-wide organized protest? Special Interest group. Fuck off and die. Ha ha, can't catch me.

Amy Goodman brought up good point when she opined that pardoning Nixon was the worst thing this nation could have done since it set the stage for this debacle of an administration. If Nixon had gone to jail every President since would have minded what he was about a hell of a lot more. Instead, fuck off, bitches. Lick my hind-quarters if you don't like what I'm-a doin.

Andrew Johnson screwed our country irrevocably with his mishandling of the South following the Civil War. William McKinley lied the U.S. into an illegal war (Remember the Maine!), Warren G. Harding expanded corruption through lobbying (i.e. bribery)in the halls of Congress via the oilmen who bought his election. Nixon tarnished the office of Presidency. But no President has done all of these things simultaneously (and not just limiting his mishandling affairs to the South, but to the whole nation and even other nations).

The Worst!!!!!!!

Maren said...

Great list, but you forgot the Walter Reed hospital scandal.

Dave B. said...

I've been pretty sure he was the worst president ever (he doesn't deserve a capitalization) since the end of his first term.

And admittedly, things have gone downhill very fast since then. There should never have been a question about it, really.

At this point, I'm pretty sure a retard with an Etch-A-Sketch could figure it out.

Mack said...

In what regard, Charlie?

Chez said...

Maren --

So right. I think I'll add that. Thanks. Amazing that I could list all that and still leave something out. Speaks volume.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if the new Oliver Stone movie "W" is a comedy or a farce as I've not read any reviews, but the trailors I've seen are hilarious and do quite a number on dubya.

I suspect Mr. Stone is not a fan of the "decider".

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite youtube parody of Bush/Cheney and the war in Iraq.

It's been out for sometime but is still relevent since the war still rages & our guys are still dying while Bush stands in front of the American audience and uses the same old scare tactics to get his bill on the wall street bailout passed.

We need to do something fast or the earth will open up & swallow us all. We just need $700 billion of your tax dollars to keep it from happening but hurry, hurry

And he used the "blame the people who took out the loans" garbage that I've heard bandied around by the right. I'm just sick & tired of hearing that!!

Jeremy said...

"Years from now, there will be no nuance or ability to debate the pros and cons with any sense of context;"

I'd argue that, years from now, we'll have a greater sense of context than we have now. In that context, I think we'll see how truly despicable the man and his administration were. Over the scope of many years the seals on all the carefully hidden closed door deals of his administration (I'm thinking of Cheney's energy advisors, for instance) will inevitably leak and we may be shocked to discover that this administrations actions were even more repugnant than we could possibly imagine.
Plus, I would argue that this adminsitration actually does debate outside of context, or within a very limited context that they choose to define, ignoring the grand scheme of things (such as why intelligence should be thoroughly vetted, or why someone would have a vested interest in passing us faulty intelligence about Iraqi weapons capabilites, etc.)
Maybe its just some lingering bias from my days as a History/Social Sciences major way back in college, but I tend to think that distance and seperation make it easier to place things in context.

But I'm quibbling semantics... I can't argue with the heart of this post. He's easily going to go down as one of the worst Presidents in the history of this nation. Our empire's Nero maybe.

Anonymous said...

Most of all, what about Bush intentionally mocking the essential Third Branch of our government - the judiciary - and making fodder of judges in general who happen to see gay marriage as an constitutional issue.

A man who scape-goated a large American minority - homos - just to make political points. (I thought scape-goating minorities ended in the 60's. That in itself is the most disturbing of all the Bush malfeasance.

Peter L. Winkler said...

As much as I detest Bush, I need to point out that the current financial crisis is far more the product of a corrupt Congress, including the majority of Democrats, vitiating the regulatory structure that prevented commercial banks and investment banks from merging, selling stocks, etc. Congress also passed the bankruptcy "reform" bill that makes it impossible for debtors to rid themselves of crdit card debt. I believe that legislation occured under Clinton's term. And one of the biggest recipient's of money from the credit card companies was/is none other than Sen. Joe Biden.

The ideology of deregulation is one embraced by both parties, though the Republicans are more culpable overall than the Democrats. Jimmy Carter got the ball rolling when he deregulated the airline industry. Then Reagan came in and it's been accelerating ever since.