Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

It has been over 2900 days of life on this earth under the Bush administration. Eight long, hard, depressing years. At noon tomorrow night will turn into day and this wretched national eclipse and horror show will be over. Do you remember this line? A promise "to build a single nation of justice and opportunity." Or the pledge that "America, at its best, matches a commitment to principle with a concern for civility?" Both came from Bush's first inaugural speech. Not that we expected the best, but how many expected it to be this bad? I will give Bush this. He has a good record on dealing with AIDS in Africa. And if all he had been was the head of an international aid agency, that would be enough. But the man was the president of the US.

As he leaves office, even a man who lives with his head as deeply rooted in the sand as Bush does can not help but notice that he is hated, has been dismissed as incompetent, and has a base of support that barely exceeds family & employees. Certainly aware of this, how reflective has Bush been about his presidency in the past weeks? There have been disappointments and mistakes, but apparently few or none were actually his (has anyone actually heard him say "I made a mistake? I was wrong?"). I can't help feeling that Bush sees the biggest mistake of his presidency as being unable to convince all of us that he was right. Denial at that level is amazing.

There are many, many things I won't miss about W & his toadies. Here are just a few.
An invasion and war on a country that did NOT attack us
A Veep who makes the Devil look like a good Samaritan
Guantánamo Bay
Definitions of torture that seem to exclude only murder (although given this administration I wouldn't be surprised to read a "tell all" book down the road about how that line was crossed more than once).
Shredding of the US constitution (Habeas Corpus and warrantless wiretapping to just name two)
A man who understands that his mistake during Katrina did not involve where he landed with Air Force 1 and when
Abstinence Only as the answer to teen pregnancy
Rejecting scientific findings that don't support personal ideologies
Daily presidential wrestling matches with the English language

I am looking forward to:
Quality people in positions of power (instead of people who are asked about their support to Bush during a job interview)
Competency - what a concept!
Working with nations of the world to a greater good
Creating policy and operating from a sense of optimism, not anger and hatred

Unfortunately, Bush & his cohorts have been busy doing their best to sabotage our future. From burrowing in (political appointees moving into federal job slots to keep them in place under Obama) to last minute or "midnight" regulations aimed at keeping Bush policies in place after he leaves. Proving again that the concept of "conservative" being anti big government is one of the biggest lies of our time, Bush will have enacted more than 70 pieces of major regulatory changes before he slinks out of office. Among them:
  • allowing concealed weapons in some national parks
  • forbidding medical facilities that get federal money from discriminating against doctors and nurses who refuse, on religious grounds, to assist with abortions
  • relaxing protections for endangered species
  • allowing uranium mining near the Grand Canyon
  • making it easier for coal companies to dump mining debris in nearby streams and valleys
  • allow increased emissions from older power plants while also rolling back existing air quality regulations for national parks and wilderness areas
  • Change how occupational safety agencies calculate job-risk for miners, despite opposition from health and safety groups, which said it would "undermine" health rules
  • make dramatic changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act - weakening accessibility standards and reducing enforcement efforts
  • restrict outpatient hospital services Medicaid would cover
  • expand by 10-percent the number of hours a truck driver can drive without adequate rest
Bush & Co., doing their best to screw over the nation as best they can before they leave - a moment that can't come soon enough.


Blogger buckarooskidoo said...

And yet...and yet...we had dinner last night with one of the 20 million plus americans who think president bush was just great. this person loves bush, he kept us safe, and the other stuff, well, that was the fault of people around him. cheney was great, too, just always in control, solid, decisive. and this person, an irish-american, wouldn't even acknowledge that martin king was a great american after being informed in great detail of his influence on the irish catholics in northern ireland.

i had to shake my head and walk away.

1:06 PM  

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