Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Lasting Legacy of Bush

The blighted spirit of Republican ideology and the idiotic vision of George W. Bush will haunt the United States for years. It will take generations to crawl out from underneath the enormous debt that this advocate of "small government" created by his spendthrift, warlike ways.

Here is an excellent article in Esquire by Ron Suskind, author of The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism:
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heckuva lot easier. Just so long as I'm the dictator." --George W. Bush, December 18, 2000

One morning in 2001, one of President Bush's most senior economic advisors walked into the Oval Office for a meeting with the president. The day before, the advisor had learned that the president had decided to send out tax-rebate checks to stimulate the faltering economy. Concerned about deficits and the dubious stimulatory effect of such rebates, he had called the president's chief of staff, Andy Card, to ask for the audience, and the meeting had been set.

As the man took his seat in the wing chair next to the president's desk, he began to explain his problem with the president's decision. The fact of the matter was that in this area of policy, this advisor was one of the experts, really top-drawer, and had been instrumental in devising some of the very language now used to discuss these concepts. He was convinced, he told Bush, that the president's position would soon enough be seen as "bad policy."

This, it seems, was the wrong thing to say to the president.

According to senior administration officials who learned of the encounter soon after it happened, President Bush looked at the man. "I don't ever want to hear you use those words in my presence again," he said.

"What words, Mr. President?"

"Bad policy," President Bush said. "If I decide to do it, by definition it's good policy. I thought you got that."

The advisor was dismissed. The meeting was over.

This is the idiot that the American people elected twice. And now Americans want to elect yet another idiot in the same mold: John McCain. The Americans have earned the economic mess they are in, they have earned the enmity of the world for their political hegemony and feckless wars, they have earned the social chaos that is descending on a society where the haves refuse the outstretched hands of the have-nots because of an ideological commitment to individualism and the worship of greed over community.

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