9/11 a year later. Politics win, people lose.

11 09 2006

Think the US is in better shape than it was 5 years ago? Think that the 9/11 commission actually answered any questions or was an impartial inquiry? Really think that President “It’s a criminal act. NOWAIT! It’s a WAR! YEAH! Get the tanks out!” Bush has done ANYTHING to help the US in the last 5 years?
Think again.
My disgust with the state of US political scene continues apace. And people still think Bush is good for the country.

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One response

11 09 2006
Marty

I wonder what the heck happened to George W. Bush.
I voted for him in 2000, and quickly became disgusted with him as he proceeded to govern in a fshion far, far different from that he promised. (The contrast between his 2000 campaign stance on medical marijuana and what he’s actually done isa typical example of the difference between 2000 campaign Bush and the way he’s governed.)
Then came 9/11, and I actually thought he did a good job of responding to it. I really don’t think any US President would have reacted all that differently, and the initial campaign in Afghanistan was one of the better conducted military efforts in US history.
Then came the run-up to Iraq, where I believed a lot of what Bush said (he wasn’t saying things that were all that different from the Clinton administration on the subject of Iraqi WMD-not that the fact that a previous administration made similar, false claims is an excuse for the Bush Admin). Being on active duty during the invasion of Iraq and the initial occupation shook me. Things were on auto-pilot, and the auto-pilot’s default course was DC business as usual: spend a lot of money, don’t have much accountability, reward your cronies and political allies, and let the spin flow! I now think that whatever good Bush did, he accomplished by accident. It is not in his favor that a lot of the bad he did was not intentional. It may mitigate things to plead incompetence instead of malice, but when the result of incompetence is hard to tell apart from malice, mitigation matters little.
The problem was, I think, that the Bush administration was already pretty arrogant and blind to its own faults, and the success of the initial Afghan campaign convinced them that they were incapable of error. The same thing happened to the Japanese in World War II: they called it the “victory disease.” If Congress had kept to the role it’s supposed to have, as a check to the Presidency, this might not have been as big of a problem, but the Republicans in Congress see themselves as being part of the President’s team. Their view of things is Parliamentary, and we’ve lost the checks and balances we’re supposed to have.
I think Bush has done some things right in his time in office…and a lot more things that were wrong and counterproductive. I certainly don’t think the country is better shape than it was 5 years ago. Bush’s spendthrift ways, his lousy diplomacy (making a lot of public threats towards countries that did not support going into Iraq and then not following up on them, at all, was a really boneheaded move. Nations should never make threats they are unwilling to carry out), the way he’s governed by crony, his attempts to shield himself from all accountability, the excessive secrecy..these have all been very, very bad things.
Bush increasingly reminds me of Lyndon Johnson (he isn’t competent enough to remind me of Nixon). I’ll be glad to see the back of him. I just hope the next President (who will probably be a Democrat) doesn’t take some of the bad precedents Bush has established and do even worse, or, a scarier thought, that the things Bush has done lead to a revolution. Bush as Lyndon Johnson is a scary enough thought, Bush as Louis XV (apres moi, le deluge!) is even scarier, though since the deluge came on Bush’s watch, instead of after him, perhaps the comparison is not all that apt.
I think we’ll spend the next decade recovering from the Bush administration.

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