David B.




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January 15, 2009

Away With Bush and his Smirk . . . and Good Riddance


We don’t have George W. Bush to kick around anymore. Or won’t, anyway, in a few days’ time.


Finally, finally America will bring down the curtain on one of the most shameful eras in its long and checkered history as the brainless pseudo-Texan sociopath stumbles his way off the national stage and into the annals of infamy. George W. Bush leaves behind a nation wracked by economic travail, rendered by social discord and reviled by the remainder of the planet by virtue of an unjustified war of aggression that has left over a million dead.


Had Bush entered office with an overt agenda to ruin the country he was taking stewardship of, he couldn’t have succeeded more spectacularly than he has. The America Bush leaves writhing in agony in his wake would have seemed almost unimaginable a few short years before.


At this particularly bleak juncture of history, it is almost as difficult to recall the halcyon days of America’s recent past as it is to envision any possible brighter future before it. Who now can recall the hazy days of the mid-1990s, when America’s sole substantive military involvement was a low-level police action in the Balkans, and when the public’s greatest apparent worry concerned a particular stained blue dress? It was a different time and place – a time and place unencumbered by a self-immolating economy, an era where phrases like Guantanamo, Patriot Act, Abu Ghraib and Military Commissions Act did not exist. Seen from the perspective of 2009, it seems an alien world.


George W. Bush and his cabal of supply-side, pro-family, worker-hating, war-loving Republican zombies changed all that, institutionalizing fear as the prime motivating force driving American popular opinions and political behavior. Quivering gelatinously in the wake of 9/11, we were happy to let the Bush gang abscond with our dollars, our liberties, our regard for truth, our commitment to justice and our self-respect, so long as they kept the mean terrorist bogeymen at bay.


And Bush was more than happy to oblige.


The incoming Obama Administration, whatever its foibles and limitations may yet turn out to be, can only stand in shining relief to the nest of criminals that preceded it. This isn’t likely to be enough to overcome nearly a decade’s worth of concentrated damage to the American economy, psyche, and politic. Bush’s greatest victory may yet turn out to be his success in infecting all branches of government with his loyalist droids – the legions of Stepford civil servants in bureaucratic and administrative positions who, appointed for the indeterminate future, stand to continue to inflict Bush’s damage by proxy, maligning like slow tumors within the institutions they inhabit. Obama and company will have their work cut out for them.


But even absent the malingering miscreants infesting the USDA, the EPA, the NSA, the FDA, the NSF and every nook and cranny of the judiciary, what sort of resurgence can we reasonably expect to see from a nation which has fallen so far, so fast? What’s the pathway back to respectability, to economic viability, to peace, to individual prosperity in a nation that has doubled its national debt and exported literally millions of its jobs in the course of a single presidential administration?


Before a patient can be cured, it must be stabilized. One can be forgiven for believing that no president inaugurated at this juncture would have a clue as to even stop America’s bleeding. Obama will surely do his best, and time will provide the only true measure of the efficacy of his efforts. Bush, however, has already done his worst and, mission accomplished, he is now ready to skulk from the national stage to his Dallas McMansion with a snicker on his lips and lobbyist dollars in his pocket. We don’t have him to kick around anymore, but he’ll be kicking us for years to come.


© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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