May 2008 – The Bush Legacy: Going Out With A Bang

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By Jack Neworth
During the last months of a president’s term in office his concerns naturally turn toward his legacy. (Except for Nixon whose thoughts turned toward if he was going to jail.) George Bush, however, is not worried about his legacy. “Hell, it’ll take 50 years to figure it out and by then we’ll all be dead.”
Actually, it may not take quite that long. In a poll taken among historians conducted through the “History News Network, 60% concluded that Bush was the worst president of all-time. 35% rated his presidency in the 31st to 41st category, while only 4% ranked him as even among the top two-thirds. 

Actually, Bush takes comfort in comparing himself to other unpopular wartime leaders, Lincoln and Churchill. If I took comfort comparing myself to Hemingway and Steinbeck, I certainly wouldn’t say so in public.
So, let’s examine the Bush legacy.

Iraq: No WMDs, (oh, well) 4,400 Americans dead, 60,000 wounded and a million Iraqi deaths. We’re stuck in the middle of a 1400 year-old civil war which will cost trillions while at home we have increased poverty, a health crisis and a failing infrastructure. Instead of six weeks the occupation will last at least ten years. Many historians call the invasion the worst foreign policy mistake in our history. Colin Powell warned, “Invading Iraq would open the gates of Hell.” Bush’s actual response, “I don’t get it, they’re all Muslims, right?”

The Economy: Bush inherited a record surplus and spent us into record deficits. The value of the dollar is so low foreign investors are buying up our country like it’s a garage sale. Many economists say things haven’t been this bad since WWII brought us out of the Great Depression. 

The Environment: Immediately upon taking office, Bush pulled us out of Kyoto. Until recently he’s maintained global warming was just a theory. (Like gravity is just a theory?) 

Our World Standing: On 9/12/01 almost the entire world was with us. In Tehran a million Iranians marched in sympathy. Thanks to Bush’s “my way or the highway” we’re down to Poland and Albania. 

Treason: Bush and Cheney outed Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent during wartime. If it had been Clinton and Gore, the neo-cons would be charging the White House with torches and pitchforks.

Torture: At Yale Bush was sanctioned for “torturing pledges” by branding them with a hot coat hanger which he said was no worse than a cigarette burn. Forty years later, his Administration tortured detainees to death, indicating he had graduated to slightly worse than a cigarette burn.

Support the Troops: Bush sent ill-equipped, ill-trained GI’s on multiple tours into a war based on lies and with no plan. The wounded face rats at Walter Reed Hospital and endless red tape at the V.A. GI suicides are at record levels. 

War Our Grandkids Pay For: Bush is the only leader in the history of the world to wage a war and lower taxes. (Leave no billionaire behind.). 

Culture of Corruption: Abramoff, Cunningham, Vitters, Craig, Foley, DeLay, Ney, Frist, and Gonzales are either in jail or should be. 

Pure Arrogance: In 2004 when asked what mistakes he made in his first term, Bush said he couldn’t think of one.

“Mission Accomplished.” When W. came into office the price of gas was $1.39. Now it’s $4. Mission accomplished? 

“Uniter, not a divider” Bush’s 2000 campaign theme finally came true in that he has all but united the Muslim world in their hatred for America. 

“Bring it on!” Given the devastating loss of life in Iraq, Laura convinced Bush it was a poor choice of words.

“I looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul.” That’s funny, because when I look into Putin’s eyes all I see are gulags. 

“The Children Am Learning” Bush is clearly not smarter than a 5th grader. 

“Wanted Dead or Alive” After 6 years, Bush’s warnings seem a little hollow. Bin Laden is still alive and, given the number of his videos, he appears to be hiding rather well. 

“Heckuva job” Brownie was Bush’s remarkably incompetent head of FEMA. During Katrina, Bush was in Arizona celebrating John McCain’s birthday while Condi was in Manhattan shopping for shoes. 
“Awesome speech” After a speech by the Pope last month, Bush said, “Thank you, Your Holiness, awesome speech.” The frat boy president.

The Final Legacy: I greatly fear Bush will go out with a bang by bombing Iran. It could come as an October surprise and sadly, many Americans will blindly rally around the flag. It may help elect McCain. (Whom the 2000 Bush campaign suggested had fathered a black child out of wedlock and whose wife was a drug addict.) As an added bonus, bombing Iran might even send gas to $5 a gallon.

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