Friday, January 9, 2009

The accomplishments of George W. Bush

The list of his accomplishments is breathtaking. He presided over the first attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. He lied to get us into an unprovoked war. He underestimated what it would take to achieve his ambitions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as a consequence, we continue to pour out endlessly our national treasure. He took billions of dollars in cash to Iraq to "rebuild" its economy, failed to achieve that end, and the money vanished. He let the perpetrator of 9/11 go uncaught for seven years after the calamity. He destroyed our national reputation among our allies and compromised our ethical leadership throughout the world. He set up a concentration camp and endeavored to eviscerate our civil liberties. He dismissed the Constitution as a mere piece of paper and joked that things would be a lot easier for him were he American's dictator. He destroyed American education through his misguided No Child Left Behind program. He stood idly by as one of America's greatest cities was destroyed in a natural disaster, and when he was caught up short, he instituted a rebuilding program that not only failed miserably to rebuild the destroyed American icon but resulted in billions of dollars that simply vanished. He presided over the largest increase in not just the national deficit but also the national debt. He took the longest national expansion of the economy in American history and turned it into an economy that teeters on the brink of depression, and in the process, he forced the whole world economy into recession. In order to rebuild the US financial system, he gave it three hundred billion dollars, failed to achieve the end for which he sought the money, and the money vanished. (Wow. Is there a pattern here?)

Presidents like Fillmore and Buchanan languish in American history because they did nothing. George W. Bush was so proactively bad that it seems unlikely anyone will ever exceed him as a failed president. Without a question, the man is the nadir of American history. When we look back at the stolen election of 2000, and our quiescence in the face of his grab for power, it seems truly that we simply misunderestimated the man. Perhaps we forgot that it only takes a single bullet to kill a horse.


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