Thursday, July 06, 2006

Nothing To Do And Nothing To Lose

"Times change. People change. Interest rates fluctuate..."
Top Secret

In recent months, righty writers, commentators and apologist have turned on one another like a hungry wolfpack. If a pundit said, "You know, that Emperor's buck-nekkid" fifty others bit holes in his cheap suit. I don't know about you, but I watched this spectacle with rapt attention. Something really significant is happening here, something historic and not at all what it seems. I am not certain what it is, but let's count our fingers and try not to smell like raw meat.

Doug McIntyre is the latest media "conservative" to stand up and say our current administration is a failure. Doug is a personality on KABC radio in Los Angeles, hosting McIntyre In the Morning. I am nowhere near Los Angeles and in no position to judge whether or not Doug dabbed himself with steak sauce first but after he issued a public apology for voting Bush/Cheney, I bet he's covered with bite marks. And not the good kind.
So, I'm saying today, I was wrong to have voted for George W. Bush. In historic terms, I believe George W. Bush is the worst two-term President in the history of the country. Worse than Grant. I also believe a case can be made that he's the worst President, period.

That's...astounding. Thanks for joining us in reality-based Reality. There's more and it is breathtaking!
Most historians believe it takes 30-50 years before we get a reasonably accurate take on a President's place in history. So, maybe 50 years from now Iraq will be a peaceful member of the brotherhood of nations and George W. Bush will be celebrated as a visionary genius.

But we don't live fifty years in the future. We live now. We have to make public policy decisions now. We have to live with the consequences of the votes we cast and the leaders we chose now.

After five years of carefully watching George W. Bush I've reached the conclusion he's either grossly incompetent, or a hand puppet for a gaggle of detached theorists with their own private view of how the world works. Or both.

Presidential failures. James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, Jimmy Carter, Warren Harding - the competition is fierce for the worst of the worst. Still, the damage this President has done is enormous. It will take decades to undo, and that's assuming we do everything right from now on. His mistakes have global implications, while the other failed Presidents mostly authored domestic embarrassments.

And speaking of domestic embarrassments, let's talk for a minute about President Bush's domestic record. Yes, he cut taxes. But tax cuts combined with reckless spending and borrowing is criminal mismanagement of the public's money. We're drunk at the mall with our great grandchildren's credit cards. Whatever happened to the party of fiscal responsibility?

We? Dahhhhhhhhhhlink, let's be careful of those plural pronouns. They'll only start a land war in Asia - or put you up against a Sicilian where Death is on the line.
Bush created a giant new entitlement, the prescription drug plan. He lied to his own party to get it passed. He lied to the country about its true cost. It was written by and for the pharmaceutical industry. It helps nobody except the multinationals that lobbied for it. So much for smaller government. In fact, virtually every tentacle of government has grown exponentially under Bush. Unless, of course, it was an agency to look after the public interest, or environmental protection, and/or workers' rights.

I've talked so often about the border issue, I won't bore you with a rehash. It's enough to say this President has been a catastrophe for the wages of working people; he's debased the work ethic itself. "Jobs Americans won't do!" He doesn't believe in the sovereign borders of the country he's sworn to protect and defend. And his devotion to cheap labor for his corporate benefactors, along with his worship of multinational trade deals, makes an utter mockery of homeland security in a post 9-11 world. The President's January 7th, 2004 speech on immigration, his first trial balloon on his guest worker scheme, was a deal breaker for me. I couldn't and didn't vote for him in 2004. And I'm glad I didn't.

Katrina, Harriet Myers, The Dubai Port Deal, skyrocketing gas prices, shrinking wages for working people, staggering debt, astronomical foreign debt, outsourcing, open borders, contempt for the opinion of the American people, the war on science, media manipulation, faith based initives, a cavalier attitude toward fundamental freedoms - this President has run the most arrogant and out-of-touch administration in my lifetime, perhaps, in any American's lifetime.

You can make a case that Abraham Lincoln did what he had to do, the public be damned. If you roll the dice on your gut and you're right, history remembers you well. But, when your gut led you from one business failure to another, when your gut told you to trade Sammy Sosa to the White Sox, and you use the same gut to send our sons and daughters to fight and die in a distraction from the real war on terror, then history will and should be unapologetic in its condemnation.

While shocking, this litany of disappointments is - I'm sorry - silly. Trading Sammy Sosa is a klunker of a business decision without life and death consequences. No, really. Leaving the Gulf Coast to its own devices after the hurricanes is the work of a cabal of self-absorbed oligarchic gargoyles, with no insult intended to real gargoyles. Doug is having a little trouble differentiating between them.

And that's not all. He's sorry he voted for Bush in 2000 but washes his hands of the man in 2004. See, he's making amends like any addict but like every neoconman, he's skipped an important step in his recovery.
There's nothing harder in public life than admitting you're wrong. By the way, admitting you're wrong can be even tougher in private life. If you don't believe me, just ask Bill Clinton or Charlie Sheen.

I was sick of all the Clinton shenanigans and the thought of President Gore was...unthinkable. So, GWB became my guy.

"Unthinkable." Remember that word. And...
None of this, by the way, should be interpreted as an endorsement of the opposition party. The Democrats are equally bankrupt. This is the second crime of our age. Again, historically speaking, its times like these when America needs a vibrant opposition to check the power of a run-amuck majority party. It requires it. It doesn't work without one. Like the high and low tides keep the oceans alive, a healthy, positive opposition offers a path back to the center where all healthy societies live.

Tragically, the Democrats have allowed crackpots, leftists and demagogic cowards to snipe from the sidelines while taking no responsibility for anything. In fairness, I don't believe a Democrat president would have gone into Iraq. Unfortunately, I don't know if President Gore would have gone into Afghanistan. And that's one of the many problems with the Democrats.

Aside from the fact that he has no idea what a leftist is and he's still arguing that he can control his ravenous powergrab habit, Doug's biggest problem is that he has learned absolutely nothing from what he's admitting. In his estimation, voting Bush/Cheney in 2000 was a mistake. The unspoken insult is "and I'd have to do it again because you guys may be right but you still suck." He has not reconsidered the motivations of the people who have taken the actions he so laments. He has not examined the utter selfishness, the persistent lack of human empathy or the criminal inability to see consequences coming as they ride up the front lawn on a FEMA trailer hooked to a Hummer H3.
With a belated tip of the cap to Ralph Nader, the system is broken, so broken, it's almost inevitable it pukes up the Al Gores and George W. Bushes. Where are the Trumans and the Eisenhowers? Where are the men and women of vision and accomplishment? Why do we have to settle for recycled hacks and malleable ciphers? Greatness is always rare, but is basic competence and simple honesty too much to ask?

It may be decades before we have the full picture of how paranoid and contemptuous this administration has been. And I am open to the possibility that I'm all wet about everything I've just said. But I'm putting it out there, because I have to call it as I see it, and this is how I see it today. I don't say any of this lightly. I've thought about this for months and months. But eventually, the weight of evidence takes on a gravitational force of its own.

I believe that George W. Bush has taken us down a terrible road. I don't believe the Democrats are offering an alternative. That means we're on our own to save this magnificent country. The United States of America is a gift to the world, but it has been badly abused and its rightful owners, We the People, had better step up to the plate and reclaim it before the damage becomes irreparable.

So, accept my apology for allowing partisanship to blind me to an obvious truth; our President is incapable of the tasks he is charged with. I almost feel sorry for him. He is clearly in over his head. Yet, he doesn't generate the sympathy Warren Harding earned. Harding, a spectacular mediocrity, had the self-knowledge to tell any and all he shouldn't be President. George W. Bush continues to act the part, but at this point who's buying the act?

Does this make me a waffler? A flip-flopper? Maybe, although I prefer to call it realism. And, for those of you who never supported Bush, its also fair to accuse me of kicking Bush while he's down. After all, you were kicking him while he was up.

You were right, I was wrong.

I fixed his wacky apostrophe placement because it met my OCD needs. I'm sure that admission was hard for him to spit out, so he wouldn't take this well: Hey, Doug McIntyre! Shove your apology up your ass!

You know what, Mr. A Day Late And A Few Trillion Short? It's douchebags like you that put him in power with your refusal to consider that Al Gore, an intelligent, well-educated, successful, experienced human being might - just might - be a better candidate to lead the fucking free world than a witless fake cowboy, and once you put him in power, you guaranteed he stayed in power with your McCarthyesque tactics of impugning the integrity and patriotism of anyone who said, "I'm sorry but that Emperor's buck nekkid." I'm glad you came to your senses but you've got miles to go before you approach reason and reasonableness.

Your apology is worthless. You know how I know? Because you'd sell your grandmother to be able to say "I told you so."

Let's hope the wolfpack makes short work of you.


Blogger SAP said...

The unspoken insult is "and I'd have to do it again because you guys may be right but you still suck."

THAT, in a nutshell, describes every single wingnut I've ever met. Excellent post.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Tata said...

Thank you, lovey!

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Gentlewoman said...

My first time visiting your blog, and I just want to say: Brilliant! You are absolutely right. Wingnuts appear to be congenitally unable to learn from experience, never mind learn from history.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Tata said...

I sent Mr. McIntyre the link to this post. If he disagrees, he's free to try refuting anything I've said. I wouldn't even mind if he sincerely wanted to talk about the state of the world. He won't. Even his apology is in the language of the propagandist.

Nice ta meetcha, gentlewoman. Thanks bunches.

3:01 PM  
Blogger john_m_burt said...

Well ... It's not totally out of line to say that Gore is no Tom Jefferson. But compared with Bush, he's Solomon ben David.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Tata said...

Literally billions of people are not Tom Jefferson and most of them - especially the live ones - are okay about that. And 43 people have been president since we started calling them presidents, because there were other officeholders before Washington. John Hanson springs to mind. Thing is, most of these people were not named George Bush. A couple of them were. This is our actual problem, which we have to carefully keep in mind because we could get distracted by desires to resurrect dead guys. Or assume that a live guy has to be just like our redheaded deist to succeed as president.

Sure, it's a complicated job but I believe there are smart humans capable of doing it with an eye toward peace, prosperity and the Greater Good.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Scout said...

Discovered your site today via a link from shakespeare's sis. And glad I did!

I read the apology that really isn't an apology a few days ago and felt the same way you do. SO why did he even bother? Is he just trying to be controversial? Funny? Appear oh-so-wise? Whatev. It fell woefully short of anything that can be described as true remorse.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous ironranger said...

Maybe Doug will have a better understanding of what is "unthinkable" two and a half years from now. This fubar administration & republican congress isn't yet done partaying & wrecking the house while the grownups are out of town. By the time the drunken (on power) fools are grounded, the house could be a total loss.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

And 43 people have been president since we started calling them presidents...

Actually, even though the current George Bush is #43, only 42 people have been preisdent, since (due to congressional decision), we count Grover Cleveland twice -- he was #22 and #24, since he served non-consecutive terms.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Tata said...

I stand corrected, Stephen - unless any one of the 42 had an extra personality. You know. Like I do.

10:20 PM  

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