The end is near. Even though we still have another year and a half of George Bush (His Illigititude) the doors are closing on this administration. With this impending regime change, it is important to look back and reflect on how much the American people have endured.
I remember having a strange sense of hope that although Bush was a horrible choice for President, he didn't appear that right-wing or tyrannical in 2000. Maybe just maybe, he would end up being disappointing, but would he move us backward? Well, this presidency has proven that the American people, specifically progressives, have a lot more grit, patience and self control that we every thought we would have to excercise.
Bush White House blocked enforcement of Clinton's executive order protecting GLB federal employees. He appointed many anti-GLBT judges and punished America with the Bible-thumping John Ashcroft. Bush endorsed the Federal Marriage Amendment, pandered to the right wing on voucher schools, abstinence only education, the faith based initiative, stem cell research, Terry Schiavo, abortion, the nuclear option, torture, the USA PATRIOT ACT, No Child Left Behind (All Children Left Maligned), the REAL ID Act, and countless other initiatives that have eroded our Constitution and our national spirit.
Surviving the Bush administration makes you a survivor. A real trooper. A battle tested American.
A feature of this failed presidency is that it could be defined by one word: Haliburton.
This president has been unapologetically supportive of nepotism, corruption, no-bid contracts, arrogance, quid pro quo, and slush funds. Haliburton represents the worst of what happens when money trumps democracy, when profit prooves more important than integrity.
This administration has been defined by constant let downs. Everytime we thought it couldn't get any worse, it got worse. Everytime we thought the American people wouldn't let Bush get away with another power grab or public deception -- he did. Attacking a veteran (Kerry) in an election year used to be considered political suicide, but Bush made it a fool proof play-book staple. He lost an entire American city (New Orleans) and then cut services to poor residents there. He lost control of Congress partly over a failed war, and then decided to double-down and send even more troops into harms way. Madness. Pure madness.
I could go on and on, but the point is that Bush has taken our Democracy to the brink. Many even feel he took us off the cliff. But if anyone had any delusions about what power hungry, corrupt totalitarians can get away with, all you will need to do is read a copy of The Nation to be scared to death.
Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay, Ken Lay, Mark Foley, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, John Bolton, Michael Powell, Scooter Libby, and Alberto Gonzales are just a few of the names that, when read, should embarass any American. What has happened to our country?
Well, we have sixteen more months to find out how much bigger this list will get. But we can survive whatever Bush throws at us. I am more confident of this than ever before, but a lame duck Bush is more dangerous than any other president. This man (I use the term loosely) is capable of wrecking so much more than he already has. Hell, a Democratic Congress just rubber stamped wireless wiretapping for Bush.
We have all seen the viral email campaigns claiming that Bush has cancelled the 2008 elections (we saw similar ones about the 2004 elections). The fact that so many people beleived it was possible shows you how much fear we are living with. Who knows what else is in store? The time is ripe to turn up the heat. We must not allow Bush to get a pass in his final months. Vote, volunteer and write big checks. The fight goes on.