Waymon Hudson

Moving Beyond Bush: A Long Road Ahead

Filed By Waymon Hudson | January 20, 2009 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: Barack Obama, Bush legacy, culture wars, George W. Bush, politics, Rove

The Bush Legacy.

The words alone send shivers down my spine and causes my blood to boil. For eight years, we have seen this administration tear apart virtually every part of our lives. War, recession, torture, job loss, deregulation, stripping away civil rights- it seems that nothing has come through this time unscathed.

And while I think that we have the chance to turn the corner today, we will be feeling the ripples of the Bush years for generations to come.

I personally think that these past eight years have been worse for the LGBT community than even we admit or realize. We all know the horrible policies put in place or expanded, but I'm not sure we realize the scars left on our community from Bush.

The tone created by the divisive politics of the Bush administration have trickled down- perhaps the only "trickle down" theory that has worked from the administration. The inflaming of the "culture wars" and the sheer hostility towards the LGBT community has caused backlash against any forward momentum in equality.

Divide and conquer politics, the Rovian attitude of "us versus them", have defined our fight and how we move forward. We've had to play defense on the basic rights we have, effectively slowing, if not sometimes completely halting, our march to equal rights and recognition.

Bush has changed how we act as a community. He's stolen our ability to trust, believe, and, in many cases, hope for better days. He created a tone in our country where the only way to be heard was to scream, not discuss. He brought out the best and worst in us.

And while we may be facing a new day that calls for a new way of thinking and acting, it will take time. Wounds don't heal in a day. Concerts, speeches, and cheering crowds won't erase eight long years of being in the wilderness.

But action will.

We need to see the change that is talked about. We need concrete proof that there are better days for our community and for America as a whole.

So today I celebrate the end of a dark time. I allow myself to see a glimmer of hope. But I also know that tomorrow we roll our sleeves up and get to the real work of moving beyond the Bush years.

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I am by no means an expert, the term 'out of touch' just barely begins to cover my awareness and participation with the rest of humanity, but I see the Bush years as more a period of stasis rather than a loss.

On the one hand, we as a community have gained a level of acceptance among more segments of society that we ever had before. The only reason that it seems worse, is because those who do not want to see such acceptance are much more vocal and demonstrative in their opposition now.

We have been over the past several years been outmanuevered at the ballot box and state house partly because they had better access, and partly because they were better organized and were able to 'rally the troops' more effectively than we have been.

It is very easy for a vocal and organized minority to usurp the dynamics of an issue if they can present it in such a way as to play on the public's fear. If you tell a lie long enough, people will start to believe it, and we have allowed the religio-facists to tell so many lies and distortions about us, without countering them, that they are in control of the discussion and have the initiative before we have even begun to get organized.

We are better off now than we were in the nineties. If you look at the polli data more americans accept us than ever before. We are allowing the machinations of a virulently fanatical minority to govern how we view the struggle.

Unfortunately, it will only be the death of an older generation that will ultimately tip the balance. They know that, which is why they are being so frentic and loud in their opposition.If they can't pass on their neolithic dogma to another generation soon, then they have lost. Time is not on the side of the haters.

The Bush Legacy:
Campaigns based upon who's the most homophobic;
enriching the rich, impoverishing the poor, reducing the middle class to working poor.

3,000 dead on 9-11
4500 dead since, in bush's war on terror and war on the constitution.

Tens of thousands maimed physicially or psychologically

This just a sampler of "the bush legacy"

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | January 20, 2009 7:15 PM

Thank you, Maura, for mentioning the 9/11 dead as a part of the Bush legacy, for, although they're dead by worse hands, the opportunity for those criminals to act was given them by BushCo. Never forget.

Oh, so the first attack on the World Trade center was also because of BushCo I suppose? As was the Kenyan embassy bombing, Kobar Towers, and all the other times before 9/11 that the Islamists tried to get our attention by killing people.

Sorry, it is too pat to give Bush complete "credit" for all the countries ills since he took office. We have been in the sights of mid-east terrorists since him or even his father, ever came to power.

Remember the Beirut barracks, plane hijackings in the 60's and 70's, various and sundry base and club bombings? Islamists have been trying to kill Americans for a long time now. First for Israel, then for our support of various and sundry tyrants over the years, beginning with the house of Saud, and including for awhile a certain Dictator from Tikrit.

As much as I dislike Bush and company and almost everything for which they stand, it is just plain wrong to blame him for a mess that our country started creating around the middle of the last century.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | January 21, 2009 2:00 AM

We had learned from those attacks, diddly, and had a very strong information-sharing defensive process in place that had already thwarted a number of attacks by the time Clinton left office. They tried their best to pass this info off to the Shrubbites, who would have none of it. And the telegraphing of al-Qa'ida's intent was unprecedented, first with the Bojinka plot -- the screw-up/thwarting of which garnered massive valuable data, then with the fatwas, all the missed opportunities regarding their flight training and those travel-related, the German meeting, the meet in Indonesia, the assassination of the Lion of the Panjshir ... I could go on ... and the 9/11 report and a number of other books have in incredible depth. Then there's the distraction of NSA Rice -- she was literally spending her time teaching Shrub the names of various world leaders and how to pronounce them, which, ordinarily, an aide would've done but Shrub just had to have Condi do it personally, you know...not to mention giving the threat assessments virtually zero attention because, you know, Shrub was trying to see just how big a vacation record he could amass in his first years and he was pretty intensely opposed to the notion that a president might not get to totally vacate like he was Joe-Six-Pack or something...all that underbrush really needed his attention more than the threat practically jumping up and down screaming at his threshold and all...

Hell, yes. He's not the Christian Sky God who can get away with taking credit for all the good stuff while passing the buck on all the bad.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | January 21, 2009 2:04 AM

Don't take my word for it, though. Read the documents and books and talk to the people actually involved, like Colleen Rowley -- I have and it's readily available and it isn't exactly brain surgery.