Monday, September 22, 2008

worst. president. ever.

On January 17, 2001, The Onion famously ran this faux story:

Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'

January 17, 2001
WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long
years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?" …


Remember those early days of the Bush administration when we all used to mock his stupidity and inability to string together a coherent sentence? (The last time a Bush joke struck me as remotely funny was right around the beginning of the Iraq war in March of 2003 – which hasn’t kept people from forwarding them to me for the past five years.) Almost eight years later, we now know that The Onion understated the future course of our country.

Worst. President. Ever.

Some of us have been saying that for a while. But now it is indisputable. Based on the Worst Foreign Policy Disaster in the nation’s history. (And if your right-wing brother-in-law is now claiming that the Iraq war was a “success,” ask him this: “Then why have over two million Iraqis fled their homeland as destitute refugees since we launched our war? There was no Berlin Wall keeping them in during the Saddam era. People vote with their feet.”) And the destruction of New Orleans. And almost four billion dollars in additional federal government debt. And eight years of exacerbating rather than addressing the global climate crisis. And the undermining of our country’s moral standing in the world through torture, secret prisons and the denial of the most fundamental underpinning of the Rule of Law, habeas corpus. Add your favorites to the list.

Now you can add the Worst Financial Crisis since the Great Depression. (Anyone can undertake the Worst Foreign Policy Disaster in the nation’s history. And the Worst Financial Crisis since the Great Depression … just a day’s work. But it takes a real Renaissance Man to pull off BOTH.)

$1,000,000,000,000.00.

A trillion dollars.

The Iraq war will end up costing one or two of those, depending on how we go about winding it up and how you account for it.

The cost of the financial crisis? To quote the MasterCard ad, “Priceless.” The figure currently being bandied about is $700,000,000,000.00. But who believes that? That is just the proposed addition to the over $400 billion already committed to various bail-outs to date. (When you include all the cash infusions and guarantees the federal government has assumed in the course of this crisis,
the price tag is already up to around $6,000,000,000,000.00 – that’s six trillion dollars.)

Financial Shock and Awe.

Worst. President. Ever.

And we still have four months to go.

And the REALLY scary thing? I think a McCain/Palin administration (I can’t believe I even wrote that) would be worse.

4 comments:

Doug S. said...

Well, Bush still has James Buchanan (who preceded Lincoln) keeping him company at the bottom. At least we haven't had a literal culture war under Bush, although there are still a few months to go...

Anonymous said...

Unaffordable gas,food, electricity ,cable, medical care, transportation, and low pay. You and your old daddy are the only ones with money through your war contracts. Thanks

Bill Liddicoet said...

Two years ago my son gave me a "Bushisms of the Day" calendar for Xmas. At first I was highly entertained by the manifold malapropisms and gaffes, which I used to regularly share with friends. By Spring the weight of all this stupidity and incompetence started to wear on me: I realized the joke was on the rest of us. By Summer, I'd let weeks go by without turning the page; in the Fall I threw the damn thing away.

I still find myself angered whenever I see a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker, which, here in Georgia, is often. The one I find most chilling is the one from 2004: "W. Still The President". It's like a trailer for a teen slasher-movie sequel, like, "Nightmare on Elm Street IX: The Rollout." So I've come up with a couple of my own: "W. Worst-Case Scenario" and "W. If You Voted For Him, You're Part of the Problem". Which is, sdaly, the reality we need to keep constantly before us: despite manifest evidence of his unsuitability for office, a majority of Americans re-elected this turkey in 2004. As Mencken said: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."

Gilmoure said...

Starting 1 October, The 3rd ID's 1st Infantry Brigade is being assigned to Northern Command, set up to deal with riots, disruptions and natural disasters in the U.S. Something about national changes in October, right before a presidential election, are a little unsettling.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.