(I never pimp my own stuff, so this once won’t hurt.)
That speech was a re-write of the way things were. Can you hear the music?
Arianna goes on to say:
Another striking moment was watching the great pride the president took in saying that even though we might not have liked all of his decisions, we have to admit that he “was willing to make the tough decisions.” The Crawford Cowboy to the end.
Yes, he made tough decisions… but what is the value in that if the decisions you make are consistently wrong? And Bush has made the wrong decisions again and again and again.
But we have to remember that Congress was partnered with him in these crimes again and again and again.
Last Sunday President-elect Barack Obama was asked whether he would seek an investigation of possible crimes by the Bush administration. “I don’t believe that anybody is above the law,” he responded, but “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”
I’m sorry, but if we don’t have an inquest into what happened during the Bush years — and nearly everyone has taken Mr. Obama’s remarks to mean that we won’t — this means that those who hold power are indeed above the law because they don’t face any consequences if they abuse their power.
The Op-Ed Columnist here is none other than the Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. I love him, but before one saddles up on that high horse of justice and demands action, there may be some things worth exploring first in order to avoid legal catastrophes later down the line.
I worry about the idea of a witch hunt composed of teams of Justice Department or FBI agents carefully sifting through mountains of paperwork looking for any smoking gun they can find. They would look for documentation of torture, rendition, politicization of public office, wiretapping, ulterior motives for war in Iraq, and a myriad other crimes that were certainly committed by the Bush administration.
These actions were illegal, and they did happen. But something very bad happened on the way to the courthouse. The most egregious of Bush’s offenses morphed and changed before our eyes – into…into…legal things.
The illegal invasion of Iraq was blessed by Congress. It was all legal. The AUMF in 2002 made it so. Remember that? 77 Senators, 29 of whom were Democrats including John Kerry, Presidential Candidate in 2004, and Hillary “Glass Ceiling” Clinton, Presidential hopeful 2008, voted to support Bush’s war.
The fact is that the Bush administration’s abuses extended from environmental policy to voting rights. And most of the abuses involved using the power of government to reward political friends and punish political enemies.
President Bush dismissed science and instead looked to corporate experts to guide him on policy. Is that illegal? Congress didn’t think so. Where was the outrage in Congress at the time when Bush’s cronyism was running rampant? Even if there were more voices speaking up in Congress at that time over the appointment of the heads of the biggest polluters to the EPA, even if they screamed and screamed, was there any legal recourse to stop Bush’s appointments? If the Senate approves appointments of cronies, then just who is committing the crime here?
Actions without foresight, and bad assumptions that a President would never commit crimes put Congress in a box. Congress could have prevented all this mess if they had had a Democratic majority in the beginning, back in 2001. Democrats could have salvaged some oversight even in the minority if that minority just stood up and not been either blinded by patriotism or cow-towed by Bush’s gun slinging swagger.
So how are you going to conduct an investigation into Bush’s crimes when another branch of government, Congress, which can’t be held responsible, supported the crimes?
It was the Republicans (and more often than not, aided by Democrats) in the Senate that enabled Mr. Bush.
Or, to use his own words: “As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did.”
Perhaps, then, it was a mistake to give even passing mention to a horn-tooting list of favorite achievements, like education reform, tax cuts and the expansion of Medicare. Maybe he was right to pass by the collapse of the economy with less passion than he devoted to the story of the father of a Marine killed in Iraq. He could hardly be accused of making a big deal about non-war matters when he summed up the current crisis in a single sentence: “These are very tough times for hardworking families, but the toll would be far worse if we had not acted.”
We all know that Yahoo! News is biased toward the neo-con swill, but this story absolutely stinks of it. It makes my skin crawl to read statements that are blatantly false, yet hung out there like laundry, and waving to everyone as if the light of day will somehow transform this junk into the truth.
You see, the author mentions the way Bush conveniently skimmed over a collapsed economy but he failed to mention that Bush himself is responsible for sinking the economy through deregulation.
The author mentions Bush’s “favorite achievements” as if they were actual true achievements when the acts themselves have proved themselves failures. Education reform never happened in this country. The No Child Left Behind Act left everyone behind with huge demands and no support. School vouchers didn’t get off the ground because using public money for christian-right schools, or for-profit schools, just doesn’t sit well with anyone.
If you could point to one thing that Bush passed that has single-handedly destroyed our economy and gave the wealthy more wealth even though they didn’t ask for it you would have to point to Bush’s tax cuts. The last election has proved that this trickle-down theory of economics that Ronald Reagan invented overnight with no backing from academia, has utterly failed and is now dead.
The next one of Bush’s so-called achievemtns, his cowboy swsaggering, gun slinging, pre-emptive war philosophy is not only dead, it is deadly and dangerous and has cost us many more lives than the attack on 9/11.
And the economy? Bush says that things would be much worse if he hadn’t acted. Well, things are much worse because he did act. Bush has alsways been a liar, but those who hold up his lies are also liars.
Maybe the Main Stream Media will start publishing real news instead of right-wing propaganda now that this clown is gone. Good riddance to the worst president ever.
One last thing, please.
These issues pale beside the battle against radical Islam and its terrorist tactics, Bush insisted. Making his closing argument for the history books, the President declared, “America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil.” And he pleaded with the country to maintain the focus. “America did nothing to seek or deserve this conflict,” he said. “But we have been given solemn responsibilities, and we must meet them. We must resist complacency. We must keep our resolve. And we must never let down our guard.”
Richard Clarke, the terrorist czar under Clinton and Bush, warned of an organization here in the U.S. that had it’s sights on a major target. He also told the world that Bush wanted to bomb Iraq for no just reason. What did Bush do about Clarke’s warnings of an attack? Nothing. Worse than nothing – he fired Clarke.
Bush was briefed in August of 2001 on Bin-Laden’s scheme to attack the World Trade Center, but what did Bush do? Nothing. He didn’t even order a follow-up. He stupidly and unwittingly turned his back and allowed the attack to happen. He failed to keep us safe on 9/11. He asked us to please maintain his focus. We need to do better than that. The attack of 9/11 was on Bush’s watch and the loss of lives that day is on Bush’s hands.
He used those deaths that day to launch us into the biggest blunder in which the U.S. has ever engaged. Iraq.
And finally, the author asks us if anybody was listening to Bush’s closing arguments. I hope not. Why would any one out there still listen to this criminal? Didn’t he lie us into war? Isn’t neo-con philosophy of pre-emptive war dead?