It’s been a rough ride for Barack Obama these past 20 months.
He has been bombarded from the right and the left for almost everything he’s tried to do as President, and now the inevitable midterm voter’s remorse has taken away his majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, which will probably put a stop to any more Democratic initiatives for the next couple of years, if not to the entire government.
And now, adding insult to injury, George W. Bush is on a book tour.
No doubt he thinks it’s time to start rehabilitating his image. Somehow, though, the idea of a book by George Bush doesn’t ring true. He seems more like a reality show kind of guy to me. Or a game show, maybe. But a book?
I haven’t read “Decision Points” yet, but based on the reviews I’m going to guess that it’s a book about a strong, decisive, hard-working, intuitive, God-fearing patriotic man who would and did do everything in his considerable power to protect and strengthen the country he loves and safeguard his people.
In January of 2009, a day before the end of Bush’s second term in office, revision99 posted a list of his Presidential accomplishments, and now, in the interest of fair play and equal time, here’s a reprint of that list. Think of it as a companion piece to the book, and keep it handy as you examine each of George’s decision points:
- Asleep at the switch on September 11, 2001. He is still bragging about â€œkeeping America safe,â€ even though he ignored repeated warnings that an attack was planned.
- Illegal wiretaps. Yes, he spied on Americans without warrants, a clear violation of federal law. Yes, he admitted it publicly, and promised to keep doing it. Yes, he kept doing it.
- Invading Iraq. They had no weapons of mass destruction and they had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of 2001. He fabricated evidence because he wanted to attack somebody, and he ignored or lied about intelligence counter to his delusions. He took troops out of Afghanistan, where the terrorists were hiding, to do this, thus on multiple levels he made our country (and the world) less safe.
- Federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Hereâ€™s a few quotes from the National Weather Serviceâ€™s warning about Katrina: â€œâ€¦MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKSâ€¦PERHAPS LONGERâ€¦THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONALâ€¦ALL WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYEDâ€¦HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLYâ€¦A FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUTâ€¦THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONSâ€¦PETSâ€¦AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCKâ€¦POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKSâ€¦â€ As this monster storm approached, George Bush ate cake (literally!) with John McCain, leaving his totally unprepared crony Michael Brown in charge of FEMA. People died. The city was destroyed.
- Obstruction of justice at Justice. Competent U.S. Attorneys were fired for political reasons, and replaced by right-wing loyalists in an attempt to rig the Justice Department. The Department was used to carry out politically motivated prosecutions, in violation of the Constitution.
- Signing statements. When he was not able to veto a law he didnâ€™t like, Bush would simply sign it and issue a statement indicating that he didnâ€™t agree with it and would not comply. Depending on how you count them, he has challenged up to 750 legally-enacted laws this way, more than all other presidents combined. But, signing statement or not, once a law is signed by the President, itâ€™s the law, and if the President ignores it he is breaking the law.
- Torture. Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo. Suspension of habeus corpus. Detention without charges. â€œEnhancedâ€ interrogation. Kangaroo courts. Extraordinary rendition. I can say no more.
- Valerie Plame. Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby committed treason by outing her as a CIA agent to get back at her husband for calling them out on their lies about Saddam Hussein buying bomb materials from Niger. Bush either knew or should have.
- Looting the Treasury. A few contractors, most notably Vice President Cheneyâ€™s own company Haliburton, have made billions of dollars on no-bid government contracts, delivering crappy service at inflated prices. Adding insult to injury, contractors often work side by side with qualified U.S. service personnel making a tenth of the money. Meanwhile, Bushâ€™s corporate welfare and tax cuts for the extremely rich have redistributed the wealth away from working Americans and up into the vaults of the upper upper class.
- Asleep at the switch as the economy tanked. Bush is trying to blame Bill Clinton for the current economic meltdown, and while there is more than enough blame to go around, youâ€™d think the first MBA president, while in control of all three branches of government for six years, would have noticed what was happening in the Wall Street Casino and done something about it. But he didnâ€™t, and he had no idea how to even slow the bleeding after the crash, and now we will have a depression. Thanks, George!