I know that this reference isn’t new and has been bandied about for some time now, but it sure sums up my feelings about the departure of the 43rd president of the United States. From the moment Bush arrogantly swaggered into the White House vis-a-vis a slanted 5-4 decision by the United Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000), he treated the position as his to denigrate, abuse, and violate.

He chose as his running mate a fellow oilman and anti-environmentalist, Dick Cheney. And someone who was just as arrogant and full of himself as he was.  Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and other neocons had a plan already in place to deal with the Middle East, particularly Iraq – it was just figuring out how to do it. 

And figure it out he did – by sounding the alarm after 9/11 and pointing his finger – no longer at Afghanistan – but at Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Bush began his methodical campaign – full of lies and misrepresentations – to manipulate and frighten Congress and the public despite the fact that no evidence existed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq had no role in 9/11.  And he got what he wanted:  a resolution by Congress approving the invasion and occupation and the support of most of the public.

I will never forget the invasion of Iraq – the so-called “Shock and Awe”, and Americans clapping and cheering – like they were at a football game – as the bombs fell on innocent citizens as well as those who Bush wished to depose. I was out with friends at a local establishment, and the patrons made no secret that they were thrilled to see the might of the American military raining down on Baghdad.

And who can forget Bush – dressed in flight gear – landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln to assure the public that after only six weeks of shock and awe, major combat had ended. Grinning before a huge “Mission Accomplished” sign hung high on the ship, Bush claimed – well – that the mission was accomplished. Hussein was gone and Iraq was now free and would be a democracy. Just that simple and just like that.  Never mind that we have now been in Iraq six years this March.

But apparently the sign wasn’t enough, Bush pulled on his cowboy boots, drew his six shooters, and drawled “bring ’em on.”  Bring ’em on?  The fact that he said this showed his complete disregard for human life.  We do not live in the Wild West, and those were American lives which would be the target of his short, three-word utterance.

His handling of the economy and the budget drove fiscal conservatives over the edge.  I can’t count the number of times I listened to Pat Buchanan on the McLaughlin Report disavow Bush as a true Republican conservative.  But Bush didn’t seem to mind, again ignoring advice and doing what he darned well pleased.

Bush’s handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster highlighted his inability to focus on matters other than winning in Iraq.  Who can forget his classic albeit misplaced support of the FEMA director, Michael D. Brown, with the oft-quoted “You’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie.”  On September 12, 2005 – just days after the pat on the back – “Brownie” resigned his position as head of FEMA amid accusations of his lack of credentials to manage the agency and his lack of  foresight in planning for emergencies and disasters.

Bush’s inability to string together a coherent paragraph was evident from the beginning and, unfortunately, became more pronounced as he wandered through year after year of his first term. By his second term, the mere mention of a presidential press conference or a prefabricated speech sent a shudder down my spine. Watching him speak to an audience was painful, so I never watched him – not even to reinforce my own opinion of how inane he was – until this past Thursday night.

I forced myself to watch his last, I say last, speech with unmitigated relief.  I was curious as to how he would manipulate the facts about his eight years of disaster into a shining picture of success.  He looked haggard and strained – his voice bland and showing little emotion – as he tried to put a positive spin on eight years of imperial secrecy, inane decision-making, and outright flaunting of the Constitution.  His speech was short and lacked clarity, just like so many of his decisions.

But what could one expect from a presidency that had only one focus – Iraq and proving a point in the Middle East.  His all-consuming and fanatical drive to make Iraq a fledgling democracy amidst a sea of Islamic states has left him wanting in virtually all other matters when it comes to the matters of the United States and all Americans.

Yes, indeed, January 20th is the end of an error and the beginning of a new dawn for those of us who have suffered through eight years of George W. Bush.  I feel like I have finally awakened from a bad dream.


15 thoughts on “BUSH – THE END OF AN ERROR

  1. Boy, are you in for a rude awakening a few years down the road. You have invested waaaay too much emotion in a process that repeats itself every 4 to 8 years. I realize everybody needs somebody to bash and blame, it’s human nature and it really helps fill up those “empty” and “helpless” moments, but if you think about, ALL politicians let down at least HALF of the country every time.

    The next day, the sun still comes up, you still have to go to work, and some other “Messiah” becomes all the rage. In the big scope of things, our goofy elections are but a “blip” on the radar of 60 to 80 year life on this planet.

    Pop the Champagne, and extol the virtues of “The One” as he will surely prove to be human in the not too distant future.

    Congrats on your candidate!

  2. Tim:

    I have no illusions about politicians – I have been voting for 40 years now, so I have pretty much seen all kinds of candidates – national, state, and local – fail to deliver on their promises. You will note that I did not fawn and drool over what I think Obama will do. I think he will not be able to accomplish all the things that he wants, and I think he will disappoint many of his supporters.

    I am ever an optimist, but I am also a realist. And, you are correct, all of this is a blip on the radar in the history of this country and this world.

    These are just my feelings about Bush, and I am glad he is gone.

    I just posted over at Fort Wayne Politics about Obama’s choice for Secretary of Treasury and that he needs to withdraw. I doubt I will agree with everything Obama does, and I don’t intend to write post after post about successes and failures. I will, however, post on those initiatives and ideas with which I agree.

  3. Yes, good-bye to “Strong Leadership” and “Compassionate Conservatism”.

    These last eight years have been absolutely dreadful. Bush’s last press conference was the symbolic cherry on top. He said he had a few “disappointments” (no WMD’s) and stated the federal response to Katrina was quick. Hard to believe people actually voted for this man (twice).

    Yes, good old “Smoke Em Out”, “Get the Job Done” George. Probably a nice bloke to share a brew with around the camp fire and swap dirty jokes with, but hardly the type of person you want in charge of the Free World. Who knew one man could do so much damage in such a short span of time.

  4. Son of Lib:

    I don’t see any support in your post to back up what you are saying. You don’t like Obama – who is untested in office. I don’t like Bush who was tested and failed.

    Bush will go down in history as one of the worst – if not the worst – president in this Nation’s history. He has left the office with the lowest approval rating since ratings were initiated.

  5. Any time I read a blog or newspaper comment that says either “The Messiah” or “The One” in reference to Barack Obama, I read no further. The only people I know of who use those phrases are people who didn’t support Obama and who just can’t wait for him to mess up.

  6. Remember Andy: It wasn’t just one man who did his damage. It was that man and his minions who came into power and turned the government into one big realization of right-wing ideology about big government. People in agencies who didn’t believe in the missions of said agencies. People being hired solely for their political and ideological affiliation with little concern about their actual credentials. People with credentials on paper, such as John Woo, who had no business making law or policy. Sad thing is, something very similar is happening in Indiana state government, and most Hoosiers have no clue that it is happening.

  7. Charlotte,
    This was a very well written and concise piece. A few months ago I put together a 3-part GWB Legacy FUBAR series on my blog, but your piece summarized it a hell of a lot better. I am not surprised to read comments like those of Son of Liberty. I have been reading a few extremist blogs and the stuff being written is absolutely hateful. As usual, the extreme right fanatics, when confronted with reality, turn to childish name calling as their only response. (i.e. Messiah, The One, The Kenyan)
    I, for one, am not in the least bothered by it… that’s their M.O. and it’s just laughable.
    But one thing that we (liberals) must do is to be unabashed in touting our accomplishments while continuing to expose our opponents’ lies.
    Enjoy the inauguration. Enjoy the CHANGE!
    Last Person Left

  8. Notice the quotation “marks”. Mr Barrack Hussein Obama has done this himself. Hope, Change, etc…monikers that he and his campaign use. His flock has moved him to that status long before the The Last Person left states “”the extreme right fanatics” have turned to name calling. I do not think along party lines, but along the lines of what is best for The United States of America. This next president, like others before, will face challenges. This inheritance of the challenged economy is NOT the result of one person but many. The democratic controlled legislature, the office of the president, the Republicans, and independents.

    Your hatred should should be redirected into something positive.


  9. Son of Lib…
    “I do not think along party lines, but along the lines of what is best for The United States of America. This next president, like others before, will face challenges. This inheritance of the challenged economy is NOT the result of one person but many. The democratic controlled legislature, the office of the president, the Republicans, and independents”
    You could not have said it better. It is my hope (and I believe yours) that this administration does work in a bipartisan manner (unlike what we have seen in the past). There is no hatred on my part. I just hope that WE as a nation can overcome the challenges that we now face.

  10. @ Son of Liberty, if you do not think along party lines and only think of what is best for America, please explain your first comment. Didn’t read like someone who was willing to give Barack Obama a chance to effect change, nor someone who is willing to engage in civil discussion with fellow citizens. Furthermore, your misspelling of “Barack” and your insistence on using his middle name are typical right-wing behavior. Yeah, yeah, I get it. We’re supposed to be scared because our next President has a funny name. I’m not buying whatever the heck it is you’re selling.

    I’m not a follower, nor do I think of Obama as “The One” or “The Messiah.” It is going to take a heck of a lot to repair the damage of the last eight years. I’m realistic, not expecting a miracle.

  11. God bless George Bush for protecting us and staying the course on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. I think history will prove him to be one of our best, an ObamaNation will come to much grief.

  12. “I think history will prove him (George Bush) to be one of our best”

    To make such a bizarre statement such as that, is just plain delusional.

    For the ultra right-wing, evangelical, fundamentalists, George Bush is a holy warrior standing for all that is good and pure in America. He was their very own John Wayne or Lee Marvin. He loved baseball, talked tough, wasn’t afraid to back down, was in bed by 9 pm, and went to church on Sundays. Too bad they often fail to acknowledge all of the misdeeds, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and the rest of his cronies caused this country while in office. It will take years to restore America’s image and reputation as a result of his mistakes, incompetence and failed leadership. Not to mention, all of the people who lost their lives as a result of the Iraqi Invasion.

    Of course when during a press conference, Mr. Bush was asked to name any mistakes he made, he him-halled around, shrugged his shoulders and asked if he could have more time to come up with an answer.

    Lastly, this is a man who utterly believes he was on a mission from God to be President of the United States.

  13. Andy:

    I have to agree as to your assessment of Norma. If you check out her website, it is a fundamentally religious website. Once I looked it over, I understood – but don’t agree – from where she is coming. It is right-wing ideology with no room for other points of view. We had eight years of incompetency and manipulation, not to mention a man who had a God complex when it came to America’s role in the world. The American people voted it out, so it is time for those Bushies to “get over it.”

    I doubt true Bush lovers like Condi Rice, and, apparently, Norma, will ever see the damage this man has done to our country and its image. They may, like many Bushies and other flag-waving fanatics, say, “who cares about what the world thinks?”

    But we no longer have the luxury of thumbing our nose at the rest of the world. Globalization has seen to that.

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