Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

I might make some enemies by including the following, but I was impressed with both the passion and the sentiment in a piece by a woman I don't know. Her thesis, in a column appearing in one of our local papers, was that media technology and freedom make it much easier to see our government's sins than was the case when WW II German citizens were made to face the horror of NAZI concentration camps. Ellen Taylor wrote: "Humboldt county citizens have the facts to put a picture together as lurid as the black smoke which a poor farmer watched billowing out of the stacks at Dachau."
Does anything we would hold the Bush administration responsible for approach the evil of massive genocide? No, but using 9/11 (the administration's greatest failure) as a pretext, they have done terrible things which have brought them low approval ratings (under 30%), and lead historians to group them near the bottom of all administrations since Washington. The list starts with the invasion/occupation of a sovereign country using the made-up principle of "preemptive war", but also includes illegal snooping on citizens, the politicization of the entire Executive Branch (including law enforcement), budgetary largess that permitted tax revenues to be used as a kind of "spoils system" which turned a large surplus into a huge deficit even before accounting for the war, a new unwillingness to work with countries once considered allies, and on and on.
Outside of remaining in office (assuming they have no secret plan to stay past their constitutional departure date) they don't seem to care. Following the lead of the President, the words "I'm sorry" just don't cross their lips. And the public seems as too tired to be angry. The popularity descent has been fairly slow, I think, because of certain things which have NOT taken place: a military draft, a tax increase, economic downturns, shortages of the sort common during the Second World War, or (until this year) a stand-up Congress ready to expose wrong when they find it and argue loudly when they think it's worthwhile. The president's image as "tough cowboy" is almost frozen in time as the next round of saber rattling begins, this time against Iran. A good number of the same people are there to echo the daily talking points, as stocks are bid up anticipating a big payday come the next war.
After all, why should anything change from Bush's side of things? He won't be on the ballot again, and neither will Cheney, so why care about polls when it looks like the other side may win the next election anyway? All the rest is just making speeches for big bucks and keeping the original documents out of the hands of historians for as long as possible. In the meantime, someone will compile the memoirs which are sure to be at odds with the wave of books already out there that say they were wrong, wrong, wrong.


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