Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Miss Me Yet?

"Miss Me Yet?" with picture of George W. Bush

The above billboard has appeared on I-35 near Wyoming, Minnesota, apparently paid for by a group of small businesses who feel Washington has abandoned them, and who wish to stay anonymous. Considering who has paid for this it would seem that a sarcastic, or ironic intention was not intended by the consortium, and implying a straight forward question: do we miss the days of a smiling George W. Bush?
The short answer to that question is... nope.
Here's the long answer.
The man gave me a headache quite frankly. For the eight years he was in office I woke each day with a splitting migraine wondering what he would do next to ruin this country that I love so much. And he rarely failed to meet my expectations with his almost daily scandals, and detrimental policies that the Obama administration is now still having to clean up.
Let me count the ways I don't miss Bush, and the cronies that worked for him.
Do I miss those responsible for the greatest foreign policy mistake in this nation's history, and the American lives it has cost, namely the unnecessary war and occupation of Iraq?
Do I miss those who ignored the specific and unambiguous warnings provided of the danger Al Qaeda represented to this country, and that an attack using aircraft was imminent, which acted upon may have prevented the horrors of 9/11 (which I'm sorry Rudy Giuliani, Dana Perino, and Liz Cheney, happened on Bush's watch)?
Do I miss his subversion of the Constitution of the United States and the law of the land by using the tragedy of 9/11 to push through acts such as the Iraq war, the use of torture on prisoners of war, the use of rendition, Guantanamo Bay, and the disregard for our basic civil rights such as not being spied upon by the NSA, my telephone company and Internet provider, which is given under his so-called "Patriot Act," and the embrace of "faith based" initiatives, which clearly undermine the founding fathers intention to keep the state and church separated?
Do I miss his politicizing of science, his denial of global warming, his lack of support for stem cell research, his abstinence only policies which has heightened the prevalence of the HIV pandemic worldwide and caused millions of unwanted pregnancies, based purely on religious ideology which was in fact political posturing to his base of supporters?
Do I miss his mishandling of the hurricane Katrina crisis which resulted in the deaths of over 1,800 people and damage estimates of more then 100 billion dollars?
Do I miss his mishandling of the nation's economy, the emphasis on de-regulation and Friedmanish free trade agreements, his tax cuts to the rich resulting in the greatest transfer of wealth in our history and the destruction of the middle class, his complete failure to overhaul the nation's heath care system and his efforts to privatize social security, the home foreclosure debacle, and the largest recession in 25 years?
To put it simply, no I do not.
And this list is just off the top of my aching head (he still gives me headaches). I could go on and on.
He was folksy though, I'll give him that.
So is Sarah Palin, which makes her a vacuous and genuine future threat.
Here are some less polite responses to the question posed:
"Bush Billboard asks "Miss me yet?" Answer: Not until we see you on trail at the The Hague!"
"Why would we miss you? So your douche bag followers who helped you run the country into the shitter for eight years could once again hold the reins of power? And instead of just blocking progress, they could be actively working against it again? Is that why we should miss you? Really? How many paint chips does one have to eat for that to make sense?"
"Miss me yet” … what, is he, like, an ex-boyfriend/stalker now? Is Bush gonna start calling us now, and hanging up when we answer? No, douche nozzle. The 70-plus percent of us who disapproved of your job performance do not miss you. We don’t want to have anything to do with you. It’s over, George. We broke up with you. Get over it."
In contrast, what is it that has prompted these small businessmen to get together in the first place, whining for the good ol' days of the Bush administration? The answer to that would have to be the unsatisfactory job performance of the current President, who has:
Moved quickly to tackle the nation's worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression.
Swiftly winning passage of legislation aiding women who face discrimination in the workplace.
Making history by choosing the nation's first Latina justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Coming so far on an issue -- health-care reform -- that has confounded presidents including Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
Extending the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Significant legislation expanding veterans health benefits.
A "Cash for Clunkers" plan that stimulated auto sales.
Winning major weapons system acquisition reform, a rare bipartisan achievement.
Appropriated $19 billion in the stimulus package to help implement an electronic medical record system.
The Obama Department of Transportation has approved 2,500 highway projects. DOT officials say 260,000 jobs are expected from this investment.
A $2,500 tax credit to help offset the cost of tuition (among other expenses) for those seeking a college education. Nearly five million families are expected to save $9 billion, according to Treasury officials.
Through the Recovery Act, DOJ secured $2 billion for Byrne Grants, which funds anti-gang and anti-gun task forces. The money, cut during the Bush years, is expected to have massive ramifications on inner-city crime and violence.
Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which has put under federal protection more than two million acres of wilderness, thousands of miles of river and a host of national trails and parks.
And here's a little something for those who paid for the billboard. Obama has called on Congress to recycle 30 billion of the remaining TARP funds into a new government lending program offering cheap capital to community banks that will be able to boost their small business lending, and the President has shown support for a proposal to provide tax incentives for small businesses to hire. What else would these guys like, milk and cookies?
He has also cut taxes for 95% of Americans.
(List provided by Sam Stein, Richard Dunham, and me)
These are real accomplishments not aimed toward the continued prominence of corporations and mutli-millionaires and billionaires, but for poor bastards like me.
The Republican Party and it's media loud mouths over at Fox news would have you believe that these acts don't exist. Sean "Big Head" Hannity consistently claims that "nothing" at all has been done by the current President and his administration (according to Fox news, President Obama doesn't do anything right. If he turns left, there is criticism. If he turns right he's criticized for that. If he stays still he's accused of inaction. The phrase "Can't win for losing" comes to mind).
Unfortunately there is a large portion of the population that can't think for themselves and needs to be led by someone they perceive as being a strong leader, someone like, let's say Sarah P, who is probably one of the least qualified candidates in the history of candidation, but who a majority of 2,000 Republicans polled (Daily Kos) describe as being better qualified that Barak Obama. Hell, 39% think he should be impeached without that annoying little necessity of having committed an impeachable offense. These people are morons who the Republicans use at their whim. It is also unfortunate that Democrats and progressives in general are over complacent and lazy, and will let the current progress we are now making, as opposed to the past Bush 8 years of misery, will let slip through their fingers if they don't get off their butts and pay attention to what is going on. Like all of this talk I've been hearing lately of Republicans re-taking both houses of Congress in the upcoming November elections. I don't believe they will, but why, for heaven's sake would we even give them the chance? These are the same people that have caused the mess we're in in the first place, and who continue to work against the majority of Americans in favor of the wealthiest among us, using the same failed policies that were used under Bush.
Yes, Obama has made many mistakes and he will continue to do so. There are a lot of matters that I think the President should have acted on and has shown no inclination to do so, like investigating the crimes of the previous administration (something the British are doing right now). This makes me livid. But I'll take Obama's mistakes over those of the Republicans and Bush any day of the week.
No I do not miss Bush.
Gone... but not forgotten.

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