Another Bush Requiem
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
Well, that didn’t end too well.
There have been a few excellent commentaries from Conservative writers in the nascent post-Bush era; a few because of the many already lacking in any productive self-critiquing of the last eight years. Bush went from the highest ratings in recorded Presidential history post-9/11, to some of the lowest in Gallup poll history, competing with Nixon and Truman in the low 20’s when they left office. The Republican Party went from unprecedented control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House, at the beginning of the Millennium, to a complete rout in 2008, with losses on the state and local level.
What happened? Let's exercise a little long lost objectivity, braving the inevitable accusation of "Bush Hater," and review those more notable highlights of the last eight years.
In part, some of the more notable offenses; having followed Bush's term closely since 2000, I remember them well. Although he was certainly the right man to be in office on September 11, 2001, not surprisingly it was when he, at the pinnacle of his approval ratings, started sacrificing principle and taking shots at the grassroots Conservative community on other issues, which was his "firewall" in American popular culture that he started going downhill.
Some have stated Bush’s slow response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was his greatest festering political wound and the beginning of his decline. This is nonsense. Bush presided over the greatest increase in discretionary spending in history. Whether Democrat or Republican, the bloated Federal government can barely get out of its own way, and the rapid response of independent relief organizations, ministries, and other NGO’s still the superior response to such disasters, as modeled after hurricane Katrina.
First, Bush started pushing this "North American Union" which was nothing more than an affront to American uniqueness and sovereignty. America is more than a marketplace, despite the warped thinking of the merchant/investment class. The spiraling chaos along the Southern border, thriving in the air of immigration lawlessness as third world cheap labor was ferried in, had incensed Conservatives and birthed the Minuteman movement.
As the Minutemen finally took a stand against this debacle and started policing the border themselves, highlighting Federal immigration failures, Bush portrayed them as "vigilantes " to marginalize them while determining to establish a "guest worker" program to promote the North American Union, even as the huge influx of humanity swamped medical and other social services.
The Conservative base stood steady, as Bush severely underestimated the opposition to his lax immigration policies and Southern border control. His not doing anything substantive about the flood of humanity from south of the border, especially in post 9/11 America, was when he really “broke faith” with the American people.
Terrorism experts are yet convinced terrorists are penetrating our mainland through the Southern border. That Mexico is now barely more than a failed state in a life or death struggle with well-funded and well-armed narco-terrorists should give even the most rabid immigrants rights advocates pause in degrading border security further. Certainly a Republican president should be more vigilant protecting America’s borders than this.
Then there was the Abu Ghraib prison debacle and Iraq War private contractor fiasco. Although there is disagreement over the decision to go to war in Iraq and remove Saddam in the first place (an American foreign policy direction first birthed by Clinton), the logistical execution and oversight of the war was criminal. Basic military logistical support was contracted out to civilian corporations, with little over-sight, who then proceeded to abuse the situation at every turn, selfishly looking to maximize profits at the expense of quality services to our troops.
The connections with these corporations and Bush Administration officials only increased the ire of the American people. Contractor KBR representatives are still facing criminal charges for the electrocution deaths of American soldiers due to sloppy, low-grade work.
U.S. Military logistical support should stay the responsibility of the military, for too many reasons to list here.
The housing and subprime/mortgage meltdown, its seeds sown during the Clinton era, as banks and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac forwarded “toxic mortgages and “zero percent equity loans” created a housing bubble even the most simple in understanding of finance knew were doomed, prophetically came to pass. The price run up in energy costs mid-2008 finally tipped the house of cards over. With the financial services industry the biggest lobbyist group on Capital hill, the warning by John McCain in 2002 of the impending financial crisis was largely ignored, as Democrat Barney Frank, serving on the House Banking Committee, the primary House body which along with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) has jurisdiction over the government-sponsored enterprises, opposed any meaningful reformation.
The Bush Administration, with unprecedented control of the government at that time, had the influence and should have followed through on this directly to the American people, yet were complicit with the Democrats in turning a blind eye to ethics and sound business/financial principles in preventing the inevitable collapse, as people who should not have been loaned money – were, reflective of a complete lack of morals and ethics in the financial services community.
The lack of oversight on behalf of the Bush Administration was a major, unforgivable transgression, especially with the Bush initiated heavily tax-payer opposed housing and bank "bail out," as both Democrats and Republicans loot the Treasury in a bid to escape the consequences of their corrupt and inept actions.
All the financially responsible taxpayers, and their children, who exercised fiscal self-restraint and didn't commit to these massive loans they knew they couldn't afford, now have to pay for the reckless.
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship." -- Alexander Fraser Tyler, 18th century Scottish historian, The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic.
Incredibly, a scene which filled up this writer’s complete contempt for the integrity and truthfulness of this administration, Vice President Dick Cheney said during an interview with the Associated Press at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009, that concerning the imploding economy "nobody anywhere was smart enough to figure it out.” He said Bush doesn't need to apologize because he has taken "bold, aggressive action" to rectify it.
Bold, aggressive action seven years too late. Everybody with any financial sense saw this coming.
Government corruption like this is anticipated for Democrats. The Republican Party should be better than this. These guys deserved to be fired.
Another issue not commented on, but a major travesty, was our dealings with Israel. Bush (portrayed as a great friend of Israel), as did Clinton, in a bid for “legacy” in bringing “peace” to the Middle East, co-authored the Road Map to Peace with elements of the “Quartet.” The U.S. started strong arming then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to pull out of Gaza and inevitably relinquish the whole West Bank to the Arabs. That set him against the American Evangelical Christian community in total, a major constituency of his base. I predicted the inevitable negative outcome in the wake of these developments. The senior leadership of my church and many others, in a meeting with Condoleeza Rice warned against this.
They did not listen, and a large chunk of Israel was torn off and thrown as a sop to the Arabs and global radical left. The Jews of Gush Katif were violently driven from their homes by elements of the Israeli IDF and state police.
Political analyst James E. Campbell of the University at Buffalo stated, "I don't see this as a big rift," he said. Christian evangelicals will not sit out next year's presidential election, Campbell said. "Where are they going to go?"
This arrogance and pride is morbidly amusing. Where is the Republican Party going to go? Oh, right. Straight into the political toilet, mocked and derided as corrupt, incompetent fools by their political enemies and America’s future in jeopardy. Evangelicals serve a very real, living God, and no political party.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind….” Hosea 8:7
Ariel Sharon lies in a coma. George Bush leaves office with shoes being chucked at him by Iraqi journalists and the Republican Party in a complete shambles. They never seem to learn.
The bitter irony was not lost on a few, as the Israeli Defense forces, reinvading Gaza in the eve of the Bush era, re-entered the ruins of the Gush Katif town of Netzarim. After the initial Gaza pullout by the Israelis in 2005, the Palestinian Arabs burned down the abandoned Netzarim synagogue and looted everything else of value throughout Gaza. The Jewish residents of Gush Katif were left with nothing but bitterness of soul in the wake of their feckless leaders ill-conceived decisions; Gaza was sealed off like an asylum to protect southern Israel from terrorist incursions, kidnappings and suicide bombers.
George Bush is credited with executing a successful defense of the American mainland against another mass casualty attack by Islamic terrorists. This is true.
Yet, in avoidable mismanagement of the war effort, while losing the culture war
at home in domestic policy, this Republican Administration has all but
handed the keys to the radical left in America for years to come. Barak
Obama did not win, in so much as the utter disgust of many voters with the
Republican leadership, with no viable options, made his ascendency
In President Obama’s first ten days in office, he has already begun to dismantle much of what the Bush Administration has accomplished since 9/11, signifying a return to the Clinton era strategy of appeasement and diplomatic “engagement” with the treacherous, ruthless killers “crazy” Bush and Cheney scared the hell out of.
Objectively, Bush’s war-fighting record accomplished nothing long term but buying us, and the world, some time. That deterrence is now gone.
In the weeks since the Presidential elections, the Republican Party leadership has shown no evidence whatsoever of having learned anything. Incredibly, former President George H. W. Bush recently stated that Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, should run for President. Senator John McCain, already odious to a substantial Republican constituency has started a political action committee.
These people represent the tired remains of the Republican status quo; the rotting carcass of the old GOP. They are, by evidence and results, corrupt and useless. They all need to be ousted by we, the people. The Republican Party needs an immediate and radical shake-up throughout the organization, if we are ever again to be a credible counter to the built in failure of Progressive Liberalism and the contemporary Democrat Party. Sarah Palin, and others like her, was a good start in this organizational change.
In finale, President George Bush certainly did accomplish some good over his Presidential years; I was an avid supporter for many of them. He modeled leadership and old school showmanship in the face of the rising Jihadi threat and took the fight right to their doorsteps, in the face of opposition from a sullen and hateful world.
But an ancient proverb, an axiomatic truth states:
"Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour." Ecclesiastes - Chapter 10:1
Bush has the stink on him.
The GOP has the
stink on them.
It is a hard pill to swallow.
"We should not pity or pardon those who have yielded to great temptation, or, perchance, great provocation. Besides, it is right that our sympathies should be kept for the injured." — Benjamin Disraeli
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