Friday, June 29, 2007

How Bush could redeem himself

Let me put this out in front: I am a liberal. Not a shocking revelation, but true. I hate the current administration and almost everything they've done. (I say "almost" because there might be something I didn't hate even though I can't think of an example right now.) I used to hate Bush. I say "used to" because...well, I don't anymore. I don't like him, and I would never vote him into any office higher than "guy in charge of picking up the keg".

I think I really stopped hating him when I watched this video. For the first time, I didn't see him as a cocky, defensive, incompetent asshole. I saw him as a man who has been defeated. He fought for his immigration bill--I think it was the first thing that he did as president. Not his staff, not his advisors--this was his bill, and he got destroyed. For the record, I thought it was a pretty good bill. It wasn't perfect, but nothing is--and like he said in the video, the status quo is unacceptable and we need change.

Bush is a great politician. He can campaign like no one's business--he was reelected in 2004 despite the fact that his administration screwed up, everyone knew it, and people were really getting pissed off. You have to respect that ability to win despite everyone's better judgment. So--good politician, horrible president. I don't think he's as dumb as he acts, I don't think he's a bad person, I just think he's an incompetent leader.

The shitstorm surrounding Dick Cheney has really shown that Bush has not acted like the president. He has consistently allowed his advisors and staff to make decisions, leaving him to sign the papers. He should have paid attention. He should have been well-informed. He should have been involved in these decisions. He should have been a leader.

He wasn't.

I don't hate him for it. I can't respect him because of it. I feel sorry for him because of it. I feel sorry for us because of it.

So, how could he redeem himself? Politically, I think that the best possible move for him is to force Cheney to resign and to apologize for what he and his administration have been responsible for.I think that if he just stood up and said "We screwed up. I screwed up, a lot. Dick Cheney will be resigning from his post, and we plan to move ahead for the next year and a half to try to correct some of our mistakes. I'm sorry." I think he needs to stand up, be a leader, and stand firm against Cheney. Honestly, I think that if he did that he would avoid impeachment. He would finally get the place in history books that he wants so badly--and at least that would be favorable.

If he did those things (and I doubt he will) I still wouldn't like him. It wouldn't undo the past seven years. We'd still be in Iraq, we'd still have warrantless wiretaps, we'd still have torture and abuse and secret prisons. But for the first time in seven years, I would have some respect for George W. Bush as a person and as a president.

[ end ]


Russ said...

Hi Katie,

Is there really a town in VA called Smalltown? Are you a Roanoker incognito? How did you acquire a partially severed extensor tendon for your right index finger? It's not the kind of thing you can bid on on e-Bay. You have to construct that one yourself.

I like your blog, but I have a different take on Bush and his administration cronies: I see them as traitors pure and simple. My take on the "war" is that it was planned while he was still back in Texas - there exists independent corroboration for this idea, and that the only reason for it is war profiteering. Everything else are red herrings: dubya em dees, spreadin' demakrisy, zorching a crool dictator, fatting tairism - all complete shams.

The thinking goes like this: war profiteering is here, now, immediate, guaranteed, and, if things go according to plan, the Iraqs will start a civil war and guarantee stockholders in companies like Halliburton untold millions in extra profits for ten, maybe even twenty years. Hell, Halliburton is even running the VA hospitals. Hell, Halliburton even has one of the no-bid contracts for the border fence with Mexico. Hell, Halliburton even has some of the no-bid contracts to rebuild New Orleans. Hell, Halliburton even has no-bid contracts for private security in Iraq. And, by God, we can jack up the number of troops at some propitiously chosen time before the end of the term to crank up the profits even more. Remember the worse things get for the Iraqi people, the more money we can take from the American public. Once the troops are on the ground in Iraq, the cash will flow from the taxpayers through the US Treasury directly to the wealthy stockholders.

Katie, many working poor and middle class people in Appalachia pay out more of their income in absolute dollars in taxes each year than many of the ultra-wealthy people benefitting from the capitol gains tax. I have a friend from college who made over 14 million dollars last year. He is a professional investor trading only for himself. He hates Bush, but loves the tax policy. Last year, on more than 14 million dollars in income, but all from capitol gains, he paid zero tax. And, exactly how much in taxes did you and the Big Guy pay?(That was, of course, rhetorical.)

You say that by this one video that shows him looking other than at the top of his game, your attitude toward him has been at least somewhat tempered if not reversed. Why? Do you think we could show him a video of wrongly imprisoned Guantanamo inmates looking off their peak and have him moved one iota? No. Leaving them there to rot is the way he works. Real justice is, after all, simply what he, the decider, decides is justice.

I'm sorry, Katie, for railing on as I have. I can't suppress my cynicism when I know how my fellow men, including a great many of my fellow Americans as well as the Guantanamo prisoners, have suffered due to the Bush Brigade.

I have not read all your posts, but I promise to soon. You write well and I hope we can exchange ideas in the future. I hope, also that the "Big Guy" is a loyal assistant during your connective tissue infirmity.

Katie said...

Thanks for the comment, and no worries about the length. :) As for your questions:

I don't think there really is a Smalltown, VA--I do live close to Roanoke (~45 minutes to the southwest). I dropped a plate on my knuckle and severed the tendon, but I like to tell people it was a shark bite. And yes, the Big Guy is very supportive while I heal...and very frustrated, since I'm too stubborn to slow down and let it heal.

As to the current administration...well, believe me that this post doesn't come anywhere near explaining everything I think/feel about them. I don't think traitor is off the mark, though. Here's the thing: I love the idea of America. I hate what it's become under the Bush administration and I really feel like they have run over and destroyed (or at least tried to) a lot of things that I love about this country. They've consistently gone against the ideals of the Constitution, pushed the legal limits of every office, and sought to deceive the American people at every turn.

We were taken advantage of in a time of fear and persuaded that we had a reason to go to war--there was no reason other than profit. Fear has been used systematically to control the public and sway opinion following negative political incidents for the GOP.

Believe me, I understand the economic conditions in Appalachia. I have lived in southwest VA for most of my life, as has the Big Guy. We do understand the need for legislation that helps the people we grew up with--not the people who earn the factories they work in.

Believe me, I'm disgusted by what America has become and what it has done to it's enemies as well as it's citizens. The current administration has caused damage at home and around the world that will likely take decades to repair and that will never be forgotten--nor should they be. I don't forgive Bush for his support for everything that has happened, regardless of his role (or lack thereof) in making policy. He was complicit, he signed the documents, he is the decider...he is responsible. I want to see him take responsibility and apologize, then try to fix it.

I think I just want him to be the damn president for once.

Does any of that make sense? Sorry, it's late and I'm tired. Thanks for the comment--I always enjoy hearing what others think, I can always use a new perspective. I hope to see you comment again!

toomanytribbles said...

darn.. you've been tagged already.

well, you've got another link here

Hallq said...

Eh... at the end of the day, Bush is responsible for what he's done. Making Dick Cheney resign I don't think would change anything. At the very least, Bush could have picked some better cabinet people and sought out the opinions of people who weren't Cheney-clones. Really, I think Bush is beyond redemption.

Though I can't bring myself to hate him either. I more feel embarrassed for him.

Russ said...

Scooter Libby.

The Bush Saga of Treason continues unabated. What would seem to a patriot to be incompetence is intentional willful violation of the Presidential Oath of Office. He doesn't care; never has; never will; will never need to. He even has paid biographers to revise history for to make himself look good and to seem patriotic.

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

God is reality, my friend. Without the Trinity, you'd be nuthin. Take a lookit my peAce and write me if you so choose:

While I certainly respect your humanistic atheism, how far does that go? Only till you perish. I have a solution not many people even think about - in fact, with my head injury, I'm more-than-likely the first. If you think this life ends at death, can I turn-you-on to believe in procreation in Heaven?? In the Exclusive Landscape Upstairs, like the NYC El but muuuch better, outside the stanky litter box of earth, a Beyond-Wonderfully-Delicious-Panorama of guys or girls await you. So, here’s my peAce de resistance: doesn’t matter whether you believe or not, brudda, you’re still gonna croak in our lifelong demise; then, while our mortal bodies are recycled in the grave to make fertilizer, our indelible soul rises-up to be judged at the General Judgment. Here’s the point I want you to consider BEFORE leaving this world: love make'n in Heaven. If nuthin else, that alone should persuade you to get baptized-and-believe - the floating, I hear, is bombastically wonderFULL. Why not? Can’t God provide everything? Thot so. The Trinity’s just as happy you made it to the realm where the Son is ever present rather than shadows at midnight. Lookit, if God provides everything else, why not passionate, intimate love make’n interspersed the length of eternity? Dunno bout you, butt! I wanna love, love, love and do everything withem, just like my onomatopoeia word: I wanna be enveloped and engulfed WITHEM (the TH serves as a catalyst for both).

See, God knew the ol El Diablo would lie-like-a-rug and trick U.S. into believing sex wouldn’t be possible in Heaven, so why not get a buncha ho’s and condemn yourself? Lookit Eminem. You think Upstairs, we have to be stanch, hardcore blox with no feelings whatsoever; we have to sit in 'church' and be good religious zealots with our hands in prayer 24/7 …?? WRONG. If you yourself have the desire when you walk through the Pearly Gates, anything and everything and MORE is possible in the Great Beyond. I know. I’m head injured. I left this world in October ‘85. So dream BIG, America. God loves that. God loves for U.S. to ‘pull Him outta the sky’ and fantasize about where we’re going. God can and will provide if we have a seed of faith.

Type in your browser ‘Pascal’s wager’ …and you’ll soon realize this lifelong demise is merely the tip-of-the-iceberg for the two eternities. I hope you'll go to where I can kiss your adorable feet in the sunshine. God bless you with discernment.

Dr. Kold_Kadavr_flatliner, M.D. said...

God blessa youse -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL