Monday, July 21, 2008

Week of 07/21/2008

Failures All Around
– by David Matthews 2

After getting yet another verbal complaint from President George W. Bush for the perceived inability to carry out his tasks, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally said what many in America have been saying for quite some time.

"You know,” she said on CNN, “God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject…"

“A total failure.”

It’s one thing to criticize a particular policy, or perhaps a particular course of action, and call that a failure, but this really hits home to say that EVERYTHING that our Doofus-in-Chief did has been a TOTAL FAILURE.

Even this commentator, for all that I have said about the Texas Doofus, will not go so far as to characterize the Bush Imperium as being a “total failure”, simply because that term covers everything that has been done. He’s been doing a great job for the oil kingpins, keeping their stranglehold on America firmly in place and keeping them profitable. He did a great job for the military-industrial complex, keeping them busy with manufacturing calls for bombs and tanks and guns.

“Total Failure”? I wouldn’t say that. We toppled Saddam Hussein from power and brought him to justice so he could be put to death by the Iraqis. That’s not a failure. The Bush Imperium actually did something RIGHT for a change. They didn’t stop after dropping a few bombs like Bill Clinton did. Clinton’s handling of Iraq was a FAILURE.

Sadly, though, there seems to be more things that have gone WRONG with the Bush Imperium than gone right.

Hurricane Katrina is probably the biggest failure on the Imperium’s record. This is the one that opened the public’s collective eyes to the fact that everything isn’t as rosy as the Imperium has been selling it. This was more than just a failure of FEMA to do what needs to be done. This was a failure of leadership on top as well. This was the FAILURE of a president to show leadership during a nationwide crisis. Instead of racing the storm to get from his vacation to the White House, Bush Junior instead went to a political fundraiser in California. Then, when he finally decided to return to Washington, the crisis was already a nationwide fiasco, and he decided to just do a fly-over of the area. It was a pompous gesture that demonstrated for the first time just how clueless he was to the problems Americans were dealing with at the time.

Afghanistan is another current FAILURE. Yes, the Taliban were overthrown from government, but they weren’t shut down. The seeds of revolt were already in place in that country, so all that was needed was a little encouragement and some support from us, which we gave after 9/11. That’s why the Taliban lost power so relatively quickly.

But that doesn’t mean that they were defeated! Quite the contrary, Mullah Omar made a deal that allowed him and the rest of his gang of Gestapo theocrats to escape to the mountains, along with the hierarchy of the al Qaeda organization… the very monsters that Bush Junior pledged would be hunted down and “brought to justice”. They haven’t been “brought to justice” yet, have they? Nope. And THAT is a FAILURE of the Bush Imperium in and of itself.

And the fact of the matter is that having the Taliban still posing a threat to the stability in that country is a clear sign of FAILURE of the Bush Imperium to finish what they started. They were simply too damned obsessed with morphing the war over to Iraq to consider the consequences of their ineptitude. You can’t just put a war “on hold” like they did with Afghanistan.

It is true that the Imperium has been operating in a delusion bubble of their own creation on MANY issues. Their blanket declaration that the media will not show flag-draped caskets or cover military funerals has led to the charge that they don’t care about the human losses. Their insistence that servicemen and women serve three, four, and even five tours of duty… with longer tours, with less down-time, and without any consideration to the consequences of those decisions, further aggravates that perception of not caring about the human factor.

Then we have the energy problem. Gas consumption has been a problem for DECADES now, but it really reared its ugly head in 2005, just months before Hurricane Katrina hit Port Fourchon made things even worse. The Bush Imperium used this to push for an energy policy that was personally crafted by Vice President Dick Cheney and was stalled in the Congress. (Why it was stalled in a filibuster-proofed Republican-dominated Congress is a mystery in and of itself.) Then, when it WAS put before the President for his signature, he had the audacity to say “oh, yeah, by the way this won’t fix any of our energy problems anytime soon.”

The fact that nobody bothered to actually do ANYTHING with this issue UNTIL it was way too late is yet another FAILURE on behalf of the Bush Imperium. And now, of course, with less than six months to go before the Imperium thankfully falls into the trash bin of history, there’s really no incentive for them to do anything to fix the problem.

The economy is yet another FAILURE that is tattooed on the Imperium’s head. Sure the original tax cuts of 2001 helped! But a lot of the so-called “growth” that Bush Junior prided himself with came from overinflated housing values, and the push for people to take loans out BASED on those overinflated values. They messed with the banking rules, they messed with the bankruptcy rules, they messed with corporate accountability rules, they failed to address the growing dependency on oil from foreign sources, and then they put themselves into their delusion bubble and said that NONE of those things would ever derail the economy.

And then, when those things DID affect the economy for the worse, the Imperium REFUSED to admit there was a problem. Even to this very day, George W. Bush REFUSES to admit that the economy is heading towards a recession, if not towards something worse. He still refers to it as a “slowdown”, even though his own hand-picked Federal Reserve Board chairman has expressed concerns.

Failure to recognize a problem as it is happening, never mind recognizing it BEFORE it becomes a problem, is a FAILURE of leadership. Equally bad is trying to wait out a problem until it can be passed on to someone else, and I would dare suspect that is the true reason why the Imperium is continuing with its delusions. They’re refusing to say anything is wrong until AFTER the next person is in office. And that is a far worse kind of failure than one through ignorance.

But in every failure that befalls the White House under George W. Bush, there is one little truth that Speaker Pelosi refuses to admit to: Bush Junior did not fail on his own. He had help.

Let’s get brutally honest here… Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are just as much of a FAILURE to the American people as George W. Bush has been. They are perhaps even MORE of a failure that Bush Junior, because they have FAILED to do their jobs to keep Junior’s failures in check.

Sure the argument can be made that many of Bush Junior’s failures were attributed to a rubber-stamping Congress under Republican domination. But that particular argument FAILS in January of 2007, when Pelosi and Reid took over the Congress and put it back in Democrat hands. At that point it becomes THEIR responsibility to keep White House abuses in check, and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have specifically FAILED to do that! They have not only FAILED, but they have FAILED MISERABLY.

Ever since the time the Dems took over Congress, this commentator has often wondered why they have systematically FAILED to do their jobs. Coming up with a fluff 100-day schedule to mimic the GOP’s “Contract with America” plan was something of a no-brainer for them. But substantive actions to keep down reckless spending, putting an end to the stripping of civil liberties, and having the White House answer to some of their abuses of power to things such as the Valerie Plame leak, the prosecutor firings, and possible involvement in the prosecution and conviction of a state governor, have all been exercises in futility. Every measure that the Bush Imperium wanted, THEY STILL GOT!

And I have seen that frustration with liberal groups. I have SEEN their outrage, their outright ANGER, at Pelosi and Reid specifically for their systematic FAILURES to the jobs they were elected to do. There are actually calls for Pelosi to RESIGN for her systematic FAILURES as House Speaker.

I have often wondered why Pelosi and Reid would do that. Why would they betray their base, never mind betray America, and become nothing more than boot-licking rubberstampers to the Imperium?

Perhaps there was some clandestine meeting between them and the White House whereby some agreement was made in the name of “political expediency”. Maybe something along the lines of “give us what we want, or we will turn our neocon attack dogs on you and your family”. Or maybe even nothing that threatening. Maybe they were convinced that if they continue to let the Imperium have their way that it would spur voters to elect a Democrat to the White House.

That would certainly explain the grumblings that Pelosi has been making of late. She was holding up to her part of the deal, keeping her liberal underlings stymied and frustrated, only to have Bush and Company continue to snipe and attack her and whine like a spoiled brat about not groveling fast enough. I sure she feels betrayed by the Imperium. That would drive anyone to make an impulsive comment like the one she made this past week.

“Total failure”.

No, Madam Speaker, the White House under George W. Bush has not been a TOTAL failure. For all of their faults, dirty dealings, and backstabbings, they still managed to do a couple of things right.

YOUR office, on the other hand, has done nothing but put on sham actions and continued the rubber-stamping legacy of your Republican predecessor. You sabotage calls for impeachment at every opportunity, you allow Imperium members to outright ignore subpoenas instead of calling for the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest them (which is his job in the first place), and you let the MINORITY party call the shots on behalf of the White House.

And now, of course, it’s too late to do anything significant. The Bush Imperium has less than six months of life left to it. The election season is already upon us, and all focus is placed on who will replace Bush Junior in that Oval Office. The people behind the Imperium’s actions… Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales, and the rest… will get away with any kind of dirty dealings that they are connected with, and they will have YOU to personally thank for that, because you were the one that sabotaged any calls for accountability from the moment you took over as House Speaker. The moment you said “impeachment is off the table”, you sabotaged yourself, your party, and the American people.

The REAL “total failure”, Madam Speaker, is yourself.

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