Monday, August 25, 2008

Week of 08/25/2008

Lame-Duck President’s Lame Blame Game
– by David Matthews 2

“Bush Blames Congress for Gas Prices.”

“Bush Blames Democrats for High Gas Prices.”

“Bush Blames Congress for Budget Deficit.”

“Bush Blames Congress for Bad Economy.”

“Bush Blames Democrats for Mortgage Crisis.”

“Bush Blames…”

“Bush Blames…”

“Bush Blames…”

Oh hell, I can go on and on but you pretty much get the point, don’t you?

Those are recent headlines, but they effectively summed up the points being made. You don’t really need to read the articles themselves, even though common sense says that you should just to hear the arguments being used.

George W. Bush, the man who didn’t care what history thought of him, the man who didn’t care what the world thought of him, the man who didn’t care what America’s Founding Fathers would think of him, the man who didn’t care about rules or laws or even the United States Constitution itself, is proving through his words and deeds as being not only the most dystrophic U.S. President in human history, but also a spineless weasel of a human being.

For seven long years he paraded himself about as the proverbial Big Man on Campus, harkening back to his old college days when he could be wild and free. He used 9/11 as the excuse to bully his way into getting anything and everything he ever wanted. Laws didn’t matter. He just signed away an Executive order or re-wrote the law with a “signing statement”. Rules didn’t matter. He just declared “executive privilege” and “national security”. The Constitution itself didn’t matter. He just excused that as a “goddamned piece of paper”.

But now that he’s on his way out of office (and that day cannot come soon enough for this commentator), he suddenly decides that HE DOES CARE about some things… like his legacy. Like how history will remember him.

And he wants people to think that suddenly he’s not the strutting BMOC peacock that he has been carrying himself as. Not the rude, crude, crass frat boy who belts out “Yo Blair” at a G8 Summit with food still in his mouth. He’s not that big… no, he’s just a “good ol’boy” president who really can’t do anything except talk tough. No, it’s all the fault of Congress. THEY supposedly have all of the power. THEY supposedly have all of the authority. So if anything bad happens, it should be THEIR fault. But he’ll take the credit for any and all of the good stuff.

Take, for instance, our sham of an energy policy. It was forged in secret by the Vice-President and then languished in a mostly-GOP-controlled Congress until people started complaining about the rising price of gasoline in 2005. Then Bush Junior told the American people that he DID have the solution all this time… and Congress was holding it up. Mind you, this was 2005, with a veto-proof GOP-dominated Congress that had already demonstrated it was nothing more than a rubber stamp for the White House. Didn’t matter. Public pressure forced it into a fast-track to his golf-course table for a public signature, at which point he said “oh, by the way, this bill that you helped bring to my hands won’t fix your problems, but it MIGHT help you out ten years down the road.”

Duuuuuuuuuuude… we got punked by the White House!

Prices continued to clime year after year, with no relief in sight, and Frat-Boy George says “you know, I really don’t have a magic wand that would bring gas prices down, but tell you what I can do… I’ll rescind the executive order that my daddy wrote about offshore drilling and maybe Congress will do the same.” Then when prices DO go down, the conservatives and neo-conservatives immediately claim that it was ALL because of George W. Bush, their messiah.

Duuuuuuuuuuuude… we’re getting punked by a bunch of ass-kissers!

And now, of course, it’s all the fault of CONGRESS… or so according to our Frat-Boy-In-Chief… that we’re in this mess right now. Specifically, it’s all the fault of the DEMOCRATS in Congress. The same Democrats that are despised by their own people. The same Democrats in Congress that are so inept and woefully incompetent that they can’t even tie their shoelaces without going into a filibuster. The same Democrats that are so spineless that they’ll let the Republican minority STILL call the shots. THOSE Democrats.

Let’s get brutally honest here… it is nothing short of despicable, detestable, and deplorable to have the current President of the United States claim political impotence when he spent the past seven years claiming to have absolute, unquestionable, and unchallengeable authority to do whatever he wants to do. Either the president is lying about having absolute and unquestionable power then, or he’s lying about having no power today. There aren’t too many choices in this matter.

Then again we are dealing with a Frat-Boy-in-Chief that that has a hard time accepting certain realities, such as the continued economic hard times that many Americans are going through. At most he will admit that we’re going through some “tough times”, but he will continue to spew his cultish mantra that the economy is “doing great”… even as banks teeter towards insolvency. The economy is “still going strong”… even as homeowners teeter towards foreclosures. Unemployment is “the best is has ever been”… even as companies shut down stores, factories, and offices, and lay off thousands.

Does that sound like someone who has a clear and SOBER grasp of the world we live in? Or does that sound like a perpetual frat boy still trying to claim that a “D” grade is perfectly acceptable for Good Governing 101?

Bear in mind that many of the problems that we are facing in America today came across the desk of George W. Bush, our Frat-Boy-in-Chief. The changing of banking and bankruptcy rules which contributed to the housing bubble and the sweeping foreclosures were signed into law BY HIM. They were passed by a Congress still dominated and run by Republicans, not Democrats, and it was HIS signature – George W. Bush – on both of those bills! The energy policy, which he first claimed was our “salvation” and then said that it wouldn’t even help us out for a decade, was crafted by HIS Vice-President through secret meetings that HIS OWN OFFICE fought hard to keep confidential. It was passed by a FILIBUSTER-PROOF GOP majority in 2005 and signed into law BY George W. Bush.

And yet George W. Bush finds it easier to blame Congress for the bad things in our economy. He would rather blame Democrats that have only held power in Congress for ONE YEAR for the social and economic troubles that took YEARS to ferment and were brought in with HIS signature.

Is that or is that not the hallmark of a failure?

Basic economic reality is that you cannot take credit for the good without taking responsibility for the bad. Any sound businessman will tell you that. Real leaders don’t blame others for their own failures. Real leaders accept responsibility for their own FAILURE to properly lead others.

There were things that Bush Junior could have done, even back when he wielded his so-called “political capital”. He could have pushed for offshore drilling as early as 2005 as a way to help alleviate the dependency of foreign oil. He could have pushed for the permanent suspension of “boutique blends” that would have allowed refined gasoline be refined and marketed anyplace in the country. He could have recalled his Energy Secretary and told him that changing the fuel efficiency standards to go up only 5mph by 2020 is unacceptable and that it needs to go up 5mph by next year.

He likes to say that “Wall Street got drunk.” But what he doesn’t want to admit was that HE was the one – along with the GOP-ruled Congress – tending the bar and serving the drinks at that kegger.

In short, there WERE things that could be done, but Bush Junior found it better to simply pass the buck and pass the blame over to Congress, and specifically the Democrats, when the REAL burden has always been on HIS shoulders.

Once upon a time, there was a placard in the Oval Office that says “The Buck Stops Here”. Through his actions, or lack thereof, George W. Bush has placed a brand NEW placard in the Oval Office. One that says “The Blame Starts Here”.

No comments: