So tonight President George W. Bush bid farewell to the nation in a televised speech.
My feelings about the Prez have changed 180 degrees since he was first elected. Sure, he was challenged almost right off the bat with the 9/11 attacks, but whatever goodwill and political capital he might have garnered in those awful days and weeks that followed quicky dissipated with his decision to remove Saddam Hussein from Iraq and the quagmire that followed there. Perhaps if he had just turned Afghanistan to a big parking lot and took down the Taliban in a massive all-out assault against Al Qaida and Osama bin Laden his legacy would have been different, but Iraq will forever be the stain on his presidency. You don’t commit the lives of American soldiers to do a job a nation isn’t willing to do on its own accord.
I personally don’t buy the rosy outlook some are talking about for Iraq. Once American forces are outta there we’ll see just how badly the Iraqi people cherish their freedom, but violence is the way of life in the Middle East, and years from now I’m afraid that, just as in Vietnam and Korea, a good many young men and women will have died or been permanently injured for no good purpose. I’ll admit I was wrong on this, as for awhile I actually bought into – somewhat grudgingly, I suppose – the idea that the Prez was doing the right thing. But events in his last term have convinced me the guy will go down next to Buchanan, Harding, and Hoover as the worst Presidents this country has ever had to endure.
Simply put, this President was so consumed with being Commander-in-Chief that he forgot he was President of the United States, and in that regard, there was absolutely no discipline when it came to managing the country’s governmental and economic affairs.
The Hurricane Katrina fiasco showed the President to be a disengaged delegator of authority, almost to the brink of criminality.
With the help of other Republicans, he oversaw some of the greatest spending increases in history, to the point where Republicans and conservatives grew so disheartened that the Republicans first lost their majorities in Congress and then their shirts in the 2008 elections.
His economic advisors allowed the Democrats to overhaul the way Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did business, and steamroll lending institutions into underwriting mortgages for people you wouldn’t even lend a $20 to on Monday with the expectation of getting it back on Friday. And his administration sat back while greedy, corrupt bastards and fatcats on Wall Street ran their institutions into the ground, then went crying to the government for bailouts that have now gone beyond anything people would have imagined even a year ago.
And for those eight years the looming crises involving entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare were just allowed to sit and fester for a future administration to deal with. Can anyone think of one politically courageous act undertaken by this President? I sure can’t. President he might have been, a leader he was not.
So excuse me if I say good riddance to President George W. Bush. Enjoy Texas, W., write a book or two, oversee your Presidential library, but you’ll get no favors from The Great White Shank. I voted for you twice, but who the hell else was I going to vote for? Al Gore? John Freakin’ Kerry? I mean, if that’s the kind of choices the American public got in the Presidential elections in 2000 and 2004, then I guess we deserve everything we get in the election in 2008 of President Barack Obama.
Who knows, maybe I’ll be proven wrong. Maybe President Obama won’t run this country into the freakin’ ground by spending untold billions of money the government doesn’t have. I sure hope so. But nothing I’ve seen about this guy since his election gives me cause for thinking he has a clue about anything except to spend money he doesn’t have. Hell, even I could do that. But that’s for another day.
Tonight President Bush said his farewell to the nation. I have to think that few cared enough to watch, and that the majority of Americans are either saying ‘good riddance’ or breathing a fearful sigh of relief.