Monday, June 2, 2008
A Tale Told About An Idiot, Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing
Recently a good friend of the blog asked me to write a post dealing with the troubles of our current president. Now normally I would never pick on someone who has the intellectual capability of a starchy vegetable. Besides, there are plenty of people more than willing to take up my slack in documenting our current national tragicomedy. After much thought, however, I have decided that it is my duty to bring my readers what they want - a complete deconstruction of the most incompetent executive in our nation's history. If only I could promise that the issues I hit here are to be the last pieces of the mosaic of disgrace that the last eight years have provided for our viewing displeasure. Let us now size up all the hats a president must wear and through doing so, illustrate the diverse ineptitude that has allowed our multi-untalented Texas billionaire to bungle each and every one of them in spectacular fashion.
One of the major roles of the executive branch, as listed in the Constitution, is that of commanding the nation's military. Our main forays into armed conflict during the last
eight years are, of course, the dueling fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan. The lies that led to our seemingly interminable embroilment in Iraq have been well-documented, so I will skip over that unless anyone needs a primer. The fallout from this war goes to the crux of W's failure as a leader. We are currently spending billions of dollars a month in Iraq, with no end in sight, and whether our presence there has deterred terrorists or not is questionable at best. CIA intelligence estimates have stated that the mission there has resulted in giving Al Qaeda excellent on-the-job training. Meanwhile, the person who actually attacked us sits comfortably in a cave somewhere on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, an area where our military has limited resources. Why? Because our money and manpower is all being used in Iraq. We could probably use some of that dough in the United States as well since rumor has it that the economy has gone to shit.
-Guardian of the Economy-
Normally I would never criticize the President for negatively affecting the economy since only weather has more variables and is more complex in nature. So I have to give kudos to W for managing to etch his fingerprints of failure all over are current recession. His fun in the Iraqi sand has drained billions from the economy and contributed to out-of-control oil prices. How has Dubya dealt with the mortgage situation, which has been a centerpiece of the current downturn? Naturally, being opposed to welfare, he bailed out Bear Stearns while allowing the little people to lose their homes and declare bankruptcy. Oh wait - many can't even declare bankruptcy anymore since Bushy and the Republican Congress made it very difficult to do so several years back. Nothing tax cuts for the rich won't cure.
The head moron has also provided for our future by establishing numerous free trade deals that allow other countries to export to us without tariffs. Sounds great, right? What can be wrong with cheaper goods? Well the downside is that it allows corporations to move American jobs to other countries where they can produce goods for less, as foreign workers in these nations have no unions (which equals lower pay and less benefits, not to mention lower levels of worker safety and environmental protection). Under Clinton and Bush II's free trade policies, industrial jobs have made a mass exodus from our country - not to mention the health care and pensions that usually went along with that employment. The solution to that problem is tax cuts for the richest Americans.
The real economic legacy of Bush and his antecedents is a huge income disparity between rich and poor that is bound to make it difficult for the United States as a nation to ever regain its previous hegemonic status in the world economy. If the lower and middle classes can barely afford to operate their cars and buy food, they won't be buying much else. Insane increases in tuition are making higher education increasingly prohibitive to millions of Americans, guaranteeing income gaps well into the future. Bush's only response to the travails of the underclasses is a $300 check in the mail, enough to fill up the tank and buy groceries once, maybe twice if you are not providing for others. The real solution to this grave problem is to give the rich more tax cuts.
The worst part of all of this economic mess is that the Canadian dollar is no worth more than its American counterpart. Things have truly taken a horrific turn when we can't even make fun of Canada anymore.
-Chief of State-
This part of the job requires the President to be a source of inspiration to the people of the United States. He is to be a living symbol of our nation.
There is nothing like our country being represented by someone whose grammatical structure resembles a Picasso painting - splatter a participle here, cover it in nouns and verbs and you have got yourself something resembling a sentence. Every time W opens his mouth to give a speech, the writers at comedy shows across the nation begin to drool in anticipation. What buffoonery will he spout next? "Is our children learning?" or "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." or "Nucular" or "Free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat" or "We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job" or for the holidays - "And so during these holiday seasons, we thank our blessings." A good martini should not be as muddled as these mispoken mutterings. We might as well send Mushmouth from "Fat Albert" to represent us in the United Nations.
The one piece of good news is George W. Bush is just like us. We couldn't pull off a fancy speech in front of foreign dignataries either. The President is just a good ole down-home native of Crawford, Texas, a version of small town anywhere USA. What a great example to show the world what an average American is like. Except......... everyone has a Dad who was a member of Congress, head of the CIA, Vice President for eight years, and President for four years. Actually, his dad would kick your dad's ass. All of us get to go to an Ivy League school despite questionable grades. Who hasn't used high level government connections to get out of DUIs, cocaine possession charges, and service in some small conflict in Southeast Asia? I mean you probably headed a couple oil companies and owned a baseball franchise. Okay, maybe he isn't an average American.
This part of the job should have been the easiest for the self-styled CEO President. The head of state is the "boss" of millions of government employees and is in charge of appointing thousands of other government workers.
Being responsible for so many people is quite a difficult task, so you can be sure that junior was able to botch the job in a spectacular way. Outing an undercover CIA agent (Valerie Plame) so that you can wreak vengeance on her husband (Joseph Wilson) for criticizing your administration? Par for the course during our eight year national nightmare. Loyalty to Bush had always been primary while the safety of the country falls a distant second. What better evidence for that fact than the people Bush appointed to important offices? Need someone to run the Iraqi stock exchange? Why not chooose a twenty-one year old political crony with no experience? Need to pick an Attorney General of the United States? How about this Neo-Conservative from Missouri (John Ashcroft) who lost his last campaign to a dead man? Or a torture obsessed real estate attorney with a lying problem, he should know tons about criminal law (Albert Gonzales). Gosh we are missing a Supreme Court justice - why not my good friend Harriet Miers (nomination withdrawn almost immediately due to her transparent incompetence). Without anyone to head up your disaster relief program, go ahead and hand over FEMA to a man with no previous experience (Michael Brown) - its unlikely there will be a big hurricane anyway. There is no spot in American governance where competence is important enough to ignore political hacks in favor of someone with actual experience and talent.
The president of the United States, along with his advisors, determines the foreign policy of the United States government. Here is a good place for Bush to score points - Nixon was a disaster otherwise, but quite a successful diplomat. Usually diplomacy involves talking to other countries and working through our differences to find common ground. Unfortunately, Dubya has instead decided to try the middle school relationship method - you made me angry so I won't talk to you. How the silent treatment is supposed to work has not yet been explained to those of us who did finish seventh grade without our father's help. When the not talking idea has been exhausted (that doesn't take long), W has then resorted to bombing the shit out of our enemies (see Iraq) with no idea of what to do afterward.
Bush has also asserted the rights of the United States government to act in a short-sighted manner by refusing to sign treaties like Kyoto (global warming) and others designed to eliminate the use of land mines and clusterbombs. Global warming is clearly not a problem - there are still parts of Canada that have not yet seen the seventy five straight days of over 100 degrees that we are in the midst of enjoying.
The decider has also proven to be a stellar judge of character. He once looked into the soul of VladimirPutin and said he liked what he saw. Next he will be telling us lawyers and used car salesman are trustworthy. Although I do suppose that Putin is a downright pushover when compared to some of the other dictators from Russian history. We will give Georgie a D+ for seeing through to the cuddly Ruskie underneath. Better than most of his grades at Yale!
Although the President can not make laws himself, he has the power to influence Congress as far as what they pass. He can also veto legislation that he opposes.
Bush has used his veto pen as an avenging medeival sword of backwardness, defending us from any progress that the Congress has tried to make over the past couple of years. The SCHIP law, designed to provide health care for lower income children? Veto it! Repeated attempts to set a time table for ending the quagmire in Iraq? Hand me that pen again! Congress wants to prevent the US government from engaging in torture? Sorry can't let that one pass! Stem cell research with the potential to save millions of lives? The bible told me to nix that one (if I can only find the passage)! Pay raise for our hard-working military? I will put that legislation in my pocket so the media can't take pictures of that veto - people might notice that my professed concern for the armed forces is a load of bull!
So what law has the President actually passed to benefit the country during his eight years in power? Tax cuts for the rich! Yeah! Seriously I googled laws Bush has passed and came up with that. Please let me know if there are more of significance that I am unaware of - he did have an all Republican Congress for six years, so you would have to think he at least signed a couple of important laws. Maybe the one making the second week of July be kind to New Jersey week?
It took the leader of the free world to get me to teach me to respect "The Sopranos."
-Chief of the Party-
Although many of the arguments I have made degrading our President could be construed as partisan in nature, the final aspect of Bush's legacy of failure is impossible to argue. The executive is also the ad hoc leader of his political party and is therefore responsible for assisting his fellow party members in gaining election and re-election. One would have a lot of trouble arguing that W has succeeded in this area. The 2006 election saw the Republican Party suffer some of the most lopsided losses since the 1962 New York Mets took losing to the uppermost tier of craptacularity. 2008 does not look to be any better for conservatives - midterm elections in Illinois, Louisiana, and Mississippi have all gone the way of the Dems. They won a race in Mississippi for godsakes - usually a good speech from Trent Lott pointing out that black people are scary can get a Republican into office, even if he is a drooling mongoloid. Political pundits are currently estimating a loss of between 5 and 10 seats in the Senate for the Republicans. Such gains would give the Democrats a filibuster proof majority and make things hard for McSame/McBush if he manages to live long enough to be elected in his race against the crazy black man/possible Muslim guy (no he is not Muslim you idiot- not that anyone should care which invisible mythical being he professes to worship).
So no we know that George W. Bush has scored a perfect seven out of seven in the failure department. At least he didn't shoot anyone in the face I guess. I would leave the Vice President for another time, but I am kind of scared that he is staring at me through the computer right now. I have to go hide in my secret bunker now. I have supplies for two that should last thirty years if there are any hot guys out there interested in spending a lot of time with me. Just check out a picture of Brad Pitt or Christian Bale if you want to know what I look like.