Midnight Bush-Bashing

Bush’s presidency is done, but some Democratic leaders aren’t finished bashing him yet. Politico reports that this week House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer distributed a video showing how Bush failed America. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr. released a 486-page list of grievances about the Bush administration. I’m no fan of GWB, but this makes Kenneth Starr look like Ryan Seacrest.

These last minute jabs seem even lower than the usual Washington partisan fighting. There aren't many conservatives still waving GWB's banner. The guy is no longer a threat. So why attack him now?

If there is justice to be done to the Bush administration leadership, I'm all for that. But I find it hard to believe after all the administration has been accused of off the cuff in the last eight years, the democrats are just now getting their case together.

I felt many times that GWB overstepped his bounds as president, but the congressional leadership never seemed to be able to do anything about that while he was in office. It seems Democratic leaders are finally getting heroic now that he has no power. Conyers wants President-elect Obama to launch an investigation of whether the Bush administration broke any laws. Somehow I don't see President Obama making that a priority.

Kenneth Starr is remembered today by many democrats as a politically motivated vigilante for his investigations of Bill Clinton during his presidency. But Starr didn't follow Clinton after his eight years were up. There wasn't any point.

Nothing of what the democrats are now bringing forward appears to contain pointed evidence of any crime, just more of the same politicking and negative campaigning.

In my opinion, the democrats saw how well the anti-Bush rhetoric worked in 2008, so they want to try to stretch it to 2012.

Posted by Mark Montie at January 17, 2009 8:49 PM
Comments
Comment #273745

It is going to be like those loser adults who keep on blaming their parents for all their woes. Their hatred is so strong they just cannot move on. They prefer to attack Bush and the past rather than work for success in the future.

The good news is that it looks like Obama is smarter than the Democratic leadership and much less hateful. He wants to be president of the United States, not party leader of the left wing. He doesn’t owe the Democrats in Congress anything at all. In fact, they owe him. He ran ahead of his party. He is a free man and according to the Constitution, president of all Americans.

I didn’t vote for Obama, but since the election he has mostly been doing the right things. The Bush administration has been extraordinarily cooperative with the transition. It looks like an era of good feelings might break out. We are ready. The Democratic liberals and their netroots may just have to choose between hatred for Bush and the good of their country and their president.

Posted by: Christine at January 17, 2009 9:41 PM
Comment #273746

No president did more to corrupt justice than GW Bush. He used the power of his office to prevent the Justice Department from investigating or prosecuting his illegal actions.

Now that Bush is stepping out from behind his iron curtain of protection, justice can, and should, be levied against his and his appointee’s illegal actions, if the that is where the evidence of investigation leads.

There is no democracy in America, there is no liberty in America, and there is no justice in America if those in powerful office can both imprison us for violating the laws while they violate the same body of laws with impunity and immunity.

All investigations of law violation begin with allegations and evidence of possible wrong doing. The Democrats are doing what must be done to restore a nation of law, not of men being more equal than others.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 17, 2009 9:48 PM
Comment #273748

Bush apologistas spent the last eight years blaming every one of their failures on the preceding Clinton administration. Democrats will have to go a long way to be as bad as that.

Posted by: ElliottBay at January 17, 2009 10:33 PM
Comment #273750

Even today, roughly one out of five Americans approve of the job Bush has done. There has been a long term effort by Bush supporters to dismiss critics, liberals, Democrats, and so on as ‘Bush Haters,’ as if criticizing and disapproving of Bush policies is an irrational, emotional reaction. That is not the case. The critics of Bush have been proven by events to be correct, and Bush supporters have been proven by events to be irrational, emotional loyalists who refuse to acknowledge the highly unpleasant reality which we now all face.

So we’re not done.

Attempts to pump up the Bush legacy can and should meet with loud and persistent oppostion.

Invading other countries on pretexts should never meet with the approval of Americans.

Deregulating the financial sector should never meet with the approval of Americans.

Tax cuts for the wealthy followe by wars fought on the national credit card should never be acccepted.

Basing national and policy on the needs of the Fossil Fuel industry should never be accepted. Denying the science behind Global Warming in order to support Fossil Fuel is simply shameful.

Well, I could go on and on, because it is a long record of miserable failure these past eight years. Justice has yet to be meted out, and I’m not optimistic that it ever will be. War crimes and stupendous corruption will be given a pass with the complicity of Democrats, I have no doubt. It will be years, and even decades- yes, decades- before the country recovers from the gross mismanagement of Bush and the conservative Republicans.

That cannot be accepted in silence.

Posted by: phx8 at January 17, 2009 11:26 PM
Comment #273752

Investigations should and will go on. The rule of law is a basic tenet of liberalism(look it up in a dictionary).The damage the Bush regime and their cronies have done to the country will take far more than eight years to correct. It is therefore fitting and appropriate that those who did the damage be held accountable. If they commited criminal acts then they should be punished. That is not politics. That is justice.
I understand that about the only country where GWB is still popular is Albania. Perhaps he should move there and fight extradition.

Posted by: bills at January 18, 2009 1:52 AM
Comment #273756

Bush may go down in history as the worst president we’ve ever had. That in itself isn’t a crime. Gitmo may have cost us years of diplomatic capital. That doesn’t make it a crime.

I fully support pursuing charges of a crime if there is actual evidence of it. That’s for the lawyers to figure out. But, as you have said before David, due process must be followed.

If there was strong evidence of criminal activity that our leaders knew about and did nothing about when it could have saved us from disaster, that infuriates me as much as anything. I don’t believe in any iron curtain as much as I believe in politicians managing their risks. Bush was able to overreach his executive power to such an extent largely because there was no one pushing back.

Beyond criminal evidence, shouting GWB’s sins from roof tops will do little to move our nation forward. As of Tuesday, he can’t do anything more to us. Obama is coming into office with momentum to make some real positive change. I hope it stays forward focused.

Hate Bush all you want. Never forgive him. Let’s throw him in jail if there was a crime. But my favorite part of this new year is that that chapter of our history is over.

Posted by: Mark at January 18, 2009 4:05 AM
Comment #273759

Republicans need to realize that feelings will be harsh about Bush for years to come. There will long be something for folks to curse him about.

They’ll say “You know, there was a time before, when we weren’t running record deficits. That was before Bush.”

They’ll say “You know, there was a time before, when America’s military was restored from its debacle in Vietnam, when they weren’t mired in an unpopular war. That was before Bush.”

They’ll say “You know, there was a time before, when America could say ‘we do not torture’, and the world believed. That was before Bush.”

They’ll say “There was a time when we were in a state of growth where the economy’s good times never seemed to end. That was before Bush.”

They’ll say “There were whole cities, whole towns wiped out by disaster. Most presidents would jump to their aid, and make sure things were brought back to the way they were. That was before Bush.”

They’ll say “We had a real chance to get a head start on confronting climate change, but that was before we had somebody in charge who wouldn’t let the science speak for itself, Before Bush.”

On how many levels and in how many ways have Bush and the Republican Congress majorities and minorities that backed his plays failed the country, and brought on its decline?

The reasons to hate, despise, and resent the Bush administration are not going away any time soon. Bush has left behind eight years of some of the worst historical memories of modern times.

I know Republicans would like him to be a Truman, recognized after the fact for his great efforts, but I truly doubt it. Take your pick of all the things that went wrong, and go back through this rich vein of nonsense that the Truman administration never dreamed of visiting on the American people.

The Truman administration didn’t have to, either. Truman faced perceived failures abroad (Like the “loss” of China, the Soviets getting the bomb) which history has rightly exonerated him of, and a difficult war which history has come to believe he handled well.

The Bush administration, though, will leave office with most of its failures self-inflicted. They pushed for the war, and got it with an ends justify the means mentality informing their zealotry on the matter. Same goes for the economic policies: they made deliberate choices that have come back to haunt them.

Long story short, while forgiveness is divine, it’s not likely for the Bush administration. The nation won’t be able to move on from his legacy for quite some time to come.

The Republicans inflicted this on themselves. They invented terms like “Bush Derangement Syndrome”, and convinced themselves that opposition to Bush was a mental illness. They never conceded that Bush was disliked for what he did, and therefore never thought to pressure for improvements in policy until it was too late and faith in Bush had already been lost.

The Republicans have no right to ask everybody to move on from Bush, because while they are through with the past, the past is not through with anybody in this country, and people have good reason to resent the legacy his poor leadership leaves.

The Best thing for Republicans would be for Obama to succeed in healing the nation’s wounds, and for them to repent of their leaders’ mistakes. But what is the likelihood that the Republicans will do that, their pride demanding that they rationalize all the facts in their own favor? If they won’t repent, Americans likely won’t forgive.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 18, 2009 8:41 AM
Comment #273760

crowd of twenty or thirty people stand by as a mugger takes a man’s wallet at knife point, then witness as the mugger stabs the man to death and runs away untouched…

We tend to blame those witnesses who did not come to the man’s aid. We find more fault with the cowards than we do the perpetrator.

The Democrats who joined Cheney/Bush’s bash of the Constitution, and those who stood by without saying anything, were not courageous, and they were slackers of their duty…but, they were not Cheney?Bush. He and he alone must stand the tests of investigation. Let’s hope whoever does the investigating is a better man than Starr.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 18, 2009 8:56 AM
Comment #273762

Stephen,

Good comment. I assure you that I don’t expect democrats or republicans to forget and forgive Bush for any of the myriad of debacles he’s created.

I know Republicans would like him to be a Truman, recognized after the fact for his great efforts, but I truly doubt it.

As a republican, I’m not hoping for that at all. (I know there are some who are) I would probably agree with you on the vast majority of your complaints. But you’re projecting how history is going to judge GWB before he even turns over the key to the White House. There is a reason we say hind sight is 20/20.

The documents coming out right now that seem to say nothing more than, “George, you suck,” don’t give us anything new to talk about. We don’t need an almanac of everything Bush ever did wrong. I can’t wait to see what comes out when it’s no longer just a fad to bash the Bush administration. I’m sure we’ll learn a lot.

I may need to repent of some naivety early on in Bush’s presidency. I know that’s the Republican party seems to be making changes in that direction. But the Bush administration didn’t always have republican majorities in Congress. The democrats promised a lot when they took control there. History will be there to judge them too.

Posted by: Mark at January 18, 2009 10:33 AM
Comment #273770


There might be a few investigations of minor players but, there will be no major investigations of the Bush Administration.

Many of the Bush policies will continue for at least most of Obama’s first term and some will continue into the next term or next presidency.

We will have troops in Iraq for most of Obama’s first term and possibly, if not probably, longer.

Guantanamo will remain open for at least most of the next four years.

The Federal Spy On Americans Act will remain intact.

Federal dollars for faith based initiatives will continue.

Posted by: jlw at January 18, 2009 1:38 PM
Comment #273772

> I’m no fan of GWB, but this makes Kenneth Starr look like Ryan Seacrest.
» Continue reading “Midnight Bush-Bashing”…
Posted by Mark Montie at January 17, 2009 08:49 PM

MM,

After five plus years of investigations, into a plethora of charges, and after spending seventy million investigative dollars, to find a semen stain on a blue dress, by way of some illegal recordings by a bitter woman…Ryan Seacrest???

Posted by: Marysdude at January 18, 2009 2:07 PM
Comment #273775

Mark-
Believe me, most Democrats want to move past Bush. That’s why we went for Obama over Clinton. Clinton could win the election, but could she depart from the center-right sensibility? Could she defuse the boobie traps of partisanship? Did she have the political skills to bypass the old establishment?

Picking Obama was entirely about moving on from the status quo.

Make no mistake, it’s going to be a large task. My fear, really, is that the Republicans are going to make a difficult recovery from the Bush legacy worse by insisting on the positions and ideology that made Bush’s time in offices such an ordeal.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 18, 2009 2:35 PM
Comment #273779

Mark said: “Bush was able to overreach his executive power to such an extent largely because there was no one pushing back.”

What a pathetic attempt at defense. Look at your logic Mark. The reason Charlie Manson overreached the bounds of humanity and law, was because no one stopped him? NO! Absolutely NOT a defense for Charlie Manson or GW Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. They were charged with the responsibility by virtue of their citizenship in this country to observe and act within the confines of our laws.

Yes, as I said here, if the investigations of the allegations being made produce evidence of violation of our laws, then prosecution must proceed, if America is not to reflect the total absence of justice as depicted in George Orwell’s short book, Animal Farm.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 18, 2009 3:09 PM
Comment #273782

Stephen,

Moving from the status quo is why many republicans picked Obama too. I think most republicans know our party needs to adapt or die. And when there are no democrats around most are willing to admit Bush did a terrible job. If Obama continues on a course that doesn’t alienate them I don’t see very many pining for the days of Bush.

David,

When I say overreaching executive power, it isn’t a euphemism for straight up murder. The Bush administration became bloated by taking on powers the Congress should have protected for themselves. That, on it’s face, wasn’t any more illegal than Johnson’s Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The remedy for this problem is not jail time, it’s checks and balances. It is just a shame Congress didn’t have the cojones to maintain a balance; especially when it was clear that Bush is lacking in judgment. Thankfully, the Supreme Court did their job when it came to defining torture.

I’m not defending any decisions Bush made in office. But let’s draw a line between stupid and illegal.

I don’t think anyone is above the law. To the extent that Bush or any of his people broke the law, they must answer for it. On that we agree.

Posted by: Mark at January 18, 2009 4:04 PM
Comment #273783

Excuse me. The issue the SC came in on was Gitmo prisoners’ rights of habeas corpus, not torture.

Posted by: Mark at January 18, 2009 4:12 PM
Comment #273796

Gulf of Tonkin…hmmm…The SEATO treaties called for intervention if N Viet Nam was an aggressor…it was incorrectly reported that the N Viet Nam Navy had fired on American warships in the Gulf of Tonkin…the report was a lie (much like WMD in Iraq). the false report was taken as fact on its face, and the stupidity began. Just how legal is it to go to war on a lie, when you are aware it is a lie? What kind of law are we referring to? Who’s law?

A lie killed fifty-five thousand American military and wounded tens of thousands…hundreds of thousands ultimately ended up homeless. Why would that not be against about every law on every book?

Just because the American government does it, does not make it legal, right or moral…just another dishonorable fiasco for the purpose of protecting mega-corporations from having to get their own hands dirty…find out who pushed the war…rubber barons, etc.???

Posted by: Marysdude at January 18, 2009 8:11 PM
Comment #273799

Remember Fitzmas?

Same nothing is going to happen after all the dogs are done howling.

Democrats in congress will just waste time and money in their autoerotic games.

Most Americans want the new president to succeed. The Bush folks are making the transition much smoother than the one they got in 2000.

Liberals need to understand that hatred hurts the hater more than the object. Wise up liberals. Bush will go back to Crawford and seems happy to do so. Cheney didn’t need the job in 2000 and he doesn’t need to be loved now. Neither will run again. They don’t care. They have dodged your hate.

Posted by: Christine at January 18, 2009 10:15 PM
Comment #273804

Marysdude,

Whenever a president acts on imperfect information bad things can happen. We may never know how much Johnson or Bush really knew, but you’re opening a different can of worms to say that all the gray areas of the decision-making process are somehow scandalous. With sketchy intelligence about 9-11 Bush chose not to take it seriously. With WMDs he decided to act. Right now both of those decisions seem like boners. History will give us a deeper perspective. FDR got intelligence about the Pearl Harbor attack and did nothing. Then he used that to take us into WWII. Was that a conspiracy?

Posted by: Mark at January 19, 2009 12:06 AM
Comment #273805

Marysdude,
It was actually 580,000 who died in Viet Nam, not 55,000. It’s on the wall. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 19, 2009 1:04 AM
Comment #273806

http://www.militaryfactory.com/american_war_deaths.asp

My bad! 58,000.
Sorry.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 19, 2009 1:09 AM
Comment #273807

We’re complaining about GWBush saying we must go shopping after 9/11, but Johnson and his Democratic party not only spent money on a war, but also got the second largest federal giveaway program passed through a Democratic congress at the same time without a whimper from the media. They called it Guns and Butter, but it was a facade that made it acceptable while riots consumed the streets and our parents denied it was happening.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 19, 2009 1:26 AM
Comment #273808

>It was actually 58,000 who died in Viet Nam, not 55,000. It’s on the wall. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Posted by: Weary Willie at January 19, 2009 01:04 AM

WW,

A thousand here a thousand there…who’s counting? They were just Americans, dying for a dishonorable cause…

When Johnson’s ‘giveaway program’ went into effect, did it not do so in order to correct past wrongs and grievances? If that was the case, it was not ‘giveaway’…how long before the rioting slowed to a stop? I’d say the programs paid for themselves…unless, of course, you’d have preferred the same body count here, and the same property damage that we’d foisted on Viet Nam…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 19, 2009 2:26 AM
Comment #273812

Mark, thanks for the clarification. We are in agreement. Yes, the Republican controlled Congress utterly failed to check and balance the expansion of executive authority by the Bush administration. However, I would debate, and perhaps lose, the point that undermining the U.S. Constitution’s checks and balances by the 3 branches of government, combined with the Oath of Office to protect and defend that Constitution as written and amended, is a criminal act. If it is NOT a criminal act, then the Constitution is a worthless piece of brown parchment.

Enforcement of the Constitution is all that gives it power. Failure to enforce it, or ignore it, renders it less valuable and useful than toilet paper.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 19, 2009 4:39 AM
Comment #273818

Bush’s administration did a lot of bad things. Some of the bad things had a real reason some a political reason. But the one that made me the maddest is the yellow cake thing. So he lied to every one about Saddam trying to buy uranium to get us in a war we can’t win. We’ve been lied to by our leaders plenty of times before. But what happened next is totally inexcusable.

“Boris come in here” says the foreign leader. “ We’ve learned Joe Wilson’s wife is a American spy. Every time the Wilsons come to town you’re very friendly with them. I think you’re an American spy. You die at dawn.” This played out in a number of countries.
THIS WAS TREASON PLAIN AND SIMPLE!

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at January 19, 2009 7:59 AM
Comment #273820

Apparently they’re doing this around the world. It isn’t just us.

Editorials worldwide pillory Bush one final time

My favorite:

“Indeed, he would have caused twice the damage if he had been more active and focused.”
Posted by: womanmarine at January 19, 2009 9:59 AM
Comment #273822

WW-
The problem isn’t that we couldn’t afford it, it’s that LBJ was unwilling to ask people for the sacrifice for fear that they would ask him to sacrifice something in return. Like the war or the entitlement program.

The irony is, we were capable of handling the burden, and would have been better off for doing so. I believe the same applies now. However, One lesson the Republicans absolutely have refused to learn is that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Rather than learn that lesson, the Republicans repeated LBJ’s mistake time and again.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 19, 2009 10:24 AM
Comment #273826

Mark,

I’m hoping that it is not acceptable for presidents to respond to imperfect or false information, if the result of that response is the death and maiming of American troops, and the deaths and maiming of innocent civilians in the other nation. There is little excuse, barring a direct attack on the physical United States, that warrants invading another country unless the reason is sound and the evidence is overwhelming. We hold life much too cheaply if we allow ourselves to be sucked in by these dishonorable excuses for warfare.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 19, 2009 11:55 AM
Comment #273827

PS:

Mark,

There was evidence that the Gulf of Tonkin information was false, Johnson CHOSE to ignore it. There was no emergency that would cause such a priority…

There was ample evidence that WMD information was false, but Cheney/Bush CHOSE to ignore it. There was no emergency that would cause such a priority…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 19, 2009 11:58 AM
Comment #273834

everyone, please be intelligent about this.
When 9/11 occured, Bush had to go to Congress to get permission to go to Iraq. If the American citizens had really dissagreed with his decision , Congress would have shot Bush’s plan down. Also , if you don’t remember, literally EVERYBODY was right with him when he said he wouldnt let another country or group take advantage of us.
Third and final fact, the president has intelligence agencies all around him, feeding him information that we may never know anything about. Giving him the ultimate decision and all the information he needs to know.

Try and put yourself in his situation, i doubt you could make decisions that everybody would agree with or like.

Posted by: Chris at January 19, 2009 1:46 PM
Comment #273842

Chris,

It is not a matter of making decisions that everyone likes or does not like. It is a matter of making decisions that are wrong or not wrong, and when the wrong one is made, to admit to the mistake and do all in his power to right the wrong. We were with him when he sent us into Afghanistan, because that was just. The Taliban were uncooperative about turning over ben Ladin or letting us in to take him. That left us with no recourse, but Iraq was a different story…he sent us into Iraq on, if you are generous, flimsy evidence, and if you lack generosity, lies. Either way, we were sold a bill-of-goods. It was not a BAD decision, it was an uncalled for decision. He was our president, and it was his job to get that one right. Cheney/Bush just wanted to go in there so badly, they would not take NO for an answer. That lacks honor. The current President of the United States, lacks honor…wow!

Posted by: Marysdude at January 19, 2009 2:45 PM
Comment #273863

Matthews, Olbermann, Madcow, Cafferty and all the other MSNBC, CBS, KGB media folks are going to need to keep bashing Bush to keep their jobs. The American people will be fed up with it in 6 months especially if things don’t get better. It doesn’t matter how much the Democrats and the media continue to blame Bush for everything, the American public has a short memory and they will hold the present leadership responsible. The media outlets that continue to Bush bash will have dwindling viewership. No one wants to focus on the past. Liberals like to focus their hate on a chosen few as it gives them a rallying cry. They hated Nixon and all of his people. They hate Bush, Cheney and Rove in a vitriolic manner. That type of hatred gets old. Olbermann and Madcow will be off the air withing one year. No one will want to watch either of those two continue to Bush bash as we move forward. It has been an industry for 8 years and that industry is now finished. They will try to focus the remaining Congressional Republicans but no one will be interested. I think Olbermann and Madcow should be grateful to Bush otherwise neither of them would have a job. The pendeulum has swung back in the liberal direction. Enjoy it while it last liberal, because it never does!

Posted by: Short Memory at January 19, 2009 6:15 PM
Comment #273866

You do indeed have a short memory, to forget the vitriol of the nineties…Lamebrain, Clouter Farthewell, et al, spat more hate than O and R are even capable of…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 19, 2009 7:31 PM
Comment #273869

David,

Maybe you’re right about the failure of our government to balance and check itself being a crime. I don’t have the legal chops to debate that much, and it would be a legal nightmare to try to litigate it. But you couldn’t just prosecute the president. The republican and democratic led Congresses would be complicit by not defending their Constitutionally mandated stewardship.

Marysdude,

I’m hoping that it is not acceptable for presidents to respond to imperfect or false information, if the result of that response is the death and maiming of American troops, and the deaths and maiming of innocent civilians in the other nation.

To say that the president can’t use imperfect information to make decisions is not reasonable. Any intelligence could be false or manipulated to emphasize one point of view. When the buck stops on your desk you take what you have and do the best you can. The whole world has the rest of eternity to judge you for it.

Of course, when there are lives at stake (American or otherwise) we hope the president will use as much care as possible making his decisions. We have no disagreement that Bush proved to have less than exemplary judgment, but (as far as I know the details of what he was presented with) there were risks of acting and of not acting on reports of WMDs. I’m not ready to call his decision a crime yet.

P.S. There is a difference between legitimate investigation based on evidence of a crime and gratuitous bashing. I have no problem with investigations going forward.

Posted by: Mark at January 19, 2009 7:40 PM
Comment #273875

Mark,

“When the buck stops on your desk you take what you have and do the best you can.”

The buck didn’t even slow down on Bush’s Desk. I think the point David is trying to make is that Bush just assumed that those powers were his to take, and it appears he did so without even a second thought.
As far as Marysdude’s point about false or flimsy intel, I would have thought that the minute that the intel was proved false Bush would have re-thought what he was doing. Instead we got “stay the course”, and a total distraction from the front in Afghanistan.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 19, 2009 8:25 PM
Comment #273884
When Johnson’s ‘giveaway program’ went into effect, did it not do so in order to correct past wrongs and grievances?
Posted by: Marysdude at January 19, 2009 02:26 AM

What past wrongs and grievances are you refering to, Marysdude?

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 19, 2009 9:45 PM
Comment #273886

WW,

What Johnson ‘giveaway’ program were you referring to?

Posted by: Marysdude at January 19, 2009 11:19 PM
Comment #273887

Rocky,

I’ve tried to put myself in Bush’s position to understand why he made some of the decisions he made. His style of governing always seemed to include unilateralism. That was consistent with his born again mentality. But I think something changed after 9-11. That’s when his presidency went all neo-con. And I don’t think that came from him. Bush isn’t as stupid as he sometimes appears, but he was taking a course that I don’t think he really understood. IMHO, Bush taking on powers outside of his sphere was just a means to accomplishing the neo-con agenda Cheney and others had outlined. Scary? Yes. Illegal? I don’t know.

About the idea of reversing course in Iraq. I think once we broke it we bought it. The option to pull back was gone as soon as we overthrew Saddam’s government. The responsible thing to do at that point would have been to do right by the Iraqis. If the war had been managed adequately, we would be talking about Bush’s presidency in a completely different way.

Posted by: Mark at January 19, 2009 11:39 PM
Comment #273892
When Johnson’s ‘giveaway program’ went into effect,

Your words.
You know exactly what Johnson’s ‘giveaway program’ was.

did it not do so in order to correct past wrongs and grievances?

What wrongs and grievances, Marysdude?

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 20, 2009 12:23 AM
Comment #273893

Marysdude,
The Great Society was a great success. “Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and of racial injustice. New major spending programs that addressed education, medical care, urban problems, and transportation were launched… many of them, including Medicare, Medicaid, and federal education funding, continue to the present.”
Wikipedia, “Great Society”

In response to the Civil Rights implications of Kennedy and LBJ’s Great Society, conservatives pursued the Southern Strategy. It was a political philosophy fundamentally motivated by racism. ‘Conservative’ philosophy became whatever satisfied racist impulses. Virtually anything which kept the poor and the minorities, especially blacks, repressed was justified under the ‘conservative’ rubric.

The Southern Strategy was very successful for the conservatives of the GOP. With a nod and a wink, Reagan advocated ‘states rights.’ Everyone understood the underlying racist message implicit in the history of the phrase ‘states rights.’ Programs which helped the poor and minorities, especially blacks, somehow always met with ‘conservative’ opposition. Regardless of whether it was voting rights, affirmative action, or programs to relieve poverty, conservatives opposed it. At the same time, conservatives were perfectly willing to approve of government spending on the military and on corporate giveaways, and the most horrendous repression abroad, although these actions were just as contrary to the supposed philosophy of ‘conservatism’ as the could be.

Today, conservatism is a dying philosophy, and the GOP and regional party with no apparent agenda. Its ethnic make-up is restricted almost entirely to whites- and among those whites, the vast majority are male and southern.

This ‘conservatism’ is a movement which will not be missed.

Posted by: phx8 at January 20, 2009 12:52 AM
Comment #273894

Mark,

It’s not just about reversing policy, it’s about being able to think on your feet, it’s about making changes when they should be made, it’s about not dragging your feet just because you made a decision.
It’s about being engaged.
Much has been made about Bush’s ability to make “the tough decision”.
The truth is it doesn’t mean squat if that “tough decision” was the wrong one, and if a wrong decision is combined with the arrogance of refusing to accept that a mistake was made, the dominoes just start piling up.
The problems in Iraq were evident long before Saddam fell, and they were merely compounded by the obscenely poor preparation prior to the invasion, and the decisions made after he was deposed.
The bottom line here is that regardless of who made the decisions, Bush is where the buck is supposed to stop.
In the end the President is the one responsible.

This man has a MBA, and I find it very hard to believe that there were no red flags during the last 8 years that were the warning signs of where this economy of this country is today.

The truly scary thing about all this is these decisions were made by adults that actually said “they knew what they were doing”.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 20, 2009 1:00 AM
Comment #273912

Mark,

Let me put this a different way;

I have had discussions with David in the past during which I said I am not interested in putting the Bush administration on trial. My point was that I really think that we have much more important problems to solve right now.

In the last few months I have changed my position slightly.
While the problems haven’t lessened, if anything some of them have become more acute, at this point I am in favor of a low key investigation to see if there were actual crimes committed.
What I am not interested in is a repeat of the “three ring circus” we saw with the Clinton impeachment. I don’t think this country needs another feeding frenzy as the press tries and convicts the Bush administration before we truly know what was legal or illegal.

I do think that this country is at a tipping point, and circumstances could push the economy either way. We need to fix the economy, or at very least get the process started before we need to suffer through yet even more distractions.
I also think that we need to get rid of the “rest of the world be damned” attitude that has been so pervasive during the last several years. America is not the only country on this planet that matters.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 20, 2009 11:28 AM
Comment #273921

pdx8, Reagan was ignorant of the “southern strategy” until schooled by GHWBush. If RR had only picked a different vice president, the world might be a better place. Both Bushes will be regarded by history as products and tools of our oil addiction.

On a previous comment about Gitmo staying open for years. That would be a victory for W. BHO had better close it down in a month or less, or it was just another big lie.

Posted by: ohrealy at January 20, 2009 1:43 PM
Comment #273931

Rocky,
Well said. There’s no denying that at some point Bush went to sleep at the wheel. Three cheers for our system where every four years we get to vote for a new president and hopefully a new course.

Let the investigations go forward, if needed, professionally and without partisanship. I’m more interested in what President Obama is doing.

Posted by: Mark at January 20, 2009 4:17 PM
Comment #273944

“Bush’s presidency is done, but some Democratic leaders aren’t finished bashing him yet.”

While his presidency may be done the damage to the country that has happened under his watch lives on. That is still a real problem that must be dealt with. In addition we as a country should learn from this and in order to do so retelling of the events from time to time is necessary.

From wikipedia “Bashing is a harsh, gratuitous, predjudicial attack on a person, group or subject…. it is normally used to imply a sense of uncompromising vehemence and bigotry about the assailant.”

Mark the video you hold up as evidence of bashing falls short of the meaning of the word IMHO. I watched the video and it was very factual and low keyed. It addressed the fiscal legacy the GWB administration and conservatives in Congress left us. It seems that the problem here is the inability of repubs/conservatives to come to grips with the reality of the issue. I would suggest that instead of calling those on the other side of the issue bashers and haters, as you and Christine have done, perhaps it would be wise to reflect where GWB’s unwavering allegiance to party and ideology have left us.

From the politico link:

“The threat of the imperial presidency lives on and, indeed, reached new heights under George W. Bush,” Conyers wrote in the Post. “We cannot rebuild the appropriate balance between the branches of government without fully understanding how that relationship has been distorted.”

To think that because GWB has left office all investigations that have been stonewalled by the administration should end is very elitist if you ask me. This support you show the aristocracy of the nation is, I’m sure, appreciated by them but to those that believe in justice for all it leaves us questioning your motives. I guess my question is this: Should all open investigations nationwide cease as of 20 Jan 09 or just those that may include the administration? What is the logic here Mark? I think the statement by Conyers is a rational explanation of why the investigation should continue. If we don’t learn from these mistakes we are surely going to repeat them.


womenmarine thanks for the link. The article seems to indicate that it wasn’t just a bunch of liberals GWB “haters” in this country that had the vision to see where GWB was leading this nation and to criticize him for it.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 20, 2009 6:18 PM
Comment #273966

j2t2,

I would suggest you go back through and read the conversation we’ve been having if you think I’m for stopping all investigations. I’m glad you watched the video, but you don’t know my argument or my motivation.

There will always be criticism of political leaders and that’s a healthy thing. But what is the motive for piling up the criticism as the target is getting ready to fly off to the ranch never to return? We’ll have a long time to analyze what GWB has done. And clarity will come with time. If these politicians are worried we’re just going to forget what a terrible job Bush did, they are mistaken. One more jab telling us what we’ve all been watching, however tastefully done, does not seem helpful.

“We cannot rebuild the appropriate balance between the branches of government without fully understanding how that relationship has been distorted.”

I agree with Conyers there. But it’s already obvious that the Congressional leadership, including Conyers, are the only people in the world who didn’t see the distortion as it was happening. It happened on his watch.

Posted by: Mark at January 20, 2009 10:19 PM
Comment #273972

Mark I can only judge your motivation and your argument by what you have written and the links you use to support your arguments. As you have been more level headed in past articles I was dismayed to see that you have jumped on the “Bush bashing” bandwagon as you have done in your post. As an example:
“Nothing of what the democrats are now bringing forward appears to contain pointed evidence of any crime, just more of the same politicking and negative campaigning.”
Yet you agreed with Conyers statement which I also think is legitimate reasoning to probe further into the workings of this administration. Were it politics then the Administration could have put a stop to it by requiring the chief of staff and legal counsel to produce the documents. They chose not to and by doing so politicized it.

You referred to these items as “Bush bashing”, yet it is nothing of the sort. To think that because Bush and the others in his administration have left the building relieves them of responsibility for past actions does not serve the American people at all.

More from the Politico link:
“And when House Democrats approved their biennial rules package last week, they included a provision allowing the Judiciary Committee to continue its pursuit of documents and testimony from Bush’s chief of staff and former White House counsel.

This right-up-to-the-end Bush-bashing is part reflex and part coordinated message.”

IMHO it would have been dereliction of duty for this investigation to come to and end because they have left the building without honoring their subpoena to produce documents for the people’s representatives.. This is not “bush bashing” as the article frames it but simply a pursuit of justice delayed because of the breakdown of the Congress during the past 8 years. To frame it as “Bush bashing” is unwarranted IMHO and does the American public a disservice and causes one to think repubs/conservatives believe in a separate justice system for the aristocracy.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 21, 2009 12:12 AM
Comment #273973

It’s not the investigation that troubles me. It’s the timing that gives it the smell of “bashing”. When Alberto Gonzales refused to testify in front of the Congress I waited on the edge of my seat for a response. But nothing came. I assumed it was because Congressional fact finders didn’t have anything substantive worth bringing forward. Now all the sudden Conyers has hundreds of pages to show us. Politics is the only reason I can come up with for the delay.

You’re right though, if an investigation shows that Bush broke the law somewhere and he is punished, justice will be served. But it would have been served better if he was caught in the act. Better late than never, I guess. But I say the dereliction of duty happened months or years ago.

Much of what an investigation would tell us now, the Supreme Court could have squeezed out in the moment if they had been brought into it. The Constitution allows no administration to stonewall at will. If there is evidence of crime in all those pages Rep. Conyers has been collecting over the years, why wasn’t Gonzales forced to testify? Why wasn’t Bush impeached?

Posted by: Mark at January 21, 2009 1:30 AM
Comment #273974

So what political benefit could the democrats possibly have for waiting until now to pursue an investigation they’d been putting off? Here’s one possibility. Maybe it was because they had been so critical about the way Kenneth Starr had gone after Clinton. The respective charges might have been apples and oranges, but with such an important election coming up it would have been foolish to take the chance. You know someone would have drawn the comparison. It was more valuable to the democrats to have Bush hated and seemingly getting away with everything.

Politicians shuffle issues around elections all the time. This time, assuming there is actual evidence of illegal behavior from the White House, it seems Bush’s impeachment was held in committee.

Posted by: Mark at January 21, 2009 2:00 AM
Comment #274042

“You know someone would have drawn the comparison. It was more valuable to the democrats to have Bush hated and seemingly getting away with everything.”

Yet the repub/conservatives did not insist that the subpoenas be honored by the administration? They did nothing to bring the issue to a head and subvert the dems political ploy? I don’t think so.

Anyway Mark I guess my whole point is that this isn’t “last minute Bush bashing” IMHO, it is the Congress doing their job.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 22, 2009 11:30 AM
Comment #274088

It’s true. Those on the “Bush bashing bandwagon” as you call it would defend his actions to the death. I haven’t been listening to those talk shows.

If you don’t like the term Bush bashing then lets call it deathbed repentance. The result, I fear, is the same. Even if there is real evidence of illegal activity by GWB and his administration, I see it as infinitely less likely that they’ll ever be taken to trial now than if this investigation was seriously pursued while he was in office.

Posted by: Mark at January 22, 2009 3:55 PM
Comment #274115

There is no one to ‘whip up the ire’ of America. With Clinton there were several influential and rich/powerful loudmouths on the right to keep the scandal on fire. With Cheney/Bush there is no sponsor and no ‘culture of Coulter’ to keep up the interest or goad an investigation. We Dems are just nicer people…nice guys finish last?

Posted by: Marysdude at January 23, 2009 3:37 AM
Comment #274189

Well, all you liberals on this blog haven’t convinced me you’re all just teddy bears. Maybe you just know conservatives have most of the guns. But I agree that I can’t think of any champions on the left to see that Bush will get his…. Maybe you should put Barbara Boxer in charge of that.

Posted by: Mark at January 23, 2009 6:22 PM
Comment #274232

Olbermann had a good rant on the subject of pursuing charges against Cheney/Bush, and I even believed he was right about it…but, I can’t look at the problems we’ve got, and think about charges against Cheney/Bush at the same time. The priorities don’t line up…just call me apathetic, but I’d like to forget they ever were elected to high office.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 24, 2009 6:51 AM
Comment #274233

PS:

I’m still sleepy, I guess…I should have posted the link if I intended to refer to Olbermann’s rant…here’s the link:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28739674/

Posted by: Marysdude at January 24, 2009 7:00 AM
Comment #274241

“But I agree that I can’t think of any champions on the left to see that Bush will get his….”

On the other hand Mark maybe the champions on the left are just waving good bye to GWB and calling it even. After all he did more to wreck the plan for a permanent republican majority than any one could have hoped for.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 24, 2009 10:42 AM
Comment #274290

On that we can agree.

Posted by: Mark at January 25, 2009 2:02 AM
Comment #274435

Relax Democrats! I’ve not finished bashing Jimmy Carter, yet. Whenever I’m through? Bill Clintons next. Both were complete Presidential, wastes. Both proved beyond a reasonable doubt BS makes the world go round. Especially America!

Posted by: Mark at January 27, 2009 6:37 PM
Comment #274458

Mark,

I won’t bash Cheney/Bush, if those on the right will stop being apologists for him, admit he was a crooked, lying, somewhat demented leader of the ‘free’ world, who enjoyed torturing innocent people, and hated the Constitution.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 28, 2009 6:48 AM
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