02 May 2006

Worst. President. Ever.

I think George W. Bush will likely be remembered as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. Of course, it may be a bit premature to say so when he is not even half-way through his second term: there needs to be some time for reflection, to let the collective wisdom of history come to a consensus. Well, just in case “history” has a short memory or a short attention span, I thought I would help it out with a not at all comprehensive list of the scandals, mistakes, incompetence, bad policy, and corruption which, to date, has plagued the Bush Presidency.

In no particular order, Bush has:

  • Expanded spending more than any president in history, and cut taxes, while waging a war, thereby converting a budget surplus to record deficits with no end in sight.
  • Cut the estate tax, dividend tax, and marginal income tax, benefiting the wealthiest, while cutting corporate taxes and shifting the burden of taxation to the middle class.
  • Tried to eviscerate Social Security.
  • Failed to provide for the future solvency of Medicare parts A and B, while expanding taxpayer funding by $1 Trillion for a drug plan which has no source of funding.
  • Signed an unprecedented “Pork barrel” Transportation bill.
  • Never vetoed a spending bill (or a bill of any sort).
  • Allowed workers to go 10 years without increase in the minimum wage.
  • Presided over an economy which has been growing, but has stagnant income for the middle class.
  • Signed the bankruptcy bill which benefits large creditor by making it harder for low-income consumers to get out of debt (while leaving loopholes in place for high-income debtors).
  • Pursued policies which are anti-labor and pro-corporation at every turn.
  • Issued regulations which have weakened worker safety and worker compensation rules.
  • Failed to fully fund the “No Child Left Behind” act.
  • Allowed the number of Americans without health insurance to reach 46 million without any action.
  • Enacted the catastrophic Medicare part D, a giant giveaway to the Pharmaceutical industry but a costly failure to Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Cut Medicaid, weakening health coverage for the nation’s poorest.
  • Politicized science: promoted ineffective abstinence-only policies while opposing condoms, birth control, Plan B, and Ru-486; has also obstructed approval of the HPV Vaccine.
  • Signed an Energy bill, written by industry, containing giveaways to the energy industry but no real energy security for America.
  • $3/gallon gas
  • Allowed ENRON & cohorts to manipulate the energy market, resulting in billions of dollars of costs to states and consumers.
  • Withdrew from Kyoto Global Warming treaty.
  • Politicized science: defunded and suppressed science relating to global warming.
  • Acknowledged the reality of global warming but opposes measures to combat it.
  • Promulgated countless environmental regulations rolling back pollution standards, weakening endangered species protection, and favoring energy extraction industries at the expense of environmental protection.
  • Promoted pro-corporation initiatives such as “Clear Skies” & “Healthy Forests” with dishonest and deliberately misleading names.
  • Issued regulations allowing aging power plants to be rebuilt without updating emissions equipment to modern standards.
  • Lost New Orleans.
  • Cynically used religion and religious activists as a political tool.
  • Demagogued gays as a threat to the family, and endorsed the Defense of Marriage Constitutional Amendment.
  • Spent billions on an ineffective and unnecessary missile defense system.
  • Ignored multiple warnings that might have prevented 9/11.
  • Opposed the formation of an independent 9/11 commission.
  • Ignored the recommendations of the 9/11 commission.
  • Used 9/11 and the war in Iraq for partisan political advantage.
  • Ousted the Taliban, but didn’t put enough troops in to secure and stabilize the country, leaving the warlords in charge.
  • Let Osama get away.
  • Opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, then used its formation as an opportunity for a little union-busting.
  • Indefinite and illegal detentions at Guantanamo Bay.
  • Decided to invade Iraq knowing that it was not connected to 9/11.
  • Lied to the American people about why he had decided to invade Iraq.
  • Bungled the above-referenced invasion.
  • Dishonored American servicemen by openly dismissing the Geneva Conventions regarding torture, creating the environment in which Abu Gharaib happened.
  • Opposed congressional legislation prohibiting US personnel from engaging in torture.
  • Cut Veterans’ benefits.
  • Neglected nonproliferation initiatives and created hostile relations with Iran and North Korea, with the consequence that both are more likely to become nuclear states.
  • Pushed the PATRIOT act and other systematic efforts to reduce the scope of individual civil liberties.
  • Violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by wiretapping US persons without judicial oversight.
  • Inflamed international tensions with belligerent and simplistic rhetoric: “Axis of Evil,” “With us or against us,” “Bring ‘em on,” etc.
  • Withdrew from the Ballistic Missile Treaty
  • Ignored Genocide in Sudan
  • Opposed formation of the International Criminal Court
  • Alienated allies and damaged US credibility and relations with the world community
  • Actively undermined the UN
  • Polarized the political spectrum. Counter to his promise, he has been a Divider, not a Uniter.
  • Expanded power of presidency in an unprecedented manner.
  • Declared through legally dubious “signing statements” that the President has the authority to disregard laws which conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.
  • Declared that the President has inherent powers, never before asserted, and legally questionable, in areas of national security, which are immune to congressional regulation.
  • No accountability for failures at any senior policy-making level.
  • Used fake “news” reports to promote administration policies and covertly paid journalists to do the same.
  • Unprecedented abuse of recess appointment process to evade the Senate’s right to confirm political appointees.
  • Relentlessly expanded Government secrecy.
  • Used selective leaks of classified information for political purposes.
  • Presided over a Republican culture of corruption, including indictments of prominent Republicans within the executive and legislative branches.
  • His Vice President shot a guy.

4 comments:

Flea said...

Besides that he's okay?

Carlos said...

Amen, brother.

On the signing statement issue - apparently this goes back as far as Lincoln, but W has an unprecedented pattern and number of these "you can say what you will, I will do as I wish" statements. His count is at 750 and rising. By comparison Clinton had about 250, and his were not used in a pattern that clearly seeks to extend the power of the presidency, as W has done. ITFA, indeed.

Anonymous said...

ITMFA - Impeach the mother fucker already!

ITMFA!

Anonymous said...

You can also add: Dishonored various world leaders, including the Chinese president, the Israeli prime minister, European politicos, etc.