16 January 2009

Three Days

I've tried to steer clear of politics since the election. No need for gloating or triumphalism, and I just haven't had too much to say about the transition news, most of which has been pretty inside baseball. But now that the inauguration is imminent, I am starting to get excited. I'm excited to have Obama take office, and I'm excited to be rid of that pathetic failure of a predecessor. I had planned on writing a long vituperative post explicating the evidence that Bush has been the worst president of my lifetime, or perhaps just updating this list from two years ago. But I just don't have the emotional energy for that sort of vitriol just now. I'll let Froomkin say it for me:

He took the nation to a war of choice under false pretenses -- and left troops in harm's way on two fields of battle. He embraced torture as an interrogation tactic and turned the world's champion of human dignity into an outlaw nation and international pariah. He watched with detachment as a major American city went under water. He was ostensibly at the helm as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression took hold. He went from being the most popular to the most disappointing president, having squandered a unique opportunity to unite the country and even the world behind a shared agenda after Sept. 11. He set a new precedent for avoiding the general public in favor of screened audiences and seemed to occupy an alternate reality. He took his own political party from seeming permanent majority status to where it is today. And he deliberately politicized the federal government, circumvented the traditional policymaking process, ignored expert advice and suppressed dissent, leaving behind a broken government.

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Obama's got his work cut out for him -- there's a lot of damage to the country, the government, and the constitution to be put right.

Seriously, how evil were Bush and his cronies? They tried to shut down the Voting Rights division of the Justice Department. Voting Rights. In this day and age. How can you be opposed to voting rights? I do hope there is some accountability for these criminals.

Good riddance, and as Han Solo once said, "I'll see you in Hell."


  1. This is an excellent post. I couldn't agree with you anymore than I do. Thanks for posting this today.

  2. End of an Error.

    BTW I would suggest that more people continue to be involved with setting the agenda and discussing the challenges that we will all face in the coming years. The change.gov website is a good start, but I feel that more action is needed by all of us on a local level.

    Take the word "local" and apply it to all you do. Start with the easy stuff: engage in online discussion on blogs such as this one. Then carry it outside your office or home and engage in dialogue and activism in your neighborhood.

    The coming years will shape us as the next "great generation" or else as the dying gasps of the latest empire to crumble.

  3. They tried to shut down the Voting Rights division of the Justice Department. Voting Rights. In this day and age. How can you be opposed to voting rights? I do hope there is some accountability for these criminals.

    Geez!?!?! Or else maybe since everyone has voting rights already (besides felons and illegals) we don't need to have a special office for it? Just because you don't want to give out subsidies to farmers does not mean you're opposed to farming and just because you don't want a special office for "voting rights" doesn't mean you want people to not be able to vote. I'm PRETTY SURE if you're denied the right to vote for some reason, there would be multiple duplicate offices to handle your problem.

    Arguments like this make the smart look idiotic.

  4. Chicago politics. See you in 4 years.

  5. What is your "hope" with Tom pipsqueak Daschle.

  6. I never understood why people hate Bush so much. Sure he may be bullheaded and stupid but I'd have a hard time calling him evil. Sure he's made some poor decisions and surrounded himself by people whose integrity are quite questionable, but Bush is probably not an evil guy. Cheney? Probably. Who knows. Taking the helm of one of the greatest countries in the world is no easy task and I think that Bush really had the good for America at heart. To hate him for it doesn't help anyone.

    On an aside, why write hateful columns now anyway? The man is leaving office in a few days. Leave him be. Sure, it's fine to criticize and analyze the faults of yesterday, but for productivity sake we should be looking towards the future. I agree with the sentiments of Matla in saying change starts with the self. We should just stop screaming at the TV (or monitor) and do something to change the way things are done.

  7. I don't think that anyone disagrees that Bush has had a lot of challenging moments. In the present, his presidency has been characterized by acute failures rather than chronic successes. However, there are some important things to note. New Orleans was a result of piss poor planning over the course of 20 years right up to the day when Ray "Chocolate City" Nagin failed to make decisions at a local level that could have prevented a lot of death, such as forced evacuations. The destruction was imminent and could not be avoided without, as the Army Corp of Engineers stated, over 20 years of preparation for a Cat. 5. Additionally, Geneva rights are reserved for combatants who don't hide behind civilians as shields. As for the rest of Froomkin's statements, they are fraught with supposition. I suppose that a physician has trouble writing from the perspective of the "unproven" or "unprovable" being that your practice is largely based on evidence, training, and expertise that escapes most pundits. You should probably focus on a revision to EMTALA, medicare enhanced drug plans, health care as a moral obligation (not a right), and the other endless plethora of topics that medicine is facing right now and get involved with the politics of the issues you actually know anything about.

    My grandpa always told me don't hold strong opinions about things you don't understand. Attacks on a man who was legally elected within the tenets of our constitution twice who worked in as much as he was able for the love of his country makes everyone look like a petulant child.

  8. So, wait a minute. Are you saying that Bush was some all powerful god or an idiot? He really can't be both.

    Or, to be more clear and less sarcastic, read some history man. These changes that you are so upset over have been a long time coming. I don't like Bush either, but at least I have an understanding of the last century and the historical changes that have occurred in this country. The president doesn't have half the influence you think he has.

  9. Wow, Dr. SF, for a admitted follower of progressive politics, you certainly have an inexplicable number of Bush apologists reading your blog.

    I daresay they enjoy your intelligent writing--with complete sentences, logical syntax, and damn-near-flawless spelling, no less!--and have had a hard time finding these things at the wingnut blogs. So they come to your blog, and other liberal and liberal-leaning blogs, but then feel compelled by ideology (or religion, or brainwashing, or something) to make ridiculous statements in support of the sociopathic idiot child who, along with his neocon puppet masters, very nearly drove the country off the cliff.

    They just can't help themselves.

    (Let's still hold the criminals accountable, though.)

    P.S. my verification word was guaro, which was a potent moonshine-like drink my older high school classmates used to buy (and then violently regurgitate) when my family and I lived in Honduras.

  10. I'm hoping dissent will still be patriotic after the 20th.


  11. "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

    --Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg war-crimes tribunal

    Sound eerily (maybe even evilly?) familiar? Bush and Cheney either studied at the feet of the masters or, much more likely, worked from an inbred sense of social, political, and material entitlement.

    And I, too, am thrilled for Obama, and for a nation that can once again lay claim to a knowledgable, thoughtful, and compassionate President.

  12. Cool! It's been awhile since I've seen Godwin's Law in action. Commnent #11 is a little early for Godwin's Law, but, when you get intellectually-layzee liberals together talking about George Bush, that's about the average, I think.

    We also have litbrit coming in with "sociopathic idiot child" which is a close second to a Godwin's Law violation.

    Anyone else care to prove my point?

  13. LitBrit - "...make ridiculous statements in support of the sociopathic idiot child who, along with his neocon puppet masters...."

    I hope you can see the irony of your words while describing the "brain washing" of the right-wing readers. Those are some pretty extreme words that don't actually address anything closely related to policy.

    Ridiculous statements are made by both sides.

    Love him or hate him, I hope there are more readers out there who are capable of providing reasoned arguments, not merely ad hominem attacks filled with vapid insults.

    PS - I'm not a Bush fan and didn't vote for the man. I'm also quite looking forward to the Obama presidency.

  14. Actually, I was shocked to find that it was a Nazi that formulated such a downhome truism. I would have thought it something deduced by the Mad Men and handed down through the ranks of the smarmy to where it has landed today -- in the Bush-Cheney White House.

    Proving your point is difficult, Nurse K. I will just give you more room to flail about and overreact. Protest, protest, protest. Oy!

    Please explain, if you insist on proving your point, how repeating the lie (ummm, let's use WMDs. "Iraq as the breeding ground for Al Qaeda," or the yellow cake from Niger] makes it true...

    Please explain, if you insist on proving your point, how repeating the lie makes it true...

    Please explain, if you insist on proving your point, how repeating the lie makes it true...

  15. Bianca, please explain how repeating the mantra, "Hope and change!" will make it true?

    "Yes, we can!"
    "Hope and change!"
    "Si, se puede!"

    Obama is not King. He can not rule by executive fiat (though I'm fairly certain he's ignorant of the Constitution, and is damn sure going to try).

    In point of fact, Obama can't magically make the changes he's promised in four or eight years. Even if he WANTED to, which he doesn't.

    Repeating "hope and change!" ad nauseum will not make it so.

    Being told constantly that he's a brilliant speaker (when he's not-- count the "ummmms" and "uhs")), or a master organizer (actually, he's a Chicago party bully under the moniker "community organizer") does not make it so.

    No matter how much those who voted for him wish it so.

    Repeating a talking point from the PR% dept. of a cult of personality myth does not make it so.

    This guy is woefully, spectacularly under-qualified. We're fucked, good and proper.

  16. Bianca: Really, you don't want to make Nazi/United States comparisons, even if it's a Nazi trying to gloss over his involvement in the regime by saying what he did is no big dealio and happens all the time.

    I'm remembering the "Krackenhaus" exhibit at the Nazi concentration camp I visited where some of the SS-sanctioned medical experiments were discussed (some done by people only dressed up like doctors BTW). The one that comes to mind is the "doctor" who wanted to see if you could bypass someone's bladder by creating a bladder out of a man's hollowed-out testicles. Of course, prisoners' healthy bladders and testicles were removed to conduct this experiment.

    What was the comparison you wanted to make again? This is why Godwin's Law means you automatically lose any Internet discussion. It's basically saying, "Hi, I am completely ignorant as to Nazism AND on top of that, I'm unable to make a sound comparison."

  17. "...as Han Solo once said, "I'll see you in Hell."

    Bring your telescope.

  18. I'm PRETTY SURE if you're denied the right to vote for some reason, there would be multiple duplicate offices to handle your problem.

    Not really, no. Systemic violations get referred up to the Justice Department. And yes, it still happens.

  19. I'll let Froomkin say it for me:

    If you ever decide to do your own thinking, you might want to consider this article.

  20. HAHAHA! "History will show that GWB was right." Oh, stop it, you're killing me. "Mr Bush has been the first to acknowledge his mistakes." Oh yeah, that's honest and fair reporting, isn't it? The man has not to this day acknowledged a single mistake, not even in his "victory lap" of exit interviews. The lack of WMDs? A "disappointment." Katrina? I should have landed the plane.

    Beh. Another Bush dead-ender frantically trying to explain away the manifest failures of the last eight years. Who you gonna believe? Me or your lyin' eyes?

  21. I enjoy your medical observations, but tuned out your sophmoric Obamamania and all attached sentiments long ago. Can't wait to chat about this in a few years, when the dust from the Coronation has settled and you and yours have a collective reversal of your craniorectal inversion.

  22. Oh, stop it, you're killing me.

    This from a guy who actually takes Froomkin seriously?

    FYI, here's a list of former presidents despised by the pseudo-intellectual poseurs of their day:

    T. Roosevelt

    Hmm ... What do these guys have in common? Oh, that's right. They are all regarded by historians (of all political persuasions) as among our most effective chief executives.

    When all the losers who sputter at their monitors about "neocons" and "theocons" have gone to their pathetic little fates, objective people will look at something called "the facts" and make the call.

    No one will ask for Froomkin's opinion, or yours). Indeed, they won't know either of you ever existed.

  23. "Geez!?!?! Or else maybe since everyone has voting rights already (besides felons and illegals) we don't need to have a special office for it?"

    Wow Nurse K All you have shown is a complete and utter lack of knowledge of voter disenfranchment in this country. Ever heard of Jim Crow? How about the voter rights act. Ignorance is bliss.

  24. If you haven't heard, GWB extended the Voting Rights Act another 25 years in 2006.

    People like to use "disenfranchisment" as a political tactic nowadays instead of any sort of legitimate questioning of voting rights. It's been 45 years since the Jim Crow laws were overturned, people. People mostly use the Voting Rights act to require states to do silly stuff like make ballots in numerous languages or allow people with no legal identification (ie illegal immigrants or those who are attempting to vote twice or more) or whatever to vote.

    Again, GWB extended the Voting Rights act another 25 years.

  25. Hear hear. I agree meat man.
    Lets hope the puppeteers don't get to Obama, and keep their string pulling to themselves.

  26. i dont think he is evil; just an arrogant and stubborn man. he's human. that, of course, does not make him a good president, and maybe he's got his values in a place they shouldnt be, but that doesnt make him evil. that makes him, and many of the people he surrounded himself with, people that need to rethink their values. obama being a man with a darker skin colour than the majority of americans does not make him a better president. sure, its historic, but, as an "anonymous" has said before me, he isnt a king, and he certainly will not and cannot make the changes he has promised. just watch this. it may be on a french website, which tells you quite a lot about america, but it is in english. and feel free to click the other clips on the side bar. they are titles in french, but are in english with french subtitles. http://www.lemonde.fr/archives/visuel/2009/01/16/noam-chomsky-regard-critique-sur-l-amerique_1142592_0.html

    and for the record, the "yes we can" or "si, se puede" is something obama stole from cesar chavez


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