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How Bad Has Bush Been? How Deep is the Ocean? How High is the Sky?

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Headlined to H2 1/19/09

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We are finally coming to the end of the long international nightmare of George W (Whatever I Can Get Away With) Bush and Dick (I’ll Shoot You in the Face, Even If You’re My Friend) Cheney.

That’s what most of America, at least, and the world hope to be the case.

It’s on that note of hope that Keith Olbermann ends his “eight years in eight minutes” assessment of the Bush White House’s years:

“making us act out of fear rather than fortitude

“leaving us with precious little to cling to tonight

“save the one thing that might yet suffice:

“hope.”

Hope is what Obama’s presidential bid was based on and what his presidency will be premised upon. Hope (and revulsion for the Bush Regime) is what moved millions to vote for Obama. This system had to reach further than it’s ever reached to “keep hope alive,” as Jesse Jackson used to say. The system went to a first term black Senator with a middle name of Hussein to keep that hope alive. This system even offered us a GOP ticket that claimed that it also represented “reform,” because the Bush/Cheney White House has been so despised and so manifestly disastrous.

* * *

Hope and change.

It would take eight weeks, not eight minutes, to recount all of the Bush Regime’s transgressions in full (for they have had eight years to do their carnage in and have not wasted any time, even now, when pardons and other further transgressions are still possible). We wrote a book about this (Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney) as did several other authors. Those books are indispensable reading for those who want to understand the sheer magnitude of Bush and Cheney’s crimes and the origins and agenda of their movement.

I’m not going to try to recount all of their crimes here. I’m going to cut to the chase and focus on the most important element of all: the fact that the Bush Regime represents the culmination (to this point), and logical outcome, of the trajectory that began in earnest under Ronald Reagan: Free market and Christian fundamentalists in charge; “faith-based community” dictating over the “reality-based community;” political power untethered from – and openly defiant and contemptuous of - the law.

The rule of law and of reason was replaced under Bush and Cheney by the rule of men.

This is much more dangerous than any of the specific, infamous, and egregious sins of commission and omission by the Bush Regime. For if their transgressions are allowed to pass unprosecuted and unsanctioned, then the precedent stands and has been established. It doesn’t matter if this new administration refuses to do what Bush and Cheney and the US government as a whole have done for the last eight years. It doesn’t matter if Obama ends torture, closes GITMO, ceases rendition, restores habeas corpus, declines to use signing statements and stops the ubiquitous government spying. It doesn’t matter how high toned his rhetoric and how different his administration’s actions and policies. It doesn’t matter if Obama turns out to walk on water. If Obama does not prosecute the Bush Regime’s crimes, if he declines to “look backward” and insists on only “looking forward,” then his presidency is a failure: not only do infamous atrocities go unpunished and the victims of those atrocities go unrecognized, but any future president can do what Bush and Cheney have done and more. The game is over. Checkmate. The wrong side wins.

The explicit declaration that the law is whatever the president says it is, and that the President is above any and all laws, represents a return to Emperors and Kings, to pre-Magna Carta, to feudal conceptions of the nature of political rule where the law was whatever the king or queen said it was.

The Bush Regime is living proof that a presidency that invokes “national security” and “terror” can do any and all things that it wants under the rubric of “protecting the nation,” and Congress and the mass media (even if some of them grumble a little) will co-operate like nervous Nellies and declare: “Here, Mr. (or Ms.) President, have some more.”

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http://dennisloo.com

Cal Poly Pomona Sociology Professor. Author of "Globalization and the Demolition of Society," co-editor/author (with Peter Phillips) of "Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney." National Steering Committee Member of the World Can't (more...)
 
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I couldn't agree more with your position.... by boomerang on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 4:40:09 AM
It seems to me to be absolutely clear by Obama'... by Dan Koch on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 4:45:49 AM
I appreciate your comments very much. Grand change... by Dr. Dennis Loo on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 12:33:06 PM
We have been reliving history, but failed to respo... by Dennis Kaiser on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 7:37:13 AM
I Agree, Agree, Agree.  9/11 was the catalyst... by boomerang on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 9:56:09 AM
Boomerang. Ditto. Dennis Kaiser. Ditto too. ... by Dr. Dennis Loo on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 12:37:46 PM
Bush Didn't Invade Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam.... by Jay Janson on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 12:55:33 PM
Jay: Bush ordered those invasions. He didn't p... by Dr. Dennis Loo on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 1:12:12 PM
"Hey, don't blame me, I was ordered to sh... by Jay Janson on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 1:52:26 PM
Jay: This is a good debate to be having. I believe... by Dr. Dennis Loo on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 2:54:32 PM
I totally concur with everything you've writte... by Larry Retzack on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 1:39:03 PM
A brilliant article Dr. Loo. However, it has no... by Munich on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 2:58:10 PM
If you watched the reaction to Obama's electio... by Dr. Dennis Loo on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 3:09:27 PM
I know alot of people have alot of hopes riding on... by Adam Schick on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 3:18:15 PM
Jay writes me asking that I respond more fully to ... by Dr. Dennis Loo on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 3:59:11 PM
I agree with you Dr. Loo, you cannot blame people ... by Adam Schick on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 5:17:22 PM
I think we do need to take into account the incred... by William Whitten on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 5:37:13 PM
I think there is an even more basic issue underlyi... by Perry Logan on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 5:00:57 PM
Perry, you are correct about the theft of the 2000... by Dr. Dennis Loo on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 5:47:33 PM
Thanks for replying.  I look forward to readi... by Perry Logan on Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009 at 6:06:52 AM
"Is the main problem that they are apathetic ... by boomerang on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 6:43:59 PM
Wow. When people choose to believe that which... by Dr. Dennis Loo on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 7:00:49 PM
I know everybody probably knows this but I thought... by richard on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 7:30:02 PM
Be careful, don't let Rob catch you "poni... by William Whitten on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 8:10:55 PM
Whether it is 9/11 or the the 9/11 economic collap... by boomerang on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 9:58:51 PM
American democracy has, during the eight years of ... by Michael McCoy on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 10:54:22 PM
... well, it's really not much of a secret, bu... by Mr M on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 11:20:19 PM
"We'll sink into crisis after crisis so f... by William Whitten on Monday, Jan 19, 2009 at 11:43:54 PM
American democracy has, during the eight years of ... by Michael McCoy on Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009 at 2:29:05 AM
CLICK HERE:Israeli Psychological Operation "S... by William Whitten on Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009 at 4:00:46 PM
Let him who is without sin cast the first shoe.... by Perry Logan on Tuesday, Jan 20, 2009 at 6:04:15 AM
Dr Denis Loo,Dan Kokh referred you to one of the m... by aberamsay on Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009 at 6:14:54 PM