As soon as Bush slithers out of the Whitehouse, the next president, presumably a Democrat, unless the Dems totally screw up, will have a huge cleanup job.
The task of cleaning up Bush's mess is one of mythical, Herculean proportions. Hercules came to a creative solution that was totally outside of the box.
Hercules was ordered to clean the stables of King Augeus, which had not been cleaned in years. This is an image from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia (approx. 460 BC) portraying Olympia advising Hercules on how to clean the stables by diverting a river to course through the stables. The new president and the 111th congress will need to be equally creative and out of the box.
Hillary and Barack both talk about the mess they'll need to clean up. It would be useful to put together a list of things to-do, to recover from the Bush-Cheney disaster.
Here's my shot at it. I'm hoping you'll help fill it in using the comments.
-Get projections of the impact of continued problems caused by Bush Admin policy and widely report them as soon as possible so the public knows what to expect and who to blame.
-Reach out to leaders who are further left than your inner circle in building your team. Liberals and progressives are a growing portion of the population. If Obama is the winner, then part of his defeat of Hillary will be a repudiation and rejection of the right wing DLC policies she championed.
-Dump all of Bush's political appointees. Do it immediately, in the first weeks in office. These political hacks, many former directors or lobbyists for industries they are supposed to regulate, have little or no retention value. Fire them all on Day One. Use career employees temporarily, replacing them with qualified appointees as soon as possible. Draw upon leaders who have advocated for stronger regulation.
-Urgently re-evaluate all the most important statistics used to report key numbers the people, businesses, industries and others depend upon. Identify changes in policies for calculating those numbers. Assume that Bush and Cheney have used statistics and revisions of the way things are counted to mislead and lie. Re-calculate them using the older, former formulae and policies to see just how bad the situation is, compared to the lies, distortions and deceptions Bush and company have perpetrated.
-Call for whistleblowers. Declare a period where whistleblowers are safe from repercussions and will be secure in their jobs. Ask them to identify any partisan activities, any policies of hiding or partially reporting important information. Congress should hold hearings on this. Whistleblowers should be offered large rewards for coming forward.
-Convene meetings with consumer, environmental, social justice organizations to identify abuses of the Bush admin and the 107th, 108th and 109th congresses that might be quickly reversed.
-Start investigations of all missing monies-- Iraq reconstruction funding, military, New Orleans/Katrina, 9/11.
-Set up a new, unimpeded 9/11 investigation.
-Call for congress to re-submit, immediately, all the bills that Bush vetoed.
-Reverse Every signing statement Bush wrote against laws passed by the 110th congress. Take a look at all the signing statements Bush wrote. See if he violated any laws passed by congress. Put all laws passed by the 109th and 108th congress under close scrutiny.
-Replace Mukasey with a tough, honest attorney general charged with investigating the corruption in the justice department first thing, with the target of prosecuting any and all who engaged in partisan political corruption.
-Bring in a replacement for the Secretary of Defense who will be tough and honest in appraising the current situation at the pentagon and in Iraq. Assume that the current top brass wave been promoted because of loyalty to Bush and that they are just about worthless.