By BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Bush is leaving office in the popularity basement, but his checklist of accomplishments is full. Bush has "succeeded in radically changing nearly every facet of government, and always with the help of the Democratic Party." Even when at his nadir in the polls, Bush managed to transfer $700 billion dollars into the pockets of his high-roller banking friends. He has implicated so many Democrats in torture, the party has little choice but to give him and themselves immunity. "It is hard to see how Bush can be considered a failure when the so-called opposition aided him every step of the way."
"Bush, Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell should all be wearing orange jumpsuits."
The soon to be former first lady, Laura Bush, was ridiculed when she recently asserted that history would judge her husband's presidency a great success. It is easy to laugh when she claimed that an Iraqi journalist's shoe attack against George W. Bush was an indication of freedom and happiness resulting from American occupation.
Muntader al-Zaidi, the shoe assailant, isn't free at all. He sits in prison with a badly beaten body but it turns out that Laura Bush was absolutely right. Bush will leave office with an abysmally low approval rating of just 27%, but with a long list of checked off items on his agenda. Bush succeeded in radically changing nearly every facet of government, and always with the help of the Democratic Party. Foolish liberals sneer at Bush and think themselves triumphant when the November 2008 electoral victory is a hollow one at best.
Even as he entered his last few months in office, Bush did not stop to smell the roses and reminisce about the bygone days of 90% approval and an aura of invincibility. The implosion of the financial markets enabled him to strike gold when the Democrats in Congress handed over $700 billion to Wall Street and the financial services industry. The highway robbery was one of the biggest thefts ever committed in history and was carried out without resistance of any kind. Just three months later, half of that money is gone and unaccounted for, making the Bush desire to turn over public funds to wealthy individuals and corporations a dream come true.
"The implosion of the financial markets enabled Bush to strike gold."
Bush has every reason to spend his final days in the White House gloating. He can gloat because his Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, will keep his job in the Obama White House. Karl Rove, chief Bush henchman and architect of election theft, declared Obama's economic team to be "reassuring" while Joe Lieberman called the Obama cabinet "just about perfect."
In all likelihood, Bush wanted John McCain to prevail against Obama, but it just doesn't seem to matter that he didn't. Liberal bloggers snicker because Republican strategists don't know how to attack Barack Obama effectively. They can't attack him because they don't really have any reason to. Obama blessed the Wall Street giveaway and put the deregulation foxes like Larry Summers back in charge of the hen house. He is planning to enact bigger tax cuts than the Bush administration did. He promises an expanded war in Afghanistan and despite his anti-war image, always promised to keep American troops in Iraq.
Bush can be happy about his foreign policy piece de resistance. Israel first starved the people of Gaza and prevented them from escaping or receiving humanitarian aid and now bombs their cities and kills hundreds of civilians. The United States prevents the United Nations from even discussing the issue of Gaza and the American people are once again complicit in yet another violation of the Geneva conventions and international law.
"Obama blessed the Wall Street giveaway and put the deregulation foxes like Larry Summers back in charge of the hen house."
Barack Obama says nothing about Gaza, using the "only one president at a time" excuse to give permission for the carnage to continue into his presidency. Israel knows that when it comes to foreign policy, there is only one party in the United States. That party is joined at the hip with Israel, its partner in crime from one administration to the next.
Speaking of crime, it remains to be seen what form of pardon Bush will give himself, Dick Cheney and the rest of his top aides. Cheney's bold admission that he approved torture is a sign that a pardon is in the works and that no Obama administration investigation is forthcoming. Bush, Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell should all be wearing orange jumpsuits.
They aren't because the Democrats are their willing accomplices. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took impeachment off the table because she should have been on trial alongside Bush. She and other top party leaders were briefed on torture and enthusiastically went along when these violations of human rights and the constitution took place. It is hard to see how Bush can be considered a failure when the so-called opposition aided him every step of the way.
If Bush seems nonplussed these days, it is because he has every reason to be relaxed and cheerful. He can go back to Texas and oversee his presidential library with a feeling of ease and great success. George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote in the 2000 election, is leaving office a very big winner with a successor he can trust to keep his most important policy priorities firmly in place.