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Counting the Days ... Again

By       Message Stephen Pizzo     Permalink
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(Article changed on November 16, 2013 at 17:16)

From 2000 to 2008 we had an administration that had a lot of really bad ideas, but were unusually good at getting put those ideas into action. 

Now we have an administration with some pretty good ideas, but who are unusually inept at execution.

  The more you compare the two administrations, the more depressing it gets. The W. Bush administration was able to roll right over Democratic Party opposition and get some remarkably audacious things passed through Congress: 

  • A law cynically named, "Clear Skies" that allowed industry and power companies to shove more, not less, pollutants into the atmosphere.

  • They got breathtakingly enormous tax cuts for the wealthy, cuts that gutted the US Treasury and ballooned the national debt.

  • The Patriot Act, the most aggressive assault on America's core freedoms since Lincoln suspended Habeus Corpus during the Civil War.

  • Gained Congressional authorization for America's first "preventative war" against Iraq by lying about WMD.

  • Though the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will ultimately cost the nation over $2 trillion, the W. Bush administration got congress to authorize them without budgeting for them. In other words, they said, "just charge it." And Congress did just that.

There was more, of course. The entire premise of the W. Bush administration was based on their belief the president was a  "unitary executive" theory. It's the theory of American constitutional law empowers "the President who controls the entire executive branch. (and) ... that Congress's power to interfere with intra-executive decision-making is limited, and that the President can control policy-making by all executive agencies within the limits set for those agencies by Congress." (Wikipedia)

  When the W. Bush administration wanted something, be it domestic or foreign policy, they steamrolled it through congress. They fought for their ideas, bad as they were. And they got what they wanted almost every time. They weren't deluded by highfalutin notions of "bipartisanship." They knew the Democrats were out to get them, so they got them first.

  After that disastrous experience, the nation decided to send a more thoughtful guy to White House, Barack Obama. Unlike W. Bush, Barack could string coherent sentences together forming real paragraphs that, unlike Bush's, actually made sense when english majors diagramed them.

Oh we were ever so relieved! Gomer Pyle was no longer running the world's most powerful nation.

  And Obama seemed ready to push through some much-needed and long overdue legislation; immigration reforms, military de-escalation, a rebalancing of the nation's tax system, stronger financial regulation. 

  Oh, and healthcare reform, which became his signature piece of legislation. 

  Wow! If the Obama administration was half as aggressive, and ruthless, as the W. Bush administration had been, a new, better, brighter and more egalitarian America was just eight years away.

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a (more...)

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