The Bushies Stole Us Blind ... So, How'd You Like Your Beer?
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Go on. Admit it. You never thought this would end, did you? You never thought they'd actually leave, huh? With only days remaining, you still have nagging doubts, don't you?
Finally. Mercifully. Astonishingly. Incredibly. The insane adventure in national suicide known as the Bush administration is at last coming to an end.
This was a ride that beggars belief. Even after McCarthy and Nixon and Reagan and Gingrich, nothing prepared us for the last eight years, and I for one have difficulty finding the words that could begin to do justice to describing this historical folly of epic proportions.
The list of self-inflicted wounds is endless: running from the fiscal irresponsibility, the lies about war, the incompetent execution of every policy, the extreme recklessness of environmental catastrophe, the economic meltdown, and turning one of the most admired countries in the world into one of the most reviled.
It is a breathtaking record. It really is. Indeed, one might argue in complete seriousness that it would be far easier to list the one or two exceptions to a blanket rule of disaster than to catalogue the endless list of travesties. It would certainly take a lot less time to specify any successes than to climb the mountain of wholesale failures. In short, it literally involves almost no exaggeration to describe this adventure in catastrophic governance by means of a simple covering adage: If there was a way the Bush administration could have diminished America, it did.
Given this endless chronicle of national implosion, I won't try -- for the umpteenth time -- to catalogue the crimes and catastrophes here, despite the fact that this week offers a good opportunity for summing up our world of hurt. There are too many, and they are too well known. Except for those that are not, of course, of which I expect there is a huge quantity. Not for nothing did the administration -- in one of its very first acts in government -- rewrite the rules concerning the release of presidential documents so that it could control them completely, despite the fact that they belong to you and me, and not Alberto Gonzales. Not for nothing has Mr. Cheney's shredder needed sharpening every morning for the last six months.
As tempted as I am to once more list what has been lost by an America that has lost so very much, I will instead confine myself here to two simple, albeit not simply answered, questions: What happened? And, Why?
The first one is easier than the second, although I contend that most Americans still don't know the correct answer. My guess is that most people think the Bush administration has been highly ideological and partisan, and indeed it has. I think they believe the Bush people were largely incompetent at governing, and they were. Many Americans might have a sense of the corruption attendant to Bush's team, and they rightly should. Lots of them probably see the president as simultaneously arrogant and over his head, and they're quite right to do so.
But I'm convinced what most Americans fail to perceive, even to this day, is the true depth of the evil here. What they don't understand is that the incompetence and the partisanship, and even the garden-variety corruption, are the least of what just happened. What they don't get is that the major reason the Bush catastrophe was so catastrophic, is that these people never came to Washington to do good in the first place. They came instead to do well, and boy did they.