I don’t really like writing or talking about how awful George Bush is, because it is a line of discussion a lot of very self-righteous enjoy engaging in and I hate self-righteous people. Nonetheless, I am not going to let that crummy bastard slink off to Texas without getting in a last word for posterity’s sake, just a quick little rant to remind myself of how awful he was 30 years from now…
It is and has been very fashionable for a while now for people to call George Bush the worst president ever. I have heard and read this claim made in lots of places, but I find it a difficult one to swallow. I doubt whether many of the people making it had to suffer through the Harding years or were sitting around the kitchen table in 1861 cursing James Buchanan’s domestic policy. So I won’t call George Bush the worst president ever, I’ll just call him a disgraceful dumb fuckup who did more damage to human civilization than three Mount Vesuviuses. It was a terrible thing to have to enter adulthood under his reign. I have spent a full 30 percent of my life living under this man’s rule and I know I am worse for it on a personal level in ways that I cannot quite explain or understand. He has left a horrible scar on my psyche.
I doubt George will ever recognize his own shittiness, or, if he does, care much about it. Idiots rarely make time for self-reflection. I really like to think in my own head, that one day, while he is clearing brush on his ranch under a hot Texas sun, he pauses, looks out over the prairie and have the realization of his own disgracefully terrible performance whack him on the cerebellum. Maybe he will catch a glimpse of this in his own head, but I doubt that will ever happen. He is a mean, petty, inept criminal, and if there were any justice in the world, his last trip out of the White House would be in the bed of a garbage truck.
We got what we deserved with W, and so did the Republican Party who enabled his Jesus-fueled policy for all those years and rode his coattails to victory in 2004. The pricetag for that was high for the GOP, and the check came due on a Tuesday last November, when the electorate decided it was downright giddy over a black man with a Muslim name compared to anybody with a R next to their name tag.
My grievance list is long: A shattered economy, a never-ending meat grinder war in the Middle East against a bunch of sandaled Muslims, a 10-trillion dollar deficit, a systematic dismantling of consumer and environmental protections, the fear of having a government that is not only listening to and watching you but might well yank you off the street and ship you to Jordan to have your bones beaten into jelly with copper piping in the name of fighting terror. He named some horse groomer as FEMA director and then said he was doing a “heckuva job” as a major American city drowned and the survivors ate each other. He denied global warming, made it easier to dump poison into the skies and water, raze national forests, and dump coal sludge into rivers.
It would be unfair to blame the man for the ruination of freemarket capitalism that is underway, but it is a much more shameful reality that George’s economic policy was purely formed for the benefit of a permanent aristocracy, the people sitting on the tippy top of one of the largest disparities of wealth in the history of mankind. He bent the machinery of government to provide the most help to those who need it the least. This was apparently not a source of any embarrassment for him, nor for his backers. If he ever once mentioned the poor or the homeless, or did anything at all to benefit them, it was purely by accident.
In the end, everything he touched turned to poison. He couldn’t even come to his own party’s convention in his last year, no one wanted to see his hideous visage. He plunged from a 90% approval rating to the point where not even a GOP candidate running for city clerk in Branson, Missouri wanted to be seen with him.
It is hard to squander that much goodwill. Even if he ran around the front steps of the White House naked with but a dashiki on burning an American flag, his approval rating would be higher than it is now. He made America hated, more hated than it has ever been in its history. Everyone who voted for him in 2004 ought to have to walk around with a big red “W” emblazoned on their breast for ten years.
He is a national failure, a stain on our collective soul that will never be erased. We had a fine chance to send him back to clearing brush in Texas in 2004, and if only we had realized that this was a task he was much more suited to in both temperment and intelligence, a lot of the hideousness of the last four years could’ve been averted. We could’ve closed the book on him and we didn’t. It would be a great thing had we learned our lesson then: that perhaps electing the man who claims to be closest to Jesus solely for that reason alone may not be the best public policy, and that perhaps it is not shrewd to elect a low-rent pampered dunce for the highest office in the land. Let alone twice.
The consequences for massive failures in jobs like Investment Bank CEO and American President are not so harsh as they are in the rest of the world. George will retreat down to Crawford with Laura, his dogs, and a permanent Secret Service detail. He will sit on his $6,700 leather sofa in the afternoons and watch football and drink near beer and think about his time in office, when he was the Most Powerful Man in the World, when he was whisked around the world in a 500 million dollar jet and up-armored V-12 limousines capable of stopping a .50 caliber shell at close range. His per-hour speaking rate will be about 1/8th of Bill Clinton’s and he will grow old, waiting for the screws of history to turn him in a favorable light.
Again, I think he is too stupid to really truly grasp what a scar he has left on the arc of human history… but maybe that doesn’t matter. He is gone now and no one is jumping to answer his phone calls. It took me eight years, but in the final 20 minutes of the Bush presidency I got to boo him. I booed and booed and booed. Friends said I was nuts, that there was no way he could here me, but so what? They missed the point. I wanted to throw my shoe at his helicopter as it pulled away over my head, but it was too cold out and I shook my fist and watched it fly down the mall towards the airport instead.