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Bush: Still the worst. Still around. We’d better pay close attention…

It’s easy to get caught up in the nomination horse race and forget that the worst president in history is still on the job. Yes, he’ll be gone soon enough – but that doesn’t mean he can’t keep doing great harm until then. Think about it: It was only a few years ago that Canada was looking awfully attractive. 2004 was very dark indeed. I like to keep my posts brief so rather fill this space with a laundry list of “misdoings” to remind you of those dark days here’s a ready-made Google search for you. It’s got 3.2 million results. Go nuts.

bye bye bushSo here we are in the final stretch and we survived – so far, anyway. A lot of folks – myself included – are breathing easier knowing that January 2009 is getting closer. I think one of the reasons (among many) that there’s no mass demand for impeachment is because of sheer Bush exhaustion. People have decided to wait for him to just go away.

But he’s not gone yet. This week comes a reminder of how nightmarish those early years were when it looked like Bush and Co. were unstoppable, when we could only imagine the kinds of things that might happen next, when up was down, and we wondered if we’d lost our own country. This reminder was Bush’s veto of the Anti-Torture bill. The NY Times explains:

Mr. Bush vetoed a bill that would have explicitly prohibited the agency from using interrogation methods like waterboarding, a technique in which restrained prisoners are threatened with drowning and that has been the subject of intense criticism at home and abroad. Many such techniques are prohibited by the military and law enforcement agencies. He unflinchingly defended an interrogation program that has prompted critics to accuse him not only of authorizing torture previously but also of refusing to ban it in the future.

I’m not going to use this blog to explain why this is horrific beyond expression. Suffice it to say torture is immoral, un-American, and illegal. It makes us much less safe. It doesn’t even work, if that’s an important consideration for you. Yet here he is again, continuing his “legacy”, which is a legacy of torture. You’d think a man who professes to have found God would think twice. I guess he’s worked his way around that inconvenience too.

Reading about this week’s veto brought back with full force that “world-is-upside-down” helplessness from 2002 when I watched even my thoughtful friends taken in by administration manipulation. It was maddening, like living in some kind of bad science fiction movie. It wasn’t all that long ago. And let’s be honest here: If it hadn’t been for what can only be called outright administration incompetence, we’d be living in very different circumstances right now.

History is often a frustrating story of mistakes repeated. It’s possible that we’re making a serious one right now by assuming that the nightmare is over. But the truth is there’s plenty of hours left until daylight. I can’t shake the feeling that these guys are not going to just go away quietly. It’s very possible they’ll take advantage of the public’s distraction to pull off a few final moves. Will it be Iran? Check these very disturbing words from the Baltimore Sun:

Ominously, Adm. William J. Fallon, who had strongly opposed the idea of attacking Iran, announced his early retirement yesterday. The fact that most Americans seem to believe the threat of such an attack has receded may actually make it more possible. Officials in Washington could easily take the lack of sustained public and political protest as a sign that citizens don’t really care whether the U.S. launches this new war.

Scary indeed. It’s kind of like when someone you love goes through a terrible illness, and just as they emerge from danger you get the news about a relapse. In this case that “someone” is our country.

We might be in for a bumpy ride to the finish line here. As the legendary Bernard White from Pacifica’s WBAI used to say, now is the time to “stay strong and pay close attention…”

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March 12, 2008   |  Filed Under Political   |    Permalink

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