|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Friday, May 26th, 2006
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|It takes a big man to admit he was wrong, and that’s just what Mr. Bush did at a recent press conference with British PM Tony Blair. Choosing just where to start taking responsibility would have perhaps stymied a lesser man, because our President’s catalogue of failure is epic in scope and catastrophic in nature:
From the record budget surpluses and low unemployment of the Clinton years, President Bush’s economic policies have created both an $8.3 trillion budget deficit and stubbornly high real unemployment. Our foreign trade gap is at a crippling all-time high. The income gap between the rich and everybody else is dangerously wide; fueled by the administration tax and wage policies, it’s growing wider all the time. With a military budget in excess of half a trillion dollars a year, the Bush administration has diverted national resources from productive and economically sound uses into the pockets of defense contractors on a grand scale.
The Bush energy policies, crafted in secret by Dick Cheney and a cabal of energy industry tycoons, have simultaneously produced ruinously high energy prices, increased wastage of energy resources, and greater dependence on terrorism-financing Middle East oil. National security, the economy, and the environment have all been severely, perhaps irreparably, damaged. Meanwhile those oil industry tycoons are pocketing the profits.
The Bush war on terrorism has increased both the number and ferocity of terrorists, even while the Bush energy policies (see above) have immeasurably enriched the terrorists’ coffers. Iraq has become a model Al Qada recruitment and training center. The Taliban has retaken control of vast swathes of Afghanistan. Both the Al Qada and Taliban leadership remain at large. We remain as vulnerable to terrorist attacks as we were on September 10th, 2001.
The Bush foreign policy has succeeded in turning the United States, formerly the world’s champion of liberty and democracy, into a hated symbol of repression, abuse, and bullying militarism. While alienating former allies like Spain, Germany, and France, Bush foreign policy has simultaneously increased the virulence of foes like North Korea, Iran, and Russia. We’ve ceded influence in Asia to the Chinese, written off Africa, and made enemies all over Latin America. The Middle East conflict has worsened and genocide continues unchecked in the Sudan.
The Bush administration spies on its own citizens to no purpose. Its neglect of health care policy has created a national health crisis. Its educational policies have closed public schools, eliminated academic and after school programs, increased the drop-out rate, weakened our public universities, gutted Head Start, and made the attainment of good education more difficult for everybody but the rich.
The Bush administration contempt for the Constitution has led to the erosion of civil liberties, the weakening of the separation of church and state, and the undermining of our system of checks and balances. Mr. Bush’s contempt for good governance has led to the debasement of every agency and department of the government, resulting in catastrophe in the Gulf states, death in the nation’s mines, and the truly despicable abandonment of the military veterans he pretends to honor.
But Mr. Bush isn’t sorry about any of this. Taking responsibility for his policies doesn’t daunt him a bit. The buck stopped at President Truman’s desk, but for President Bush there is no buck at all. The president doesn’t regret any of his actions, but he is very sorry for his choice of words. Telling the Iraqi insurgents to “bring it on” and calling for Bin Ladin’s capture “dead or alive” was a big mistake. "Kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner"* Mr. Bush admitted.
Would changing his tone have avoided the serial catastrophes of his presidency? Absolutely not. But at least Mr. Bush would have sounded a little more sophisticated. For the Connecticut Texan, all swagger and no brain, all talk and no thought, all hat and no cattle, that must be mighty important.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2006
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