Thursday, September 02, 2004

Four more years!

Just a quick Bushian rant: I hear the common refrain chanted every election cycle with an incumbant: "Four more years! Four more years!" This time around, I have to question whether the people mindlessly chanting that purile statement give any thought whatsoever to what that acutally means.

Generally elections with an incumbant president are a referendum on the incumbant...either people want to give him another term, or they decide they didn't like the results of the first term, and therefore want to change by electing someone else. The incumbant, therefore, if he (or she, someday) is a strong candidate with a legitimate four year record to run on, generally runs on a "I was great already, vote for me again" campaign message, while the challenger has to run on the "the other guy is a _________" (insert quasi-slanderous, below-the-belt, personal attacks here) message. The challenger is the "unknown" entity, in theory at least. That's what makes this cycle so fascinating...Chimpy doesn't HAVE any positive record to run on. He's got about a 6 month window of "heroism" after 9-11 (I put "heroism" in quotes because I don't believe there's anything really heroic about simply doing your job...was I hero because I showed up to every single class for an entire week? methinks not), when his approval ratings shot up to 90% or higher. But other than that (misguided, in my opinion) small chunk of time where MIMS was seen as being our strong, awesome, stupendous, bitchin' leader, his admininstration has been utter dog crap for anyone not white, male, and rich. By every objective measurement (except one, which I'll refer to below), this admininstration has been a failure:
1. the level of people (and children...always for the children!) living in poverty has risen by over a million people just in the last year, and that doesn't include the large increase in such people EVERY YEAR of bush's admininstration.
2. our national "checkbook" has gone from having several trillion dollars of surplus to several more trillion dollars of three and a half years. you can only pay for government spending sprees in two can borrow against future generations' tax rates (and quality of life, i.e. the social support structures that are currently in place), or you can raise taxes now. bush chose to CUT taxes, and therefore you, and I, and my kids, and your kids, and my grandkids and your grandkids will be paying for this fiscal theivery.
3. the number of people employed in this country has fallen quite a bit since bush took over.
4. the number of bankruptcies is up, big-time, over the last three years.
5. the number of people who don't have insurance has skyrocketed over the last three years, again including large #'s of children, who are the ones who get the shaft on that kind of thing, and who in turn end up costing society more as a result...sick kids in school=less educated kids=less kids who are employable, etc.
6. on a global level, the admininstration has just, very quietly, come out and admitted that well, yes, perhaps global warming DOES exist, and perhaps we should think about doing something about that...while at the same time pushing forward changes that would gut our environmental (air, water, and soil) laws here to allow more pollution in the sake of "progress."
7. we're now engaged in two hot wars (that we know about), with a third one gathering on the horizon (SURELY bush wouldn't be dumb enough to invade Iran during a second term. Would he? attention to the news...the admininstration is already laying the groundwork to build public support for "we HAVE to invade iran, RIGHT NOW!" based on concerns about nuclear weapons. either that, or isreal will strike iran, and iran will strike back, giving us an excuse to jump in as isreal's defender and ally...god, i hope i'm wrong).
8. those wars are wars without any kind of foreseeable end...and in a moment of surprising candor, bush admitted as such when he said "i don't think you CAN win the war on terror..." Ummmm...that's funny...a former history teacher in texas has been shouting that for four years now, but no one seems to want to listen! you can't win a war on ideology or a tactic, and terrorism is both, markedly different from fighting a war against another state.
9. bush has taken the immense good will that the rest of the world felt toward us on sept. 12, 2001 and taken a big huge dump on it, effectively telling the rest of the world to eff off. a world 200 years ago, we might have been able to do that; not today. we're too globally connected and interdependent to do that...did you ever notice that much of our manufacturing is now done somewhere other than the u.s.? if world war III went down (heck, if world war II went down today), we would be in a very serious way, very quickly, because we dont' produce such a vast amount of our own goods...we won world war II not because we had better equipment than the nazis and japanese (their technology was generally superior to our's) but because we could crank out many times the amount of stuff that they could, so when we lost 100 tanks it wasn't as big of a deal for us as it was for the germans. today, because he has "legitimized" the "strike first" mode of warfare, we have no moral ground to tell any other country that they can't strike first to defend themselves, even if the threat from which the country is defending itself is a phantom, manufactured threat.
10. the separation between the rich and the poor has accellerated at an alarming rate, spurred in large part by tax policies deliberately skewed to balance the lion's share of the tax burden not on those who can afford it most, but on those who can afford it least...the middle class (i.e. you and me.)
11. the level of hatred and animosity in this country is so great that i can bearly even stand it, and i blame bush for that as well.

These aren't mindless, made-up "librul, moran, conspir-uh-cees" (note: "moron" is intentionally misspelled, thanks to some Freeper's sign), these are simply objective statistical measurements of the country at this point, and where we were three and a half years ago. Well, at least most of the above is...I don't have any data to back up the fact that we can't ever win a war on terrorism, but the current war on drugs, and Johnson's war on poverty went so stunningly well that I think I can safely crawl out on that limb. I also have no empirical evidence to support the idea that the hatred and animosity in this country is "great" but anecdotal evidence will suffice there as well...see, e.g. NYC right now.

There is one statement that Bush can make and rightfully claim, and that is that there has not been another terror attack here in the U.S. since 9/11. However, that overlooks the fact that BUSH WAS THE PRESIDENT ON 9/11, AND THE SECURITY FAILURES INHERANT TO THAT CATASTROPHE THEREFORE FALL ON HIS SHOULDERS. So, to claim that Happycrack has kept us safe from terror, is by definition, bullshit.

Hence, I have to ask myself, when hearing "Four more years" echoing from the walls of Madison Square Garden...Four more years of WHAT? Do you really WANT four more years of bodybags...errr...sorry, transfer tubes...coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan? Do you really WANT more...transfer tubes coming back to Dover AFB, stamped "Iran" or "Syria" or "China" or "Korea"? Can you honestly say to me that having a country on the express train to bankruptcy is a GOOD thing? Are you going to tell me that you want another four years of a man who believes that he can do no wrong because he's doing God's will with his hands on the tiller of the ship of state?

It makes me think of the immortal Top Gun line: "Son, your ego is writing checks that your body can't cash."

Time's up, Incurious George. Go cut some shrubs.


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