Sunday, December 07, 2008

George W. Bush: A Legacy of Lies

Howard Fineman of Newsweek and others have noted that introspection was never a Bush family characteristic. In W's case, I would add a lack of curiosity and a less than average intelligence. The NeoCon blank slate, noted by Peter, instilled in Bush an aversion for government, except as a means to impose absolute power by force of arms, bullying of friend and foe alike, and lining the pockets of powerful special interest friends. As Bush joked to an audience of fat cats, "you're my base."

The results are in and they're catastrophic. In the end, whether or not there was venality is irrelevant -- denial, as they say, ain't just a river in Egypt. The abuse of power, the shredding of the Constitution, the politicization of the Justice Department, the doctoring of intelligence to justify preemptive war, all or any of these are impeachable offenses. That they were never seriously considered during the past five years is not only the failure of a Congress too cowed to take on a president in times of war, Orwellian perpetual war, but also of large sectors of the media that sold out to profits over serious journalism. And ultimately too, of the people who twice elected this … whatever.

What we are seeing in these exit interviews is an astonishing and pathetic attempt to rewrite history, in search of a legacy. Isn't it ironic that the individual tapped to spin the Bush years is none other than Karl Rove? It seems oddly appropriate in a way that the revisionism of the Bush years should be assigned to Bush's chief propagandist, heading the so-called "Bush legacy project."

But it won't work. Karl Rove can't spin, scrub, and sanitize eight years of lies, incompetence, venality, and criminality. As Rachel Maddow said, there are certain inconvenient things called, in Bushspeak, "the internets and the google." Despite this administration's unprecedented secrecy -- its elevation of the national security state pushing the limits of government beyond even what Nixon attempted with "executive privilege," bizarre concepts such the "unitary executive," a pseudo-legal justification for giving the president dictatorial powers, and unrestrained abuse of the Patriot Act to spy on American citizens -- there is in all of this a substantial record to be examined. Records can be spun and interpreted, but they cannot be lied about.

George W. Bush exits (just GO, leave already!) as the worst ever president in American history. That’s my personal assessment, but I honestly doubt a consensus of historians would disagree. True to form, W and loyal sidekick Rove exit much as they entered: lying.


Lula O said...

I'll only miss David Letterman's "Great Lines from Presidential Speeches." He won't have much material during the next four years.
Just saw a replay of Obama on 'Meet the Press' this morning. He was fantastic. Can you imagine Bush is the same situation? Talking with such knowledge, such information, I don't know, actually making an ounce of sense??
I'm afraid all I can imagine is his obnoxious snicker..

PatEsposisto said...

I really hate to see him just walk away from all this without accountability, without retribution. History will tell its story, but that takes too long. *dramatic sighs of frustration over here*