I saw that on a bumper sticker with the date 1/20/09. I thought it was clever, and after the historic election we have been through and the epic economic crisis we find ourselves in, it seemed like a good time to jot down my thoughts on the Duhbya years.
I was living in Royal Palm Beach, Fl at the time of the 2000 election. Yes, I voted on the infamous butterfly ballot. I can honestly tell you it was quite confusing, and I was 37 years old, not 67. I remember actually pulling the ballot out of the machine to check which little box had the chad punched out and confirming my vote for Al Gore was accurately depicted.
Our sleepy little postage stamp sized town became famous as the epicenter of the Florida election fiasco. How embarrassing. Who can forget the images of the recount, as counters looked for the voter’s intent via dimples and hanging chads?
After the Supreme Court picked Duhbya to be president, it didn’t take long for the loser of the popular vote to start his ideological, divisive “leadership” style which would remain in place for 8 long years.
First order of business was to sign an executive order to not provide international aid to any family planning organization that even mentions abortion as an option to families seeking counsel. Soon after would be removing the new OSHA workplace regulations that tried to improve ergonomic conditions. Duhbya created a new lovely bureaucratic agency; the Faith Based Initiative. He hired lots of old cronies of his and his dads to fill key roles in the administration, regardless of their ability or appropriateness for the job.
Then he went on vacation. Duhbya will be remembered at least in part, for being our most leisurely president. He has spent more time on vacation than any president in our history.
Sep 11, 2001.
What can I say that hasn’t been said already? I believe that was the last time I cried. The country came together and gave our president unconditional support. Then things got weird. It’s hard to know where the decisions were made, but based on everything I’ve read since, it appears Duhbya was sold a bill of goods. The neo-cons sold him on an ideology of bringing the seeds of democracy to the Middle East. Of using American military and economic might to establish our presence around the world and by doing so, increase our influence, power and ultimately our safety.
What a crock of shit.
Duhbya is not the most intellectually curious person in the world, so he bought the idea hook line and sinker and put in place the worst foreign policy decision in a generation. This is where the spin machine took over and the message was drilled into our heads over and over again. The facts weren’t even important, only the message was. Can you imagine if the president had laid out the case for invading Iraq by explaining the ideology I’ve already discussed? What kind of support would he have for war then? No, he had to scare the living crap out of us. Mushroom clouds over American cities, poisonous gas, maybe even NUKULER dirty bombs. Couldn’t someone teach Duhbya how to say NUKE LEE ER?
Don’t forget he also used Sep 11, 2001 as a great reason to get tax cuts for the wealthy passed. After all, America needed tax relief to spur the economy after the horrible events of 9/11. Thus began the mammoth budget deficits as Duhbya became the first president to cut taxes at wartime.
Soon thereafter, the New York Times broke the story that the government was illegally wiretapping American citizens without a warrant or court order. In other words, they were violating the 4th amendment rights of each and every one of us. The phone companies confirmed they gave the government ALL of our records, and even allowed them to monitor all internet and email transactions. What did Duhbya do? Yell at the New York Times for telling us. His administration promptly went to work to create new laws making it legal to do what they did, and making those laws retroactive. Nice one.
We also found out we were torturing people we had taken prisoner and labeled enemy combatants. We didn’t charge them of any crimes or anything, just picked them up and started water boarding them. Many of them are still being held in Guantanamo even after the government lost several Supreme Court cases regarding their imprisonment and treatment. And that’s a Supreme Court with two Duhbya appointments.
So the Republican Congress passed a law saying enemy combatants were not entitled to question the reason for their imprisonment or challenge their imprisonment in a court of law. Nice one again guys. The rest of the world really liked that one.
The utter incompetence of his early appointments of buddies and cronies would make its presence most obvious during Hurricane Katrina. The president, again being an uninterested chap, didn’t watch any TV coverage of the storm. He was on vacation and his staff had to make a DVD of the news coverage for him to watch. So it took him a few days to realize a major US city was drowning. I’m not saying the president has to personally respond to natural disasters. He only has to provide leadership, which meant hiring the best people for the jobs in the first place, and guiding them and establishing a vision for the organization. At a minimum, watch the news once in a while.
John Kerry was not the best candidate to try to defeat Duhbya, but he came close. He received the most votes ever for a Democratic candidate for president. But he still lost, thanks in part to the evangelical Christians who were mobilized to vote for Duhbya since he promised to amend the Constitution of the US to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. I’ve written previously about the religious and how passionately they vote. I won’t belabor the point, but clearly Duhbya was using the religious as no amendment to the Constitution was ever presented.
So as our debt skyrocketed, our soldiers died, Bin Laden remained free, enemy combatants were tortured, we were all eavesdropped on and New Orleans tried to rebuild, people started quitting the Duhbya administration. As they left, they told their horror stories and slowly but very surely, the American people woke up to the nightmare they were living and realized we had a lousy president who was doing a lousy job and didn’t even care. History will judge him he’d say, long after we’re all gone. Imagine being able to have a job where only 28% of the people who hired you think you’re doing a good job, every metric of performance on which you could complete an evaluation showed dismal results, yet you say “at least when I look myself in the mirror, I know I did the right thing.” I’m going to try that at my job, see how it goes.
The Democrats came back to power in Congress after 12 years of Republican rule. A gay Republican pedophile certainly didn’t hurt the Dem’s. The mandate seemed clear to me; get us out of Iraq and stop this president from taking us any further down the wrong path. They failed miserably at that. They actually allowed him to “surge” additional troops into Iraq, in effect escalating the war and increasing the costs. I know you’re saying it worked, i.e. less people died. Of course it did that, I mean if you fill the streets with soldiers and tanks, and build walls around the various neighborhoods to keep people apart you’re going to get less bloody violence. Not to mention the Shiites and Sunnis had pretty much done the ethnic cleansing of their neighborhoods already. Behold the walled city of Baghdad.
I remember listening to CNBC on the XM one morning and they made mention of a small mortgage company declaring bankruptcy because of delinquent “subprime mortgages.” I’d never heard of a “subprime” mortgage, but I wish I would have taken some action when I heard that. I’m sure I’m not alone in that wish. Slowly but surely over the following year, the credit house of cards came down and started the economic crisis we’re still in. I don’t blame Duhbya for any of that, but he is responsible for creating the conditions that allowed us to get $10 Trillion dollars in debt, requiring massive borrowing in the form of US Treasury Bills to fund our operations. This “borrow and spend” philosophy put us in a deep hole, and we will be trying to dig our way out for the foreseeable future. When the shit hit the fan, what did the administration do? Break out the old “scare the crap out of you” playbook and tell everyone if we didn’t give the Treasury Secretary $700 Billion dollars right now, it would be the end of the financial system as we know it. Holy Shit! Hurry up and give it to them will you?
So we did, and the administration promptly gave away $350 Billion dollars to the biggest banks in the country. They also bought Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and forced the sale of Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, Wachovia and others. Where are the $350 Billion and what did the banks do with it? No one knows. Even the banks don’t know. Reuters asked the banks a few basic questions, like:
1) How much did you get?
2) What did you do with it?
3) Did you use any of it for new lending?
4) What are your plans for the rest?
Not one bank could answer the questions. Not one.
So we elect Barack Obama to replace Duhbya. I covered the debates previously, so I’ll skip commentary on the election itself except to say Thank You to John McCain for picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. That made for great TV. Of course a big round of applause goes to Duhbya himself for laying the groundwork to help elect Mr. Obama.
I for one am very proud of my vote for him. He is a remarkable man, and I wish him well as he comes into the job at what could be argued as the worst possible time. Two wars still raging, a mountain of debt, 2 million jobs lost in 2008 alone, unemployment at a 26 year high, and a total lack of confidence that the government can do anything well.
The latest outrage in the Duhbya Nightmare is the “victory lap” he is taking and has his wife, Condi Rice and others taking with him. The attempt is to try to rewrite the last eight years as positive ones. The idiot even told Charlie Gibson in an interview that his time in the White House was “joyous”. Oh, he isn’t joyous when people like die or lose their jobs and stuff, but overall, yeah it was joyous.
In just about three weeks we will say goodbye to the most unpopular president in our history. To say he did a poor job is a colossal understatement. The 4,210 dead soldiers should haunt him for the remainder of his days, but I know they won’t.
The 25,000+ that were crippled and maimed? Doesn’t bother him.
The countless dead Iraqis? So.
What about the mountain of new debt you have laid on the doorstep of every citizen in our country? What about it?
What about the countless felonies you committed, violating our most precious right, the right of privacy in our papers and possessions without probable cause? Huh?
What about the people you imprisoned wrongly for 7 years of their lives? You had them water boarded! Yeah, so?
Goodbye Duhbya. I’d like to say I wish you well, but I cannot tell a lie.