Monday, January 12, 2009

Farewell To All That

That being the Bush administration. I'm holding my breath and crossing my toes and hoping that we make these last eight or so days safely, because I firmly believe that George Walker Bush is a very dangerous man. If you are still unconvinced, read about his last press conference and all that he has NOT learned.

Of course the real blame must be shared. Shared by voters who wanted a leader who would never, ever change his mind for any reason whatsoever, and who confused that with leadership. Or voters who wanted a godly man as a leader, which turned out to be a man who thinks that god talks to him in private. Or voters who decided that they would never vote someone smarter than themselves into that office and that beer and hot dogs was the way to judge someone's suitability in leading the so-called free world.

The blame must also be shared by those in the Republican Party who let a fanatic and out-of-touch neoconservative faction take over all practical policies, thus turning them into one the greatest engineered social and political experiments of our times, with a death toll in the hundreds of thousands (at least). That fanatic and out-of-touch neoconservative faction, with its free-market religion, also had its hands in kneading the dough from which our current recession was baked. So when we don't get our daily bread, remember why not and avoid that same mistake in the future.

And the blame must surely be shared by the Democratic Party, too, those who sat quietly, triangulated furiously and cowered helplessly in the shadows while trying to save their own political careers from oblivion. Never mind that the country itself has turned towards Oblivion on its arc through history.

Last but not least, the media (with few exceptions) has spent the last eight years pressing Bush's head against its collective bosom, instead of alerting us to the dangers of the heedless policies of the government. It took several major disasters for any of that to change. I hope the media stays on their toes and aggressive in the future, even though it will look as if Obama is getting a shabbier treatment than Bush did. Indeed, I hope that all future presidents will get a shabby treatment from the press, if by 'shabby' we mean a vigilant and critical stance.