"Poor President Bush can’t catch a break

There isn’t very much to admire about George W. Bush, other than he has a lovely wife and two wonderful children. The man has lied and cheated since the day his daddy’s friends on the Supreme Court handed the 2000 election to him.

He’s made this country the enemy of the world. He’s wrecked our economy, broken our laws and caused thousands upon thousands of people to die through his imperialistic foreign policy.

Meanwhile, he’s opened up the U.S. Treasury and allowed his buddies at Halliburton and big oil companies to loot our tax money. He’s ruined the name of the Republican Party for decades and will be remembered as one of the very worst presidents in history.

But yet, when a sparrow flew over him and took a dump on him during an outdoor news conference last week, it was hard not to feel at least some sympathy for him. His presidency is in ruins and his legacy is destroyed.

Despite his many high crimes and misdemeanors, George W. Bush isn’t the most evil man in the world. His offenses don’t even compare to the evildoers who are harming our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, it’s very possible that he meant well and he didn’t intentionally cause the national disasters we now face.

In 2000, he ran for office and said he was a uniter, not a divider. There was some reason to believe him. He’d had no stake in the Clinton impeachment fiasco. He’d shown some capacity to work hand-in-hand with Democrats in Texas to accomplish positive things for his state.

After the long, drawn-out recount following the vote, he met with Al Gore and President Clinton and vowed to bring national unity. He promised to appoint a Democrat to his Cabinet and to work in a bipartisan fashion.

He’d been in office only a few months when the horrific events of Sept. 11 occurred. He showed great resolve and courage in the days following the attacks. America was more united than at any time in its history. He led us through the shock and horror of those days and promised that those responsible would pay.

It was at that point where things started to go downhill for him. Whether through incompetence or intent, he focused our resources on the war with Iraq, while Osama bin Laden escaped into the mountains of Afghanistan.

He ruined the good name of Colin Powell by forcing him to give false information about Iraq to the United Nations. Meanwhile, the generals and intelligence analysts who disagreed with the president were fired and slimed by the conservative media.

Since then, things have gotten so bad that it makes one wonder if the Republic will survive this catastrophic presidency. Years of building a military-police state at home and abroad have tarnished our reputation for promoting freedom and liberty. No future president will have enough credibility to persuade other nations to do anything because the current president has presented falsehood after falsehood.

Yet, Bush’s failures are also our own. There is no joy to be found in proclaiming his misdeeds. We allowed them to happen. We let him wreck things. In any other nation, hundreds of thousands of people would have taken to the streets to protest such a blatantly crooked election as the 2000 vote. But most of us were just glad the ordeal had ended.

There are hundreds of examples of our collective complacency that allowed all of this to happen. We are as responsible for this mess as he is.

George W. Bush is a tragic hero of Shakespearean proportions. Faced with one of the biggest crises in American history, he chose the wrong path again and again. When his policies were questioned, he responded angrily that he was the omniscient Decider, the all-powerful warlord who must not be questioned.

Those illusions are all gone now. Bush looks weary and defeated these days, drained of energy and having no idea what to do next. The problems he faces are so intractable, and his opposition in Congress so strong, he has little choice but to serve the remaining months of his term as an irrelevancy, a man proven wrong so often that even any good intentions would be disbelieved.

Like his fellow Texan, President Lyndon Johnson, Mr. Bush will return home a bitter and broken man, despised at home and abroad. His remaining years will be spent in reflection of what went wrong and how he could have avoided his many mistakes.

None of this excuses the mistakes Bush has made as president. We will be paying for them the rest of our lives. But it does make one feel sorry for the man who could have done so much good and ended up such a miserable failure.

That’s why it might not be a bad idea to say a prayer for George W. Bush. His troubles are many and his friends are few. He needs our prayers just as much as we need January 2009 to hurry up and come. 



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