The libertarian Cato Institute is about to release a study titled "Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush." It says, "Unfortunately, far from defending the Constitution, President Bush has repeatedly sought to strip out the limits the document places on federal power." While I disagree with parts of the study, I certainly agree with that particular comment.
In the current issue of Rolling Stone, Sean Wilentz, a distinguished historian and the director of the American Studies program at Princeton University, takes a serious look at the possibility that Mr. Bush may be the worst president in the nation's history.
What in the world took so long? Some of us have known since the moment he hopped behind the wheel that this reckless president was driving the nation headlong toward a cliff.
The worst thing he did, of course, was to employ a massive campaign of deceit to lead the nation into a catastrophic war in Iraq — a war with no end in sight that has already claimed tens of thousands of lives and inflicted scores of thousands of crippling injuries.
When he was a young man, Mr. Bush used the Air National Guard to hide out from the draft in a time of war. Then, as president, he's suddenly G. I. George, strutting around in a flight suit, threatening to wage war on all and sundry, and taunting the insurgents in Iraq with a cry of "bring them on."
When the nation needed leadership on the critical problem of global warming, Mr. Bush took his cues from the honchos in the oil and gasoline industry, the very people who were setting the planet on fire. Now he talks about overcoming the nation's addiction to oil! This is amazing. Here's the president of the United States scaling the very heights of chutzpah. The Bush people and the oil people are indistinguishable. Condoleezza Rice, a former Chevron director, even had an oil tanker named after her.
The sins of the Bush administration are so extensive and so egregious, they could never be adequately addressed in a newspaper column. History will be the final judge. But I've no doubt about the ultimate verdict.
Remember the Clinton budget surplus?
It was the largest in American history. President Bush and his cronies went after it like vultures feasting in a field of carcasses. They didn't invest the surplus. They devoured it.
Remember how most of the world responded with an extraordinary outpouring of sympathy and support for America in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11?
Mr. Bush had no idea how to seize that golden opportunity to build new alliances and strengthen existing ones. Much of that solidarity with America has morphed into outright hostility.
Friday, April 28, 2006
From a recent Bob Herbert column:
Posted by Grey Matter at 5:51 AM