Monday, September 22, 2008

A Review of Republican Failure

From the moment I realized that the Supreme Court was going to decide the election for Bush in 2000 and that Florida's elections were fraudulent, to the moment I realized Bush was warned about 9/11 before it happened but ignored it, to the moment I realized Bush also ignored the approach of Hurricane Katrina, despite warnings, to the fact that Osama bin Laden is still free and Bush honestly doesn't care about capturing him, my main emotion regarding how our country is being run has been anger. I am mad as hell at how Republicans have deliberately mismanaged this country, more interested in their own greed and self-interest than in actually governing.

As the nightmare of the Bush years nears an end, it might be worth reviewing the magnitude of the disaster his administration has been on America. This is not an all-inclusive list. There are just too many Republican failures for one person to cover.

As a New Yorker I feel I should begin with 9/11. In many ways I considered myself a transplanted Californian, until that day when the planes hit. It may sound trite, but that day was such a personal as well as national turning point. For me the most vivid memory was from that evening as the ashes of the World Trade Center, and nearly 3000 New Yorkers, fell like a soft snow over my Brooklyn neighborhood. We can never forget that Bush was WARNED about 9/11. The Clinton Administration desperately tried to tell the Bush Administration that it was going to happen. America's intelligence agencies tried to tell Bush it was going to happen. He even had a memo on his desk SAYING "Osama bin Laden determined to attack America," and we even had the whole plan. But he ignored ALL of it. This is in contrast to Bill Clinton actually going after bin Laden before 9/11. This led the Republicans to whine about "wagging the dog" and accusing Clinton of being "obsessed with al-Qaeda." Well, I just wish Bush had been just as obsessed with al-Qaeda because maybe then he would have stopped them. As it is, America was attacked and yet Osama bin Laden is as free as ever and al-Qaeda stronger and larger than ever.

Then there were the deliberate, cynical Republican lies that got us into the Iraq Quagmire. Plus they bungled the invasion! Our troops were ill equipped, poorly treated by the Republican administration, and there was, and still isn't, any exit strategy. (You can read just a tiny sampling of examples of this bungling here). Let's face facts. The Democrats were weak and too easily collaborated with the invasion. But let's never forget that it was Bush, Cheney, Colin Powell (and, THEN Democrat Joe Lieberman, though we finally kicked him out of the party) who concocted and told the actual lies that got us into the quagmire. Democrats, just like the American people, may have been foold, but it was engineered by the Republicans. And in engineering this invasion based on lies, Bush and the Republicans made a conscious decision to virtually abandon the war against al-Qaeda, allowing bin Laden to continue to operate 7 years after the attacks. Seven years after Pearl Harbor we had won WW II, become the dominant force in the world and helped Europe and Asia rebuild.

But perhaps worse than the bungling of Iraq is the gross war profiteering that Republicans have indulged in, including deliberate neglect of problems that have led to soldiers needlessly dying. AND they lied to cover it up. A lot of this is only coming out because since the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives, investigations by Democratic Congressmen have been initiated and allowed to go forward. A little late for some soldiers, but better than the cover ups, lies and war profiteering of the Republicans.

Then there was Hurricane Katrina, where Americans died because of Republican racism, callousness and incompetence. For many Americas, THIS was the turning point, the moment when the true incompetence of the Bush Administration was revealed in a very graphic way. But even worse was the fact that this, and many other incidents like the Minnesota bridge collapse, the failed levees in the Midwest, etc. really was a direct result of the Republican "Drown America in a Bathtub" policy which was enunciated by Grover Norquist. In fact, more often than not, the most incompetent Republicans have been REWARDED by the Bush Administration for their incompetence. Going along with this is my focus on the Katrina 11, the 11 Republicans who supported no-bid contracts for Halliburton but voted against aid to Katrina victims.

Then there is a level of corruption that this nation may never have seen least not since the Harding Administration. Yes, there is occasional Democratic corruption, but a simple breakdown of indictments, convictions and investigations shows clearly that Republican corruption is far, far, far greater, more damaging, and more widespread. And while many Democrats fight corruption within their own party, Republicans have consistently circled the wagons and stood by even their most corrupt members, leaving it to voters to oust them. In fact, John McCain actually CHOSE Sarah Palin for VP even though she is part of the extremely corrupt Alaska Republican Party and is herself actively under investigation. McCain embraces the Republican Culture of Corruption that most Americans find disgusting. I will give some credit, though. SOME prominent Republicans have switched parties because of Republican corruption. This includes people like Pete McCloskey and Clint Curtis.

Worse perhaps than the run of the mill Republican corruption is a highly disturbing trend where far right wing Republican extremists who always go on and on about other people's morality turn out to be pedophiles themselves. There also is even some blatent Republican treason out there.

I can go on. But I am finding this depressing and infuriating enough. If others want to add their own personal contributions to the long list of Republican failures and misdeeds, please add them in the comments.

And remember: McCain has across the board vowed to continue Bush policies. Are these failures really what America wants??? Ask yourself one question: Are you better off than you were 8 years ago? For the vast majority of us the answer is a definitive "NO!"