Saturday, November 1, 2008

Making my case, part 1: parties

For nearly eight years America has been led by a Republican president, and for most of that time there was a Republican Congress as well. The GOP implemented policies that are at the core of its catechism: a government bureaucracy less intrusive toward big business; a tough-guy, go-it-alone stance around the world; and a consolidation of power in the executive branch. Disaster followed.

Today, few would argue that the nation is better off now than it was before noon on Jan. 20, 2001. It’s difficult to understand how anyone would decide to respond to this calamitous period – one that has done severe damage to the country – by rewarding the party in power with another four years at the helm.

An incomplete list of what the presidency of George W. Bush has wrought:

1. At best, Bush distorted the truth to bring the nation to war in Iraq, and once there almost every aspect of the occupation was botched, our allies were ignored, the Geneva Convention was violated, Iran was strengthened, and America was made less safe.

2. The Bush tax cuts inflated the national debt while mostly benefiting the wealthy, and under this president the dollar plummeted, the price of oil skyrocketed, and unregulated greed took over on Wall Street, which is now being rescued with taxpayer dollars.

3. Government agencies were filled with incompetents whose only qualification was loyalty to the president, resulting in politics infiltrating the realm of career civil servants and agencies being unprepared to respond to events like Hurricane Katrina; action was also taken to weaken government programs like the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act.

4. The Constitution has been considered an impediment by the current administration and therefore has been ignored, and as a result Americans are being spied upon, habeas corpus has been suspended, and Bush has exerted the right to ignore more than 750 laws using presidential signing statements, which are clearly illegal.

It’s hard to think of much good that has been done during the two terms of George W. Bush. The latest poll shows that a record-high 89% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. Isn’t it time for a change?

No comments: