Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ten Things Bush did right?

Over on CK's blog, he has listed the 'Ten Things Bush Did Right.'

I find myself unable to agree with more than one of them.

CK claims (and I respond):
  1. He stood against global warming. Which has proven to be a prudent decision. Standing against a popular theory because of conflicting evidence is heroic. Standing against a popular theory because you're knee deep in shenanigans with the oil industry and Saudi Arabia is merely self serving and crooked. While some have claimed that 2008 is the year 'Global Warming was Disproved', I don't think that had anything to do with Bush's 'stand.'
  2. He enhanced interrogation of terrorists. He condoned torture. How anybody could possibly claim that this was a 'good' thing is beyond me. Civilized societies don't perform torture. A society that condones torture to 'protect' itself isn't a society worth protecting. At least John McCain (the only Republican who's actually BEEN tortured) had the guts to stand up and attack this absolutely indefensible precedent.
  3. Rebuilt presidential authority. For a start, the reins of power in the Bush administration were held by Dick Cheney. An incumbent President who defers to his Vice President isn't exactly wielding much authority. But consider other actions Bush condoned - helping cover up the conspiracy to 'out' CIA agent Valerie Plame, dismissing US attorneys for political gain, misleading the public into a costly foreign war and leading the country into the worst economic crisis for a generation. His was a presidency of cronyism, deceit, fraud and disrespect towards the American people and the beliefs outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
  4. Unswerving support for Israel. I will admit, my sympathies are generally towards Israel - I have Israeli friends and I can understand that they can't exactly sit on their hands when Hamas or Hezbollah are firing rockets at civilians. However, as far as the diplomatic situation in the Middle East goes, this 'unswerving support' for Israel is one of the major sticking points that has left America open to terrorism. Unswerving support isn't what Israel needs. It needs support dependent entirely on responsible behavior.
  5. No Child Left Behind. While No Child Left Behind has seen test scores improve, Bush let the side down by supporting billions of dollars for totally ineffective abstinence-only sex education, which left many teenagers with children of their own! In addition, he allowed the religious right to force their propaganda into the curriculum across the country, teaching a generation of kids Biblical fairy tales as if they were fact. In addition to vetoing the health care extension for children, Bush actually left many, many kids behind in the interests of courting the religious right.
  6. Promoted democracy. Bush won his first term through the Supreme Court, rather than the electorate. He promoted unilateral military action in opposition to the democratic principles of the UN. The Patriot Act, amid other legislation, undermined all American's constitutional rights. Bush's presidency was marked with a sharp departure from responsible, transparent government which has made some of America's actions overseas appear deeply hypocritical.
  7. Medicare prescription drug benefits. Finally, George does something right... Kind of. This expansion actually led to the current situation in the United States, in which Americans pay vastly inflated prices for drugs pharmaceutical companies sell cheaper in neighbouring Canada. It's a cash cow for pharma, and a huge waste of money for taxpayers.
  8. Supreme court appointments, John Roberts and Sam Alito. Conservatives often accuse liberals of using the Supreme Court as a way of 'legislating from the bench.' They would know. Alito and Roberts were appointed to pad the Supreme Court with conservatives in order to support a right-wing agenda that had little to do with the law or the constitution.
  9. Foreign relations with Japan, South Korea, Australia, and India. Good Lord, I can hardly contain my excitement! I don't wish to undermine Bush's achievements, but foreign relations weren't exactly terrible with these nations in the first place. Had he made headroads with Iran, Syria, Cuba or Venezuela, then I'd be impressed.
  10. Troop surge. The surge worked, don't get me wrong. However, it's questionable whether Bush can claim to have 'done right' when the surge itself was in response to something he'd 'done wrong.' The war in Iraq is arguably Bush's most damning legacy. The surge was merely a response to that. When somebody breaks a glass full of milk, do they get to claim credit for merely mopping the mess up?


paisley penguin said...

my opinion is a joke. I have two kids in public schools and take as much of an interest as a step parent can. One child was passed through TWO GRADES without really passing. Granted part of the problem was the lack of effort on the child's part. However, if they don't get the passing grades why are they passing them?

The other child is so bored its not even funny. Every time we try to get in in to an accelerated program something always messes it up.

I'm not bitter.

Oh yeah - Iraq is an even bigger joke.

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