Freedom Rider: Bush Wins

The soon to be former first lady, Laura Bush, was ridiculed when she recently asserted that history would judge her husband’s presidency a great success. It is easy to laugh when she claimed that an Iraqi journalist’s shoe attack against George W. Bush was an indication of freedom and happiness resulting from American occupation.

Muntader al-Zaidi, the shoe assailant, isn’t free at all. He sits in prison with a badly beaten body but it turns out that Laura Bush was absolutely right. Bush will leave office with an abysmally low approval rating of just 27%, but with a long list of checked off items on his agenda. Bush succeeded in radically changing nearly every facet of government, and always with the help of the Democratic Party. Foolish liberals sneer at Bush and think themselves triumphant when the November 2008 electoral victory is a hollow one at best.

Even as he entered his last few months in office, Bush did not stop to smell the roses and reminisce about the bygone days of 90% approval and an aura of invincibility. The implosion of the financial markets enabled him to strike gold when the Democrats in Congress handed over $700 billion to Wall Street and the financial services industry. The highway robbery was one of the biggest thefts ever committed in history and was carried out without resistance of any kind. Just three months later, half of that money is gone and unaccounted for, making the Bush desire to turn over public funds to wealthy individuals and corporations a dream come true.

Bush has every reason to spend his final days in the White House gloating. He can gloat because his Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, will keep his job in the Obama White House. Karl Rove, chief Bush henchman and architect of election theft, declared Obama’s economic team to be “reassuring” while Joe Lieberman called the Obama cabinet “just about perfect.”

In all likelihood, Bush wanted John McCain to prevail against Obama, but it just doesn’t seem to matter that he didn’t. Liberal bloggers snicker because Republican strategists don’t know how to attack Barack Obama effectively. They can’t attack him because they don’t really have any reason to. Obama blessed the Wall Street giveaway and put the deregulation foxes like Larry Summers back in charge of the hen house. He is planning to enact bigger tax cuts than the Bush administration did. He promises an expanded war in Afghanistan and despite his anti-war image, always promised to keep American troops in Iraq.

Bush can be happy about his foreign policy piece de resistance. Israel first starved the people of Gaza and prevented them from escaping or receiving humanitarian aid and now bombs their cities and kills hundreds of civilians. The United States prevents the United Nations from even discussing the issue of Gaza and the American people are once again complicit in yet another violation of the Geneva conventions and international law.

Barack Obama says nothing about Gaza, using the “only one president at a time” excuse to give permission for the carnage to continue into his presidency. Israel knows that when it comes to foreign policy, there is only one party in the United States. That party is joined at the hip with Israel, its partner in crime from one administration to the next.

Speaking of crime, it remains to be seen what form of pardon Bush will give himself, Dick Cheney and the rest of his top aides. Cheney’s bold admission that he approved torture is a sign that a pardon is in the works and that no Obama administration investigation is forthcoming. Bush, Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell should all be wearing orange jumpsuits.

They aren’t because the Democrats are their willing accomplices. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took impeachment off the table because she should have been on trial alongside Bush. She and other top party leaders were briefed on torture and enthusiastically went along when these violations of human rights and the constitution took place. It is hard to see how Bush can be considered a failure when the so-called opposition aided him every step of the way.

If Bush seems nonplussed these days, it is because he has every reason to be relaxed and cheerful. He can go back to Texas and oversee his presidential library with a feeling of ease and great success. George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote in the 2000 election, is leaving office a very big winner with a successor he can trust to keep his most important policy priorities firmly in place.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached at: Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.Com. Read other articles by Margaret, or visit Margaret's website.

8 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. RG the LG said on January 7th, 2009 at 1:06pm #

    You hit THAT nail right on the thumb! Ouch?

  2. John Hatch said on January 7th, 2009 at 3:39pm #

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilence. Want freedom fries and a Pepsi with that?

  3. The Angry Peasant said on January 7th, 2009 at 4:06pm #

    Bush gets to ride off into the sunset happily because in his own mind, and in the minds of many Senators and Congressmen, his presidency was in fact a smashing success. Look at all they accomplished in the name of empire:

    Conquered a Middle East nation, with the second-largest oil reserves on the planet. Furthered the zionist regime. Now that’s progress!

    Managed to actually eliminate several basic freedoms and rights of the American people. Got rid of those pesky “search and seizure” laws and all that nonsense about needing a warrant to search peasants’ wretched domeciles. Bravo!

    Was able to write even more statutes giving all the money in the country to his ultra-rich peers. Exceptional!

    Managed to instill a long-lasting, inherent fear in the lower classes, and averted attention away from himself to Islamic people for several years.

    Managed to get the American Empire out of having to deal with all that United Nations nonsense and finally begin operating on its own terms. And now we can torture people!

    Saved the billionaire rulers a lot of time, effort, and energy providing legal defense for all those peasants who get in the way. Now that we got rid of that “due process” silliness, we can get down to some serious population weeding and fill more prisons with slaves! Torture’s an option now, too. Yipee!

    Bush can take comfort in having a favorable legacy, because the ruling class writes the history books. He doesn’t care about a 27% approval rating from us lower forms of life; only the approval of his fellow elites. Which he’s gotten in spades, with few exceptions. We were just mosquitos to be shooed away as he rode through his reign.

  4. mikel weisser said on January 7th, 2009 at 7:26pm #

    “Bush gets to ride off into the sunset happily because in his own mind, and in the minds of many Senators and Congressmen, his presidency was in fact a smashing success. ”

    Pretty smashing, smashed most everything in his way.

  5. Benjamin said on January 7th, 2009 at 8:41pm #

    Wow, what an excellent article. Thank you…

  6. deang said on January 7th, 2009 at 9:57pm #

    What you’ve just written also demonstrates the fallacy of believing Bush to have been a bumbling incompetent. Like Reagan, another destructive right-wing president accused of being incompetent, Bush really did do just about everything he wanted, with tunnel-vision focus. His goals were to destroy the things he destroyed, to wreak havoc in the areas he wreaked havoc in, and to impoverish and immiserate the people he impoverished and immiserated. It’s true that he couldn’t speak well and that he didn’t have social graces that are acceptable outside of Texas, and he certainly wasn’t very intelligent or wise, but his bad intentions were enacted across the board. And, as is the norm since 1980, Democrats will continue his policies and won’t even make an attempt to undo the damage he did. And the US population will accept the damaging changes he brought in as normal and longstanding.

  7. bozh said on January 8th, 2009 at 3:27am #

    it does appear that US has achieved in afgh’n and iraq what it desired. as i have said years ago, US cannot lose in iraq nor afgh’n because main goal was, i educe from facts, to estabilsh permament bases in both lands.
    and if necesssary, break up each empire in pieces; with puppet govts in each section.
    or US ruling class was just mad; planless? thnx.

  8. john wilkinson said on January 8th, 2009 at 4:40pm #

    “The price of freedom is eternal vigilence (sic).”

    I think eternal vigilantism would be a better choice in our situation.