Is Bush Still President?

“Obama’s acquiescence to the old regime is outrageous in part because it is politically unnecessary.”
On January 20th of this year, George W. Bush left Washington and headed back to Texas after the inauguration of Barrack Obama. Or are those memories merely figments of our collective imagination? A quick perusal of government policy has to make one wonder, is Bush still in the White House? According to the New York Times, the Obama administration is considering resuming the use of military tribunals to prosecute Guantanamo detainees.

Candidate Obama claimed to “reject the Military Commissions Act.” Now as president, his administration makes the case for maintaining it. It is important to remember that prior to the Bush administration, terror suspects were tried in open court where they had the right to counsel and to jury verdicts.
It seems that the Obama administration is afraid that some of the defendants might actually be acquitted. Judges might ban evidence discovered under torture or the hearsay evidence of intelligence reports. Defendants would have the right to question their accusers, in this case the intelligence operatives who may have participated in their torture.

“Judges might ban evidence discovered under torture or the hearsay evidence of intelligence reports.”

Reports of the resumption of military tribunals are not the only bad news on Guantanamo and Bush era justice. In congressional testimony, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that Guantanamo detainees may be held on American soil. The Obama administration is going where even the Bush administration dared not. The Guantanamo apparatus was set up precisely to avoid any Constitutional inconveniences and to keep prisoners out of sight and out of mind. They didn’t want to risk waking Americans from their slumber and possibly encourage them to oppose this clear abuse of law and morality. Apparently Barrack Obama has less concern for American public opinion than did George W. Bush.

The reasons for Obama’s nonchalance are obvious. He was never called to account by self-described progressives during his presidential campaign. The same individuals who chose to silence themselves throughout 2008 have continued to act like doormats for president Obama, who as a result has the best, cushiest catbird seat of any president in recent memory.

The acquiescence to the old regime is outrageous in part because it is politically unnecessary. Only 21% of Americans are willing to claim an affiliation with the Republican party. The only good news for Republicans is that their brand can’t fare any worse than it is now. Conversely, Obama has a 68% approval rating that bests all of his predecessors at the 100-day mark. The fear of public opposition to doing the right thing is completely unwarranted.

“Obama was never called to account by self-described progressives during his presidential campaign.”
There is no rational political reason for the embrace of Bush policy. Most Americans do not trust the official explanations given for the September 11th attacks. Obama could not only close Guantanamo as he promised but he could free even those accused of planning 9/11 without fear of public disapproval outside of the Republican dead-ender crowd.

Barrack Obama is in a position to do almost anything he wants. If he keeps the military tribunal system or moves Guantanamo prisoners to the United States it is because he wants to. He believes in the rule of the ruling classes more than he believes in true democracy. Challenging that belief would have made him unacceptable as a presidential candidate.

Dismantling the Bush regime would mean dismantling the prerogatives and assumptions of entitlement carried by the people who run the country. The ruling classes like to know that no one, especially not the president, will get any big ideas about disrupting their rule. Obama is the perfect president for them.
The names change but the system doesn’t. Perhaps the president’s name should be changed to Bushama. There would no longer be any excuse for confusion. We would all know where we truly stand.

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.

17 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. rg the lg said on May 6th, 2009 at 10:58am #

    It does not matter WHO is president. Rarely has it much mattered. Oh, for sure there have been some presidents who bucked the elites slightly … but if the elites had REALLY opposed those presidents, they would have been powerless as well. Take Andy Jackson … he allegedly stood up to John Marshall over the Cherokee … but the elites wanted Cherokee lands in the hands of whites, so Jackson’s position was really not much of an act of independence. Or, take Roosevelt … he allegedly bucked the elites with his alphabet soup … but if you look at what REALLY mattered to the elites it was one thing, and one thing only, get the markets working … so priming the pump was OK beacause it put money in peoples pockets so that the elites could get it through the markets. The so-called open door and the spread of alleged ‘freedom’ was little more than the freedom of America to sell goods wherever and whenever we wanted.

    The president appears powerful … and he does wield some power, but he is NOT the decider. Oligrarchs founded this country with the idea that people matter, but the sad fact is … we have been … are now … and will continue to be dupes.

    If anyone wishes to challeneg this , may I suggest that you learn to read critically the alleged history that is out there … under the surface is always capitalism and the capitalists, also called herein oligarchs and elites, matter. You and I don’t … and Obama is nothing more or less than a figure head.

    RG the LG
    Skeptically Cynical

  2. Microcinema International said on May 6th, 2009 at 12:44pm #

    Hi Margaret,

    Your statement, “Most Americans do not trust the official explanations given for the September 11th attacks,” stood out to me. I feel like you and your readers will find Dylan Avery’s upcoming documentary, “Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup extremely interesting. One can read the full press release at:

    Please check out and join Microcinema on other social networking sites:




    Warmest Regards,
    Microcinema International

  3. RH2 said on May 6th, 2009 at 1:27pm #

    I wonder why people lament on missing real change after Obama historically changed color at the White House on January 20th, 2009. It sounds as if it were a surprise. His declaration at the annual meeting of AIPAC last year that he has “understood the Zionist idea” and the choice of his cabinet was a clear indication, who this guy is. Those happy Latinos and Blacks who ignored Nader and voted for this eloquent opportunist have secured the misery in the U.S. and many parts of the world for the next 4 years. Enjoy your Black Messiah tearfully and have a nice time. Drink some coca cola, eat some popcorn made of genetically modified maize, watch FoxNews and do not lament too much.

  4. Jeff said on May 6th, 2009 at 6:16pm #

    “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”

    That is the reason “why” [the cause] “they” [the effect] keep winning.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    May not seem prophetic, but it actually is!

  5. Andres Kargar said on May 6th, 2009 at 11:56pm #

    We have changed presidents, but not the owning classes.

    Regardless of popularity, presidents who do not play the game of the ruling classes get threatened first, and if they still refuse to conform and acquiesce, they get impeached or worse even shot.

    The owning classes do not get touched as a result of elections. They manage and manipulate these elections. This is especially true in these United States of America.

    To impact or overturn the owning classes, a good deal of initiative is needed from below in the form of massive demonstrations, protests, and general strikes. Maintaining our faith and hope in the system or the Administration can only prolong the pain and suffering of the majority of the working people. This might sound like pure rhetoric to some people, but try being one of the millions and millions of Americans who die of no health care coverage, who lose their jobs, their homes, their pensions, their dignity, and I can tell you I have seen few places in the world where poverty is criminalized the way it is in this country.

  6. Don Hawkins said on May 7th, 2009 at 3:40am #

    I sent this e-mail to CNBC this morning will they read it who knows.

    Yesterday on the Weather Channel they showed an astronaut who is climbing Mount Everest and they showed a picture of a rather large chunk of ice falling off the mountain. The astronaut was then asked is this due to climate change. He said well when that chunk fell off it looked like a mushroom cloud as it hit the valley and one and one is two and yes we are seeing climate change. Is one and one two with the people you talk with and that’s right we must take into consideration compound interest and put’s and call’s preferred and common and of course a little something called illusion of knowledge. In the twenty First Century that is no longer meaningful never really was and do the people you talk with do they patronize, and treat people as inferiors? Do you watch the news talking heads lately and do you see how nut’s these people have become and do you know why that is happening? Because this whole fear greed and stupidity has now got a little out of hand with the problems we face. Do we see working together using reason and imagination no we sure don’t. So far how does the story end not well. To not fight back against this insanity seems so shallow and boring. I am going to write James Hansen and a few others as I can tell they are getting tired as fighting this insanity is not easy far from it. The people I see on TV many of them who some might call leaders are nothing more than punks very clean well dressed punks. Grown-ups yes grown ups and punk’s.


  7. bozh said on May 7th, 2009 at 9:02am #

    having for prez a person with ‘tainted’ skin was a great moral booster for and of great benefit to the ruling class. If it as beneficial to plutos to have a negro-albian person for prez as i expect, we can surely expect that an eskimo, black, latina/latino, indian, chinese, japanese, iraqi will in this and next century be also [s]elected for the prez office.

    what if amers get tired of it all? Especially if things turn worse for the lower classes?
    well, they have tried actors; maybe they can try actresses? Or maybe comedians? tnx

  8. Don Hawkins said on May 7th, 2009 at 9:18am #

    Then this e-mail to CNBC and a few others later in the day. The time is now people. Calm at peace the voice loud and clear somehow. More games in the Senate the next few months and then the you know what is going to hit the fan.

    Calm at peace as this fight has just started for real and much much more to come. Truth and knowledge is the answer and guess who has that not you. As a matter of fact the so called truths and the illusion of knowledge that I see now will be easy to fight sort of. What do you think just become more clever well you are trying that and that is why it is so easy to see. Remember the problems we face are going to be rather hard to illusionize. I just made that word up.


  9. bozh said on May 7th, 2009 at 9:59am #

    by “illusionize” you may have meant that things never turn out exactly as we predict or imagine them.
    this is the reason i avoid predicting. But having expectations, both for worse and better, is inescapable.
    all that one need top do is to keep in mind that our assumptions about what wld happen are found in our heads and nowhere else.
    our assumptions shldn’t lead to frustration/anger/angst if we wld have adequate/accurate knowledge.
    but few of us posses knowledge. ‘Education’ [media, clergy, ‘educators’ , pols] ensure that 97% of amers obtain false knowledge. tnx

  10. billrowe said on May 7th, 2009 at 1:28pm #

    Obama is no martyr. However, if there were a groundswell of moral outrage from the public, I think he would be our best chance in decades to make some real changes. However, I don’t detect anywhere tha necessary level of public involvement…. so expect the same ….

  11. Jeff said on May 7th, 2009 at 2:00pm #

    Don Hawkins, please get your head out of your ass. Have you any concept of illusion. One must begin to notice your contributions seem contrived. Are you this naive?!

  12. Suthiano said on May 7th, 2009 at 2:54pm #


    what about Obama makes you believe that we would have a “better chance” with him than another president?

    Obama received $950,000+ campaign donations from Goldman Sachs, compared to only 200,000+ for George W Bush in his two campaigns.

    I should add that John Kerry, Howard Dean, Al Gore, Wesley Clark, Mitt Romney, Rudolph Giuliani and Hillary Clinton also received large sums when they ran for president from that friendly neighbourhood bank.

    The whole system is an act. The money for both parties comes from the same people… the goal is to create an illusion of difference and choice. Each candidate is given enough money to run an attention grabbing campaign to ensure that this is the case.

  13. SayWha said on May 7th, 2009 at 3:23pm #

    If Obama wants to be a sub-mediocre president like George W. Bush, I guess that’s his perogative, but for all of us who sufferred through the George W Bush economic collapse of October, 2008, it is a severe disappointment.

  14. Don Hawkins said on May 7th, 2009 at 4:04pm #

    Is that naive or Native. Let me use that in a sentence I am native to the Earth. Thinking to small ok native to the Universe. Still naive ok native to the universe and I don’t know so probably better to stay with the Earth for right now.

  15. RH2 said on May 8th, 2009 at 9:36am #

    Don Hawkins,

    You are a fine person. But this is not a forum for personal exchange. I am concerned about your condition. Do you feel OK? You can reach me at: (do not miss the dot after the h).

  16. Don Hawkins said on May 9th, 2009 at 5:35am #

    Do I feel Ok. Almost the biggest problem I have is being careful not to tell people to much of the truth as dreamland is a powerful force and you have to go somewhat slow where using the truth it’s better that way or is it.

  17. Don Hawkins said on May 9th, 2009 at 5:50am #

    Iran is a bit of a problem as in as little as 6 months the price of gas at the pump in the States could be $12 a gallon or more.