The Crime that is George Bush’s Presidency

I’ve been watching George Bush as he destroys my country. It has not been easy to do. Any of you who have read this blog for years now know that, except for a moment’s hope that he would serve rather than reign after his spanking in the mid-term elections, I have consistently cried out in a Jeremiah-like fashion against this man and his minions.

And though it is not a very pleasant way to reemerge from my blogging silence, I feel compelled to make a few comments on Bush and our national scene as it currently appears to me. I will confine myself to the political; the moral is too painful to even address.

The game is very simple as George Bush plays it: The president is subject to Constitutional checks and balances except in times of war. Therefore, say we are in a state of war and all rules are off. The president then has granted himself the right to be a despot.

It is up to Congress to stop this dangerous foolishness, but they have neither the courage nor the will. It is they in whom the power to make war is vested; the president merely has the power to prosecute that war. Had they refused Bush the right to make war, or, if they were to make a claim on the illegitimacy of his war-making, they could stop him. But they didn’t and they won’t, because the shibboleth of “undermining the troops” will be trotted out to paint them as anti-American and putting our sons and daughters in harm’s way.

As to impeachment, he has insulated himself by putting a criminal in the post of vice president, so his successor would be even worse — a variation on the Nixon-Agnew strategy that the old timers among you will remember. Also, the Democrats now want to drag the Republicans behind the wagon until the next election, so they would rather let the crimes of this administration reveal themselves in excruciating slow-motion than call the administration to task for its betrayal of the trust of this country.

Meanwhile, we kill women and children in Iraq and are subtly shifting the blame to the Iraqis themselves, saying it is their fault all the killings are taking place because they have not put a stable government in place. No one is standing up and saying, “We made a horrible, horrible mistake and must ask forgiveness from an innocent people who had the misfortune to be sitting on a field of oil and to have been under the reign of terror of a brutal, megalomaniacal dictator. We are truly, truly sorry, and will find a way to make it right.”

We also allow our husbands and wives and children to continue to be killed because no one among the Democrats had the courage to fight back when the Republicans called them to task for referring to the dead soldiers as “victims.”

“How dare you call them ‘victims’?” they thundered. “They are heroes.”

No they’re not. A person who gets killed is not a hero unless they are doing something heroic. A person who is put in harm’s way under false pretenses, and is killed as a result, is a victim, even if they demonstrated incredible personal courage and resolve. But the parents who trusted this small and evil president cannot face the fact that their children died in vain. Who can blame them? I couldn’t face it, either. If I let myself face that fact I would be so angry I could no longer go on living. The best I could do is hang desperately onto the notion of heroism and try to move through my grief-stricken life. This is what these parents are doing, and the Republicans are exploiting it in the most venal and unconscionable fashion.

For those of you who wonder where all this vitriol comes from, and who want from me inspiration and sweetness and light, I can only say that I have seen this before in Viet Nam and Johnson and Nixon, and it scarred me forever. The tricks are more sophisticated now, and the president, incredibly, is even more shameful and less competent. But make no mistake, our nation has been severely wounded and will not be healed in my lifetime or yours or our children’s. The legacy of this man’s reign is one of singular destructiveness.

Put simply, he has been the Hurricane Katrina of presidents. He has laid waste to our moral and political landscape.

May we not see his like again for generations and generations.

12 comments

  1. sally says:

    Unfortunately so true, and you are not alone.
    Many in Australia feel the same way about our part in this whole mess, our governemnt is no different,
    our up and coming elections lacking ANY promising candidates.
    How the world unites after this in peace i dont know,
    lines have been carved into rock now, not drawn in sand.
    So while the world of thoughtful people look on in dispair, look to some of your candidates you have over there, sometimes we have to of had governments like these, in order to get angry enough in bring in real change. all we have is hope, our hands and our voices.

  2. mark fitzpatrick says:

    Kent, bad as it is, relief seems apparent
    after election……..but

    what if there is NO election. Maybe
    another staged ACT. Maybe the BUM

    war criminal crosses the Rubicon.

  3. Chuck says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you Kent. I saw a bumber sticker awhile ago that mayber offers some relief. It read “2008 – The end of an error”. You just have to believe that something better is coming. I’m just not sure from where.

  4. Alexandra says:

    Thank you for having the courage to speak up. I suspect many writers don’t because they worry about book sales. I feel sometimes like I have spent the last years in a constant state of alarm and a chronic but quiet despair watching what this man and his tribe have inflicted on this country and the world. Bush should not only be impeached but should rightfully be tried as a war criminal in the Hague, Cheney by his side of course.

  5. Leigh Austin says:

    Hear hear!! Ugh, that man makes me lose not only my sense of reason and sanity, making me froth at the mouth with indignation, but also my voice to speak of such blatant and heinous crimes against humanity (not the least of which is his brutal and vicious disembowelment of the democratic process).
    I do what I can, stay in contact with Barbara Boxer’s PAC for change, make my calls and letters to my other representatives, vote, spread the word where I can to editors and others. But I have had to make the spiritual choice as a healer to distance myself from that rage and hold a larger vision for this country’s healing, until it can do so on it’s own, and focus my attentions on the women and children in front of me, needing my help to guide them out of their own darkness of trauma. There are other voices who are not lost in this madness, who speak with more resonance than me .. Marianne Williamson, Dennis Kucinich. Rabbi Michael Lerner … it is not mine to do, not this time. Perhaps it is yours, Kent. Perhaps your voice, with its simple grace, will affect change where it’s needed. Your voice carries the wisdom and peace of the Native American, the pilgrim’s passion for discovery, the artist’s creative genius, the monk’s quiet reverence, and the rebel’s unwillingness to accept the authority of institutions at face value .. (did I just speak in archetype? ha ha, I believe I did).
    I am grateful that you are inspired enough to post here with those thoughts. I trust your voice to speak the truth of my heart.
    Keep talking, Kent.

  6. Sandi says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I just hope and pray that your last sentence comes to pass. I, too, share others’ gratitude for your courage in speaking your truth. I particularly loved Leigh’s last sentence. . .”I trust your voice to speak the truth of my heart.” AMEN!

  7. Sue says:

    Kent,
    Powerful writing..and your reasoning behind the term “victims” is interesting. As a conservative who voted for this man twice, out of hope and fear, I am dissapointed in the legacy of this man’s actions. I recall wanting this man to be a new vision of the compassionate conservative element of the GOP, but he has fallen short in so many ways. I disagree with the fact that Bush is evil, as in only God knows the truest of our natures, I do think that power corrupted him as he put the wrong people too close to his throne. I worry for Obama for the same reason. Good man though he is, the thirst for power by some who would use an Obama presidency for things He wouldn’t have dreamt of.
    The Bush years will leave a foul taste in the mouth of all the electorate for a long time to come.

  8. Yes, you inspire me, enormously – but, not because you offer “sweetness and light,” but rather, beacause you are brave enough to speak the truth from your heart! Thank you. More of us need to follow and speak up and out about how we truly feel about this atrocity called the Iraq war. Bravo to you!
    Daniel

  9. Judy Filibeck says:

    You have perfectly captured my thoughts about this amazingly terrible time in which we live. I am so horrified by the actions of our president and his ‘court’ that I sometimes feel paralyzed. There has to be something we/I can do other than voting and writing to our representatives. To feel this urgency and not know what to do is incredibly frustrating.
    For years, I have felt that my immediate responsibility was to make my life and life’s work a living daily statement. Now, it seems minute in the midst of this catastrophe. I will continue to search for a way to make a broader impact. I will hope that the voices that are beginning to rise will join together and create a chorus that can’t be ignored.
    In the meantime I will re-read your “Is it enough?”‘ and hope that it will remind me of all the blessings each day presents. Please continue to speak out with your wonderfully articulate and passionate voice, Judy

  10. Emma says:

    Unfortunately is true of what you have spoken here.Like what they said ur not alone.It’s my first time in your site.I just searching for the books that I have read and I found your site.

  11. Shelley says:

    Kent:

    The best hope for any kind of future peace is through the hearts and voices of the peoples of our planet. We are all victims. We need to reclaim our connection as a family, use our words, our souls, our devotion to the human spirit to rebuild the relations that have been so despicably soiled. Throughout history, great populations have been destroyed at the hands of those in power. Yet with all the generations past we are no closer to changing these behaviors. There are so many gentle people who believe in the necessity of peace. What’s the next step? If only our united voices could be heard. Something in my heart says it might start at home with a great retreat of some sort that would bring native peoples and immigrants of this country together in one place for all the world to see. A Woodstock, of sorts, for peace. I for one, would love to be involved in such an effort. Kent, if you agree, if any one else agrees, lets get things started. You have my e-mail address.

  12. Hi Kent,
    I couldn’t agree with you more, thanks for speaking up. From the environment, to foreign relations, to creating and empire, we have watched our nation fall and disintegrate in the eyes of the world.

    I saw this quote the other day and it really scared me, “Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.” Herman Goring, Nazi Leader, recorded by psychologist Gustave Gilbert, who interviewed German defendants at the Nuremberg Trials, published in his book, ‘Nuremburg Diary’, (1947)

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