Sunday, January 18, 2009

In two days

First it was Leonard Pitts, jr. who had a particularly biting response to what he deemed that history would judge about GW Bush. And now, a most eloquent and biting response by David Broder about what he thought as well of the GW legacy. (Republished in the editorial pages, Broder happened to be right, GW did not ask the majority of Americans to sacrifice to pay for two wars. In fact, he did not ask the supremely wealthy to sacrifice to keep this nation from entering massive deficits and the foreign financing of two wars, supposedly beefing up homeland security, and the consequences of tax cuts.

But, this nation and the American people have sacrificed anyway. Broder fell just short of acknowledging that.

Lost jobs. Lost international prestige. Lost stature as a creditor nation. Practically on the verge of being a 3rd world country. Creating a gvt that people could truly be afraid of for the first time in their lives. Lost homes. Lost businesses. A reeling financial industry. Suffering from a "free market gone wild" in the way of health care, insurance of any sort, drug costs and the increasing costs of education. A military that is going to take a long time to rebuild because of how GW chose to command two wars. Katrina, the hurricane.

This nation has not been "normal" since 9/11/2001, and all of GW's encouraging people to go shopping could never bring this nation back to normal. Is taking off your shoes to have them inspected normal? Do you have to have trial size ounces of liquids, deoderants and toothpaste to prevent your making a bomb aboard an airplane considered normal? The failure of TSA employees to spot fake weapons being loaded on planes by government oversight groups would seem to be far more scary than the bottled water you want to drink, or the breath freshener you want in your carryon. Is gvt spying on your e-mails using the excuse of terrorism considered normal? No. And GW used the fear factor very successfully against Dems in Congress in 2002. He also made a successful use of the fear factor against his Dem contender for the White House, Senator John Kerry, in 2004. But as people began to hurt personally on the financial level to far greater degrees by 2006, and Katrina still being fresh in their memories, the GOP began getting the business end of the sacrifice stick as they lost offices during the November elections of that year. The fear factor no longer worked when people were becoming increasingly fearful of their own financial security.

In 2008, CNN, Senator Hillary Clinton, and the McCain/Palin campaign tried using the fear factor against our soon to be inaugurated President, Barack H. Obama. As did a number of bloggers, letter writers, commenters to blogs, message boards and chat rooms. But, the fear factor that sent such delicious shivers up the spines of the die hard radicals did not work to prevent the Dem candidate from succeeding. That Obama got over 50% of the popular vote and an electoral blowout of 365, says that for most Americans, they wished to put the failed GW presidency as far behind them as they could. The fear factor was that Senator McCain would continue GW's disastrous policies. They didn't need four more years of facing more of the above.

In the letters to the editors published this morning in both the Coeur d'Alene Press and Spokesman-Review, you get the impression that those employing the fear factor still against President elect Obama aren't paying much attention to what the man says. And are inventing their own ideas about what sort of President Obama will actually be, precisely, everything they detest about him. He isn't in office before the 20th of January, but he is already a "Karl Marx" reading president, according to one writer. And according to another, is going the route of FDR. Precisely, the revisionist history of FDR as a fellow simply continuing the disastrous policies of Herbert Hoover on steroids. Herbert Hoover, incidentally, oversaw massive job losses, bank failures and etc. FDR, upon being elected, had to attempt to reverse that. If Obama, in two days, has to provide an FDR style of intervention, it is to invest in the American workforce as GW wasn't willing to do in the last 8 years.

In two days, the Bush era is over with. And in two days, we have a fellow who is preaching tough times and sacrifice if the nation is to get back on its feet.

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