WPBA Views on 1/20: Bush’s Home StretchJanuary 20, 2008
This is it! It’s the last year of the Bush administration. As much as people like myself feel that this might be cause for some preliminary celebrations, remember that we do have a whole year left. A lot can happen in a year, after all.
Truth be told, I’m a heck of a lot more hopeful than I thought I was going to be at this point. As some of you might know, before I created the Chamber, I was a guest contributor on the now-defunct FearBush.com blog. I actually spent a good portion of 2006 expressing my anti-Bush views over there. So while it probably goes without saying that I’m looking forward to his departure from office, I going to go ahead and admit that I’m not as passionate about it as I used to be.
The founders of FB.com had originally predicted back in 2000 that Bush’s ascendancy into the White House meant certain disaster, marked by global war (at best) or nuclear armageddon (at worst) . “GWB=WWIII” was the underlying theme. Now, while that prediction was considered by many as kooky at first, there was a certain amount of vindication for it later, as the nation marched off to invade not one county but two, culminating with the president himself using the phrase World War III when describing the conflict that he’s overseeing. Without a doubt, Bush’s legacy will be one that revolves around war. But even after the countless thousands dead, billions of dollars spent, and the unknowable consequences and blowback that may lie ahead, it’s hard to honestly say that America has been damaged to the point where it cannot recover. Bush has been terrible, but not quite as terrible as had been predicted. Of course, there’s still a year left (which might be why there are still calls for impeachment).
Over the last year, I’ve definitely softened my tone with regards to Bush. The facts are still the facts, but maybe I’ve just adopted more of a “glass half-full” mindset. I’ve almost come to pity the man. Here’s a guy that was elevated into a position that was clearly over his head, based on little more than name recognition, who appears to have aged 20 years over the course of seven, and can’t seem to put together a single coherent sentence on his own. The poor guy is so unpopular that he can’t even come out and campaign with any of the Republican candidates, and for the first time since 1928 the outgoing administration isn’t offering up a VP for the job. Americans are so anxious to move on that campaigning began earlier than any time in my life, and even the Iowa caucus was moved up 2 weeks. Heck, the world can’t wait to move on. As sad as it is that such a man could be elected president (twice), I’ve come to realize that these things don’t necessarily mean that he’s evil. After all, we’re still here, right? It could be worse! Maybe it’s just Cheney who’s evil.
So, as we head into the last year of what will probably be viewed as the worst administration in America’s history, I’ll cross my fingers and hope that these people are so politically marginalized that they can’t do any more damage. A strike on Iran seems less likely than it did a year ago, Iraq is still a mess but showing signs of progress, he’s probably done nominating anyone else to serve on the Supreme Court, and we haven’t had a major hurricane in awhile. He can probably sit back and let others make headlines as the nation focuses on choosing who will finally replace him.
At least I’m hoping…