The Lame Duckling

| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:10

      THERE ONCE WAS a governor who, despite all the odds (including losing the popular vote), was elected President of the United States. He was never described as intelligent—or wise, or thoughtful, or even moderately clever—but, boy was he ever charming. He had a way of making everyone around him—including some of the nation’s most experienced public servants—feel all warm inside about policies and practices that were directly in opposition to their own beliefs and self-interests.

    He convinced millions of middle-class citizens that a tax cut that provided them only $300 in extra dough was enough to jumpstart the American economy—those taxpayers all went out and bought new televisions made in Asia. He bribed Senator Kennedy with the promise of copious amounts of money for public education in return for Uncle Teddy’s support of the No Child Left Behind Bill. That bill became law, but the promised cash never appeared, creating a national school system that focused on math and reading to the exclusion of art, music, physical education and even recess.The result: Cuba still had a higher literacy rate than the United States; the best thing to happen to American music in the past decade was a smack-addicted British woman with a ratty beehive; and Disneyland had to deepen the canal on the “It’s a Small World” ride to accommodate all the chunky kids who were weighing down the boats.

    And even though no Western nation dating back to the Crusades had managed to conquer and hold the Middle East, he goaded Congress into giving him approval for the PlayStation 2inspired Operation: Iraqi Freedom. Millions of working-class Americans sent their sons and daughters into the conflict, and when those warriors returned with both physical and mental scars, all the money in the national treasury had been tax-gutted away, leaving little funds to provide adequate health care or a college education to help ease their transition back to civilian life. Yes, George W. Bush’s faux-Texan charm served him well as a first-term President; and if he would have called it quits in 2004, history might have remembered him as one of the nation’s more effectively persuasive politicians.

    Unfortunately for him, he stuck around for a second term, during which every new initiative he pursued ended in defeat. Near the very beginning of his second administration, his glaring lack of intellectual curiosity, coupled with his unwillingness to surround himself with anyone other than smart but amoral evil geniuses like Condi and Karl, caught up to him. Congressional Democrats realized they were the opposition party and actually (gasp) opposed his legislative priorities. The media remembered that journalism requires more than just regurgitating the talking points they heard at press briefings and began to investigate the administration’s screw-ups. Even Oliver Stone got in on the act and made a scathing film  

    (about four years too late) detailing how W.’s failings are all the result of his daddy not loving him enough. From immigration reform to the 9th Ward of New Orleans, the once-popular president’s utter lameness was now on full display. And by 2006, the American people began to search for new leadership.

    And that brings us to today, with less than two weeks until Election Day and our national attention squarely focused on Barack Hussein Obama and John Sidney McCain. But through all the talk of pigs and plumbers, terrorists and Tina Fey, let us not forget about our current commander-in-chief who still pursues policies that will continue to contravene the interests of this nation long after he leaves.

    The person he appointed in 2005 to head the agency that provides anti-discrimination and whistleblower protection to federal employees has refused to enforce pre-existing executive orders protecting those same employees from being fired for their sexual orientation.

    His Interior Department recently announced that it plans to ease the rules that prevent mining companies from dumping the waste created from their operations into streams, thus making it even easier for these companies to add to the 1,600 miles of Appalachian streams they have already helped erase over the past 25 years.

    Bush even openly declared that he wasn’t going to follow a section of a bill he signed into law that prevents the U.S. government from taking steps to control the oil resources of Iraq. This is on top of his administration trying to rush the prime minister of Iraq into signing a “Status of Forces” agreement that would guarantee a large number of U.S. troops remaining in Iraq until December of 2011. I don’t blame Bush for all of the nation’s problems, especially that situation at Disneyland (hell, he actually sets a good example by running three miles at least six days a week).

    It does set the wrong tone, however, that with unemployment on the rise, members of his administration are willing to turn a blind eye to a federal worker losing a job because of his/her sexual orientation. It is inane, in an economy where food prices are continuously rising, to take steps that would further damage the Appalachian streams farmers use to irrigate their crops throughout the eastern half of the nation. And it is downright dangerous to commit American troops to remain in a country where people’s number-one gripe against the United States is that we’re just the latest in a series of Christian Crusaders that have tried to dominate the Islamic area’s natural wealth.

    Look, it’s not like I expected a fairytale ending to eight years of Bush rule; but I at least expected the president of the United States to act with an awareness of the situation our country finds itself in and with an eye on the consequences his decisions would have on the world as we move forward… How lame am I? C