Tuesday, September 20, 2005

How I Learned to Start Caring and Love the Left

A disaster finally hit home on President Bush’s watch. Oh wait, that’s the second disaster on his watch. Let’s also include the disaster in Iraq, but who is counting?
Anyhow, it seems like Americans have finally come to realize what many of us, and much of the world, have been trying to say: Bush is not a very good president.

Joe Republican writes:

“Globex CEO, how did you get to be such a bleeding-heart liberal?”

Well, I will tell you.

The year was 2000. Microsoft was ruled a monopoly, the dot.com bubble was busy imploding upon itself like a dying star, and the son of former president Bush was running against Al “Lockbox” Gore. I voted for Bush under the logic that he seemed like an every man: the kind of person who might understand my concerns. That man went on to “win” the election after Supreme Court decision. Gore went on to grow a beard and work on a pier in New Jersey.

I am somewhat sympathetic to people who view many of Bush’s “plans” and “policies” as academic and detached from everyday American life, and thus much slower to realize that Bush has no "plan" or decent "policy". But to me, one who was in the Air Force in 2003 when we invaded Iraq, his actions hit close to home. I knew people deployed, or who may be deployed, for the cause. When no WMDs were found in Iraq I began to get suspicious.

Maybe the president knew there were no WMDs, but went in anyway. Then, the president lied to the American people.
Or, maybe the president thought there were WMDs. Then, the president has a terrible intelligence, or should have listened to the UN, France, and everyone else.
Or, maybe, The president was pushed into going by the media and/or Dick Cheney. Then the president is no leader.

We’ll never know what the real answers are, but I can’t see any positive way to view the decision given hindsight. At the very worst, the president is a liar. At the very best he is just an inept leader making bad decisions. And it kind of seems after reading "Plan of Attack", "The 9/11 Report", and watching the news over the last three years, that maybe this president would indeed be a better drinking buddy than the most powerful man in the world. Specifically, as things went from bad to worse in Iraq I began to wonder about the whole idea of spending billions in defense when we don’t even know which countries not to invade, while people here at home go without health care and basic needs. Those seemed incongruous to me.

Hurricane Katrina did something all of the president’s mistakes could not do, it brought the folly home. We can have a war in Iraq, and no one can really be made to comprehend it because there are tax cuts. This allow sthe the average American to reason: how bad can thinks be if my taxes are getting cut? In the past, during a war, people were asked to ration vital items. Drafts were put in place to conscript your children and send them off to fight and die. In the face of such steps, politicians had to be extremely sure that the wars they were fighting were worth the cause because every American was asked to give something in some way.

But this administration has circumvented all of that by not just asking people for no sacrifice, but cutting taxes. They want things to seem as normal as possible, while they enect their plans. If things are normal, no one will pay much attention to the plan and how it's going. There has been a total disconnect between the war and the average American. It has been largely an academic exercise--a media saturated, yet low domestic impact ass-kicking extravaganza to rectify 9/11. And, convienently, Bush can use to be a war president.

So Iraq has no WMDs. We were not greeted like liberators. We have too few troops there, asked to stay too long because of stop-loss, supplied with inadequate armor. There are terrorists where there were none before; a vital threat, a quagmire, where none existed before. Thousands have been killed and more wounded physically and mentally for, at best, a bad judgment call. But all of that remains on the news and not in the lives of average Americans because the administration has fashioned it this way.

But Katrina blew into town and exposed what really has been going on in the White House for the last five years: little to nothing positive; horse show directors, and smirking, and lack fo planning. Four years after 9/11 and our disaster recovery is a disaster, and who knew? Hundreds of billions of dollars spent to remake Iraq and our own people can not afford insurance or the means to escape an incoming killer hurricane. And who cared?

I’m not a smart guy, but I knew long before Katrina that we were going in the wrong direction. But let’s learn from this. Let’s expect more from our leaders than just who would make a good drinking buddy. Let’s expect them to make the right decisions on vital issues, and let’s demand that the impact of those decisions be made known as widely as possible. Don't let this get swept under the rug. You want to help hurricane victims? Put leaders in office who care about domestic issues like poverty, health care, education, and retirement.

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