Monday, January 12, 2009
The madness of King George
"All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily (and) adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." — H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Sun, July 26, 1920In his final press conference, George W. Bush described himself as having a type-A personality.
Does the A stand for asshole?
After 8 years of refusing to admit mistakes with obstinant refusal to deviate from "staying the course," and self-delusion to spare, Dubya finally feels it's time to be "reflective." It's like he started in 2000 as the feel good loser of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? and now is finally intellectually and emotionally mature enough to cope with remedial English.
George W. Bush said more about the state of America in the late twentieth century then we were ever willing to acknowledge on our own. He is the end result of a society that is so successful we can afford to elect our leaders based on nothing more then who you'd like to have a beer with or some other nonsensical trait that has nothing to do with fixing actual problems. And that is exactly what we got, someone who couldn't make 12:00 stop blinking on a VCR. Because he wasn't rightfully elected by the people the first time around. He was selected by wingnut fanboys to overturn Roe vs. Wade, or make it easier for people to buy assault rifles they never needed or cut taxes you never really paid but think you did because you listened to right-wing noise machine who knew you didn't in the first place tell you you did. Distraction and selfish ignorance opened the door to this perpetual frat boy and we the people still aren't done picking up the tab.
Here's a random sampling courtesy of MSNBC's First Read:
Then: 4.2% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2001)
Now: 6.7% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2008)
DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE
Then: 10,587 (close of Friday, Jan. 19, 2001)
Now: 9,015 (close of Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009)
BUSH FAVORABILITY RATING
Then: 50% (1/01 NBC/WSJ poll)
Now: 31% (12/08 NBC/WSJ poll)
CHENEY FAVORABILITY RATING
Then: 49% (1/01 NBC/WSJ poll)
Now: 21% (12/08 NBC/WSJ poll)
CONGRESS APPROVAL RATING
Then: 48% (1/01 NBC/WSJ poll)
Now: 21% (12/08 NBC/WSJ poll)
SATISFIED WITH THE NATION'S DIRECTION
Then: 45% (1/01 NBC/WSJ poll)
Now: 26% (12/08 NBC/WSJ poll)
Then: 115.7 (Conference Board, January 2001)
Now: 38.0, which is an all-time low (Conference Board, December 2008)
FAMILIES LIVING IN POVERTY
Then: 6.4 million (Census numbers for 2000)
Now: 7.6 million (Census numbers for 2007 -- most recent numbers available)
AMERICANS WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE
Then: 39.8 million (Census numbers for 2000)
Now: 45.7 million (Census numbers for 2007 -- most recent available)
Then: +236.2 billion (2000, Congressional Budget Office)
Now: -$1.2 trillion (projected figure for 2009, Congressional Budget Office)
In a time when American businesses are hemorraghing, the cost of living is skyrocketing while paychecks flatline, the one group who profited off the pain of the middle class has been the wealthiest 1% among us. A government of the 1%, by the 1%, and for the 1% is not what the founding fathers had in mind.
The American people are as much to blame.
The great, unwashed masses were far too concerned with Al Gore's earth tones and how exasperated his sighing made them "feel" when he was obviously far more qualified to be president. Then America let Karl Rove elevate fearmongering to a dark art. Soccer moms and the mushy middle accepted a de facto draft dodger over a war hero because they were fooled by Swift Boat ads.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice... well, we did get fooled again.
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