Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bush Gets Something Right—Maybe

The Bush Regime has been a failure. How big a failure depends on who you ask, but there are only a handful of diehards (also known as blowhards, or the blind being led by the blind) who think George W. has been a good president. If you ask me—I suggest you don’t, or we’ll be here all night—I’ll tell you that Bush II has been, by far, the Worst President in History, the Quintessential Bad President, the Inaugural Inductee into the Bad Presidents' Hall of Fame.

But there have been a couple of things in six years that have been handled right. The first was the initial building of the global coalition against terrorism after September 11, 2001, and the coordinated pursuit of Al Qaida. That the goodwill was completely squandered by the lawless invasion of Iraq and the arrogance with which international relations have been conducted since, however, is shameful and negates these tentative, positive steps. It’s as if we as a nation earned a first down on the field of global progress, and then fumbled the ball back to our own goal line.

Today, it sounds like the Bush Regime has the opportunity to move a few steps forward, regaining a tiny bit of lost ground. There is the mess that is the Walter Reed Medical Center. I don’t know that it’s useful to lay blame for the catastrophe that has been discovered there (although allowing it to be overwhelmed is certainly part of a poorly conceived and badly executed war strategy), but I am pleased by Bush’s actions to rectify matters. As I understand it, he’s proceeding on two fronts—one commission to make long term proposals and another to take immediate action. This seems right. The wounded deserve this, and I hope the problems are solved.

And we also hear today that the U.S. will participate in the Iraq security conference this weekend, along with Iran. This is, in my view, the key to cleaning up the Iraq quagmire that the U.S. invasion and occupation has predictably caused, and may also settle tensions with Iran. Iraq needs to talk to its neighbors and the U.S. has to participate. I can envision us still screwing this up by making unreasonable demands on (the shape of the table, perhaps?) but if we get this right, there might be a way forward.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

listened to a speech from a former congressman where he preached how bad the Republicans are in communicating there message to their base and to the public, and how the public does not know anything about what the republicans got done in the 109th congress. And while he was going on about the issues that the Republicans got done, he was also talking about the "earmarks". He explained to the conservative crowd, that "earmarks are les than one tenth of a percent of the federal budget" witch is a stunning fact that makes me wonder why this is the concern of our time in the conservative community.

As he finished his speech, I walked up to him and told him "Mr. Congressman, I might be wrong but I recall reading an article in the Wall St. Journal, about an official in CO criticizing an earmark that Sen. Allard (R-CO) inserted in a spending bill, saying that it takes away the money the State gets from the federal government." So I asked the Hon. Congressman "Is it true that when a congressman or senator inserts an earmark in a spending bill, he does not raise spending? That he just takes away the liberty from one bureaucrat to decide how to spend the money and decides himself where the money should go?"

The answer was yes.

So if earmarks do not raise spending and it's not more then one tenth of one percent of the budget, why is there so much noise about it?

Because we do not communicate, and nobody amongst us is aware of the facts. We have to start communicating, and shouldn't be afraid that someone will slam us, because if you fight back, you have a chance of winning, and if you don’t fight you don’t even have a chance of winning.