Twelve years ago I posted a commentary predicting that the detrimental
effects of George W. Bush would last at least a generation – if not in
perpetuity, long after baby boomers have left the scene. I couldn’t blame Bush
exclusively, because the “loyal” opposition maintained the character of a
Stepford wife. Al Gore had just conceded, the Supremes had delivered GW the
election where the “winner” received fewer votes, Baby Jeb had handed his
state’s electors over to big brother, and Cheney held secret
meetings with ENRON, Halliburton and petroleum giants to establish our
energy policy – invading Iraq being a vital part. (And the closed-door sessions
where the Iraq invasion was planned as a “solution” to our energy needs were
held six months before 9/11.)
It annoys me that the same Republican-dominated Supreme Court continues to make historic decisions adverse to the country. The destruction of democracy seems to be the objective. “Bush v. Gore” was one for the history books where the Court, a majority of which were Republican, threw an election to the loser, a Republican whose father appointed Clarence Thomas. Never before had the Court awarded the presidency to the candidate with the fewest votes. We thought that would be the end of it – that the justices had faced enough embarrassment; they’d never do it again. But it was followed by “Citizens United.” Then last week they struck down the 1965 “Voting Rights Act.”
Indeed, the Supreme Court is politicized to the right.
It was July 2001. My son and his new bride joined us for dinner at a local restaurant. My son asked me what I thought of George W. Bush. Without speaking, I impulsively scrolled across a paper napkin, “Bush – the death of the nation” and handed it to him. Chris just laughed and said I was out of my mind. I remember that day. My premonition was a sudden instinct, but a prediction proven true.
Less than two months later, September 11 ensued. I was aware Bush was ignoring intelligence reports about Al Qaeda. I had watched the CBS News report in July 26, 2001 where the FBI advised John Ashcroft to fly leased planes instead of commercial because terrorists were threatening to hijack planes to use them as weapons.
At that time it seemed the Democratic Party still lacked the sense of urgency necessary to rid the country of pestilence. A plurality of Dems went along with the Iraq invasion, Patriot Act, spying on citizens, tax-cuts for the wealthy, Medicare Part D, deregulation, privatization, and other such missteps proven disastrous a few years down the road.
Several acquaintances have urged me to “move on, let bygones be bygone.” They advise, “It’s not good to harbor ill-will.”
But isn’t that what they always say when Republicans sabotage the country? We’re cautioned to “move on” when the Republicans do it but hold everlasting contempt when the other side is accused of similar [which in most cases is imagined or deliberately fabricated].
Bush is the “gift that keeps on giving.” I’m reminded of him every day – when watching his Supreme Court knock down the 1965 Voting Rights Act, when they equate corporations with citizens, setting the nation’s course toward fascism. Clarence Thomas, H.W.’s appointee, should never have been confirmed.
Samuel Alito, with his smirking condescension, is another “gift” from the Bushes.
On June 24, 2013, Samuel Alito rolled his eyes and smirked openly when Ruth Bader Ginsberg read her dissents to the Supreme Court wiping out of the Voting Rights Act and other Republican-inspired decisions. His behavior is an embarrassment to the Court.
Democrats, on the other hand, base their hopes on demographics. But what good is the growing minority in this country when elections are rigged? Again, it’s a display of pure naivety.
Bush packed the Justice Department; Obama didn’t unpack it. Bush issued several executive orders damaging to the country; Obama didn’t rescind many of them (including those adversely affecting labor, NLRB, and FMLA). Bush forced the Patriot Act into place; Obama didn’t reverse it. Bush set GITMO up; Obama didn’t dismantle it. Bush set the trap for the Postal Service – the 2006 “Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act”; Obama hasn’t even asked for its repeal.
My frustration does possess a semblance of equivalency. The one party consists of destroyers while the other contains ignorers – meanies and weinies. Democrats are going to have to learn to fight like hell if they ever expect to bring peace on earth.
The most disastrous reminders of the Bush terms (including Pappy) are the Supreme Court appointees. I started to write on another subject for this column, but the death of the Voting Rights Act enraged me. It’s like Republican presidents have planted demon seeds in the form of Supreme Court justices, thus their influence is felt long after they’ve left office. The nation reels under their weight.
The 2010 election will reverberate until past 2020 due to redistricting, gerrymandering and voter suppression. I would at least like to see light at the end of the tunnel before my life ends. But getting rid of Republican influence doesn’t seem to be in the cards. There are too many religious freaks in this country who name the name of Christ but live the life of Satan, the pious condemner. They not only know little about science, history and math; they know little to nothing about the scriptures for which they claim monopoly.
Given the size of the religious right and given the spinelessness of the Democratic Party, I don’t see much change for the positive – at least not in my lifetime. It’s not that I’m a pessimist by nature, it’s that I tend to see things as they are and will be, factoring the trends and past practices of the nation’s major players.
Forgive me for prophetic honesty.