Friday, September 14, 2007
The End of the Bush Era
I actually marked my calendar. Thursday, September 13th, 2007, George W. Bush's presidency came to an end. Not his term, but his presidency.
Much like the horrific quagmire of war and strategic failure he leaves us with in Iraq, other aspects of this administration will be felt long after this failed president rides off to whatever awaits him when his term expires. But his "Presidency", has ended.
Lyndon Johnson knew it when his Presidency had ended on the fields of the Tet Offensive. Richard Nixon knew it when his Presidency had ended in 18 minutes of silence on an Oval Office tape. One truly wonders if George W. Bush knows his Presidency ended with admission by his surrogate, General David Petreus that he honesty did not know if the billions of dollars and thousands of American lives spent in Iraq had made America safer or not.
It was painful to watch. The American Presidency reduced to a desperate plea to a diminished base consisting of only those Republicans who would support him regardless. Not out of any real affection for him, or belief in his policies, but simply out of hatred for those who disagree with him.
The purpose of the speech to the nation was clear. It was George W. Bush trying to make one last pitch of a multi level marketing scam, to people who has already bought into it, and are now stuck.
The President knew he was not going to convince the American People to support his war. A war begun on lies and fought on ego. The American People have moved on. They know reality carries no weight with George W. Bush. For the vast majority of Americans mislead by their President, failed by their Congress, it is come down to waiting for January 20th 2009.
By cowering in fear of their own electoral mandate, Congressional Democrats have chosen to allow the continued death of American soldiers out of fear of being painted in campaign ads as "soft on terror" or "not supporting the troops. As a result, there is little chance that anything will change before 2009 . The President made it abundantly clear he knows that too, when he spoke not about the reality on the ground in Iraq, but rather spoke of the fantasy-Iraq that he alone sees, and clings to like addict clinging to his fix.
In the long strange trip of George W. Bush, He sees Iraq as a nation of people yearning for democracy, George Bush's democracy. He sees a war against Al-queda where he leads a grand coalition of 36 nations in the battle to save the Iraqi people. A people who really do want to get along, they just are being mislead by "terrorist killers and extremists". And all of Iraq looks with hope to their central government to lead the way , and all we need to do is just stay there long enough and "victory" will happen.
In his speech the President at long last admitted that for him, staying "long enough" is an open ended timeline. In admitting his vision of war beyond his term, George W. Bush finally told the truth.
Beyond the simplistic catch phrases of good versus evil. Beyond the endless repetition of the bold-faced lie that Iraq is somehow connected to the events of 9/11. Beyond the billions of dollars wasted, and yes even beyond the thousands of American, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives lost , beyond all that, lies the true legacy of George W. Bush.
The desperate need to never allow for the idea that he might not be right. Regardless of the facts and regardless of the costs. The final act of the Bush Presidency was to say to this nation and the world, that George W. Bush will not lose face , regardless of how many people have to die to make sure of it.
In the last 500 or so days of this President's term , we as a nation will have to come to terms with those costs. And the real question to ask anyone who would seek to succeed the sad failed Presidency of George W. Bush , is not just how and when do we bring our troops home, but also how do we restore the nation we would bring them home to.