Skip

Final Days
August 31, 2008 9:46 PM   Subscribe


 
Oh, you'll be alone, buddy-boy, don't you worry about that.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:58 PM on August 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Man, how many more free lunches is David Frum going to get out of his twelve months of aiding and abetting?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:12 PM on August 31, 2008 [2 favorites]




I hope he wears his bomber jacket at every opportunity post presidential life offers and spends his days accomplishing missions for folks.
posted by mattoxic at 10:13 PM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


What became of Jeff "Gannon" Guckert? Does he go on bike rides alone? That just doesn't seem fair.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:22 PM on August 31, 2008


To this day I still don't know the extent to which Bush was an accomplice in all the fuckups of the last eight years. While I don't excuse him, I can't help but thinking Rove, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and other strong personalities/ideologues had a huge sway over him.
posted by wastelands at 10:23 PM on August 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


After his presidency, I'm guessing that Bush'll become a key part of an organization that strives to build homes for the working poor. Either that or he'll start a huge foundation that works to eradicate disease and poverty in poorer countries.

Haha. Just kidding. Bush will give motivational speeches to already wealthy businessmen in Dallas and Houston. And he will get paid to do it.
posted by Kronoss at 10:23 PM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]




How Bush Destroyed the Republican Party

LIke Bush could have done this on his own.

The only decision Bush made on his own? Harriet Myers. (And now we see McBush making his own Harriet Myers selection in Frau Palin.)

Getting rid of Bush accomplishes nothing. Getting rid of the Republicans is everything.
posted by three blind mice at 10:29 PM on August 31, 2008 [5 favorites]


Getting rid of Bush accomplishes nothing. Getting rid of the Republicans is everything.

It's exactly that kind of oversimplified, black and white thought that we need to save America! Blue good! Red bad!
posted by Roman Graves at 10:35 PM on August 31, 2008 [7 favorites]


Getting rid of Bush accomplishes nothing. Getting rid of Changing the Republicans is everything.
posted by voltairemodern at 10:42 PM on August 31, 2008


A jillion guns in the country, and this bloke's still riding bicycles.

What happened to that 'can-do' spirit?
posted by pompomtom at 10:43 PM on August 31, 2008


Are you implying that he rise some sort of gun-powered vehicle instead?
posted by breath at 10:49 PM on August 31, 2008 [17 favorites]


It's exactly that kind of oversimplified, black and white thought that we need to save America!

Uh, with the addition of the minor correction (desardonification, I like to call it), this is a statement that I wholeheartedly support. The Republicans in power and the constituents who brought them there have proven their inability to make sound decisions. Therefore, they should and will be stripped of the power to do so. It is simple, see?
posted by spiderskull at 10:49 PM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


s/rise/ride/
posted by breath at 10:49 PM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


from the article: "Bush plans to write a book and is settling on a ghostwriter"

At least his book will be written the same way his Presidency was run - by other people.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:50 PM on August 31, 2008 [15 favorites]


Blue good! Red bad!

Naw, it's more like,
Red: ridiculously horribly unbelievably worse than anything you can imagine
Blue: kinda of shitty, but what are you gonna do
posted by afu at 10:53 PM on August 31, 2008 [15 favorites]


Is there going to be a massive, mutli regional celebration when this is all over? I think it should be a bring-your-own-beer type of thing. They'll be bon fires and local bands, and we'll party like it's 1999.

Or maybe we'll just be like "meh." Like getting over a cold.
posted by hellojed at 11:05 PM on August 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just wish he wasn't coming "home" to Dallas. Please stay away, Mr. Bush. D/FW has enough crazies.
posted by fireoyster at 11:08 PM on August 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Bush plans to write a book and is settling on a ghostwriter"

Isn't that kind of like saying, "Bush plans to write a book and is settling on someone else to write the book (which he actually won't write, so no, he's not planning to write a book)"?
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:19 PM on August 31, 2008 [4 favorites]




LIke Bush could have done this on his own.

Agreed. The failure here isnt Bush, its american conservative philosophy. Its hiliarious to hear conservatives try to distance themselves from him. He did what they wished they could do. 51% of America is simply wrong. Bush proved it, time and time again. Now these people are going to push McCain into office for the exact same results.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:37 PM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm voting for Obama because I don't want McCain to pick the SCOTUS.

The rest of the Democratic party can stew in their juices. When they dump Pelosi, I'll know they're serious about governing.
posted by RavinDave at 11:42 PM on August 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


[George W. Bush] is the man who misled the country into a disastrous war, ruined U.S. relations around the world, wrecked the economy, squandered a budget surplus to give tax cuts to fat-cat friends, played the guitar while New Orleans drowned, politicized the Justice Department, cozied up to oil companies and betrayed American values by promoting torture, warrantless eavesdropping and a modern-day gulag at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for people never even charged with a crime.
This.
posted by The Eponymous Pseudonymous Rex at 11:43 PM on August 31, 2008 [10 favorites]


It's exactly that kind of oversimplified, black and white thought that we need to save America! Blue good! Red bad!

One party gets on my bad side for being the party of creationism, anti-abortion/anti-contraception, and other pro-life hinky crap, pro-deficit spending ("drown the government in the bathtub"), laissez-faire to the point of allowing the 2003-2007 five trillion dollar household debt bubble to now hang over use like the sword of damocles, pro-establishment of government-sponsored , teacher-led prayers at schools, anti-gay cuz to allow gay partners to enjoy the privileges of traditional married will result in the invisible sky man putting a hex on us, pro-Global Warming. Did I miss anything?

I wouldn't call the Dems "good" however. They are certainly weak sauce and have been since the Great Society turned out to be more like the Great Leap Forward.

But the Republicans deserve the batshit insane tag, at least until their party platform comes out of the 19th century era anti-scientific pro-megabusiness bullshit it has fallen into.

I consider my vote a process of damage control. The present Republicans have done an immeasurable amount of damage to my country's reputation and to the populace's current health, not to mention our fiscal future, both public and private; how anyone could even attempt to still defend the present Republican Party is simply beyond me.

It is patently the party of suck, and I say this as someone who voted for Tom Campbell (R) in 2000 -- since he is pretty much exactly the kind of California Republican I can support whole-heartedly. Too bad there's so very few like him, in either party.
posted by troy at 11:57 PM on August 31, 2008 [11 favorites]


I can't wait until this "Bush" shit is over. I, naively, hoped there would be some legal rectification of the sideways-fucking he and his managers have wrecked on the country but I see now that's as likely as the Press stepping up and writing something that in some way coheres with reality. This is one cocked hat we are not getting out of any time soon.

Until then I hope Bush Jr. sleeps poorly for the rest of his life. I hope he is unhappy and wracked with crippling self-doubt and remorse until his very last dying moment. I hope not a fraction of a second doesn't go by that he does not reflect on how vastly he erred in almost every single way. I hope it occurs to him every morning as he brushes his teeth that while he thought he was just doing what he had to, what other, smarter, more forceful people told him was the right thing to do, he could have reneged, could have still made a difference, could have maybe given them a fraction of what the wanted and at the very, very least protected the integrity of the Constitution. I hope he looks in the mirror, trimming the hairs in his nose, and sees how they rode him too hard and put him up wet. I hope he tumbles upon financial hard times that, inexplicably he cannot extricate himself from, until finally he lives a solidly middle-class existence.

I'll be happy when seeing a video clip of him is the same as seeing a video clip of Jack Lemon as Shelley 'The Machine' Levine, a washed-up, desperate, drunk clawing at everyone and everything around him for some echo of the reverence and respect that he used to propel him through his glory days.

He has it coming to him.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:18 AM on September 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


Even though I'm a Canadian, November 2, 2004 was a depressing night for me. The winter rains had started, there were rats in the walls of my rental, I was struggling to find work, and the failure of democracy in Ohio meant four more years of this murderous fucking clown. No matter what (unless the election is somehow stolen), November 4, 2008 will be a time to celebrate.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:19 AM on September 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


The problem the Republicans now face is that their party mostly no longer represents them. Most Republicans are not in favour of what Bush has done. They recognize that this Administration has been a series of disasters for the country.

The Republicans desperately need an Obama candidate of their own. Someone reasonably young who articulates a vision for America in a way that brings people together. Who brings the party back from the control of the obsessively-religious who seek to establish an effective theocracy.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:33 AM on September 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


I hope not a fraction of a second doesn't go by that he does not reflect on how vastly he erred in almost every single way

Thing is, in the alternative reality that most Republicans inhabit the errors of this administration are few and far between.

Iraq? Better dealing with a known problem now than an unbounded problem 10-50 years from now (eg. Qusay or Uday running Iraq like Kim Jong-il).

Being pro-life, anti-gay, pro-gun rights, anti-drugs, pro-prayer aren't things that people are going to regret later. You're either on one side of these issues or the other.

The FISA bullshit doesn't get me worked up -- provided there was no J. Edgar Hoover-style domestic abuse -- so I doubt Bush is going to lose sleep over that.

The true tragedy of this administration is that which was NOT done; aggressively alternative energy research, continuing Clinton's paydown of the national debt, putting together the single payer health insurance system we so clearly need, downsizing our military so more of the national fisc can be devoted to more productive investments in infrastructure and our people.
posted by troy at 12:41 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hope he tumbles upon financial hard times that, inexplicably he cannot extricate himself from, until finally he lives a solidly middle-class existence.

This is a fine sentiment, but it'll never happen. He'll die peacefully of old age in his sleep, never having second-guessed himself for one second. It simply isn't in his nature to do that. If we're lucky, that will happen in Paraguay rather than Crawford, but I'm not holding my breath on that one, either.

Also, the middle class is far too good for him. I'd rather see him sucking dick for rock money. It's where he truly belongs.
posted by trondant at 12:43 AM on September 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


It's exactly that kind of oversimplified, black and white thought that we need to save America! Blue good! Red bad!

It's exactly this kind of putting words in one's mouth - that anyone who criticises Republicans supports Democrats - that we need to save America.

For eight years, everytime I say something negative about Mr. Bush to my dwindling number of Republican friends, I have had to endure the clever comeback of "but Clinton.... "

And nothing changes.
posted by three blind mice at 12:52 AM on September 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


Most Republicans are not in favour of what Bush has done. They recognize that this Administration has been a series of disasters for the country.

CNN 2004 exit poll sez different:

VOTE BY INCOMES
$200,000 or More (3%) BUSH: 63%

VOTE BY IDEOLOGY
Conservative (34%) BUSH: 84%

WHITE EVANGELICAL/BORN-AGAIN?
Yes (23%) BUSH: 78%

HAVE YOU EVER SERVED IN THE MILITARY?
Yes (18%) BUSH: 57%

ARE YOU GAY, LESBIAN OR BISEXUAL?
No (96%) BUSH: 53%

MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE
Moral Values (22%) BUSH: 80%

MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY
Religious Faith (8%) BUSH: 91%
Strong Leader (17%) BUSH: 87%
Intelligent (7%) BUSH: 9%
Will Bring Change (24%) BUSH: 5%


HOW ARE THINGS GOING FOR U.S. IN IRAQ?
Well (44%) BUSH: 90%

FAMILY'S FINANCIAL SITUATION
Better (32%) BUSH: 80%

AVAILABILITY AND COST OF HEALTH CARE
Not Very Concerned (5%) BUSH: 84%
Not at All Concerned (2%) BUSH: 83%

ABORTION SHOULD BE...
Mostly Illegal (26%) BUSH: 73%
Always Illegal (16%) BUSH: 77%

POLICY TOWARD SAME-SEX COUPLES
No Legal Recognition (37%) BUSH: 70%

NATIONAL ECONOMY
Excellent or Good (47%) BUSH: 87%

IS U.S. GOING IN RIGHT DIRECTION?
Yes (49%) BUSH: 89%

GOVERNMENT DO MORE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS?
No (49%) BUSH: 70%

BUSH TAX CUTS WERE...
Good for Economy (41%) BUSH: 92%

RAQ WAR MADE U.S. MORE SECURE?
Yes (46%) BUSH: 90%

VOTE BY REGION
South (32%) BUSH: 58%

VOTE BY SIZE OF COMMUNITY
Big Cities (13%) BUSH: 39%
Rural (16%) BUSH: 59%

posted by troy at 12:56 AM on September 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


There are a large number of Americans, including some Democrats, who still consider Bush to be one helluva good president. There are a large number of Americans, including some Democrats, who will vote for McCain/Palin because they want to continue in the direction their country is headed (oh yeah, and because Obama is black). If that weren't the case, this election wouldn't be polling as closely as it is.

One thing that's kind of striking is the hand-wringing in the Democratic party about party unity. The Republican party is anything but truly unified, yet they manage to project an appearance that suggests they are. Republicans towards the middle, the Goldwater cloth-coat republicans, sit silently while their presidential nominee panders to the "party of creationism, anti-abortion/anti-contraception, and other pro-life hinky crap, pro-deficit spending ("drown the government in the bathtub"), laissez-faire to the point of allowing the 2003-2007 five trillion dollar household debt bubble to now hang over use like the sword of damocles, pro-establishment of government-sponsored, teacher-led prayers at schools, anti-gay cuz to allow gay partners to enjoy the privileges of traditional married will result in the invisible sky man putting a hex on us, pro-Global Warming", further legitimizing what a casual observer might say is the fringe of the party.

Remember the talk about moderates taking back the republican party? Why haven't we heard from them lately? Maybe the republicans already have "an Obama of their own" in the McCain ticket. If you look at it from they're point of view, Obama represents a Democratic shift farther to the left, so the Republicans are somewhat successfully countering that with a further shift to the right with the selection of Palin.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:00 AM on September 1, 2008


The problem the Republicans now face is that their party mostly no longer represents them. Most Republicans are not in favour of what Bush has done. They recognize that this Administration has been a series of disasters for the country.

NO THEY DO NOT five fresh fish. This is the point. The rank and file Republicans are not happy with Herr Bush, but they still blame the Democrats for everything. The disasters are all Clinton's fault. The only problem with Herr Bush is that in their eyes he has been a little too much like a Democract and too little like a real Republican. They do not see the flaws in their own party. They do not see that fiscal conservatism and social conservatism are not both conservative. They blame the "lib-rurls" instead of their own rotten, stinking, anti-intellectual, trickle-down party.

Republicans talk about change.... there should be a revolution at this convention between libertarians, fiscal conservatives, and the social conservatives... but they're still all under the same big Karl Rove tent playing nice and agreeing with each other on tax cuts, abortion, Iran.

Bush will be thrown under the bus which Ronald Raygun is still driving, but the party will remain the same.
posted by three blind mice at 1:10 AM on September 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I strongly doubt Bush will die peacefully in his sleep. We aren't in that sort of age.

As for the article, it'd be better illustrated with pictures of der Führerbunker, the fake nostalgia and sympathy that we're supposed to feel seeing poor, old Mr. Bush with the cameras going the other way, what a shame that this mass murderer is no longer getting the press coverage that goaded him into even further acts of slaughter and criminal irresponsibility!

Bush is going drink himself to death. He's started again, this is what my sources tell me. His vile murderous wife will leave him and in ten years we're going to see pictures of Bush's room before he died (filled with Budweiser cans) on rotten.com.

If there were a way to express the contempt for the incompetent, the red hot hatred for the man in power who steals from the people, the disgust for someone who prides himself on his inability to think, if I could express this to you in words I would. I thought of just hammering on the keyboard until I was tired. HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:12 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


The rank and file Republicans are not happy with Herr Bush, but they still blame the Democrats for everything

They aren't quite that dumb. They blame it all on the Bush administration, Bush had the right idea but he inexplicably selected a group of incompetents to implement it.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:17 AM on September 1, 2008


Reminded me of this headline:
CLINTON GOLFS ALONE IN RAIN, DARK
posted by PHINC at 1:25 AM on September 1, 2008


I will reserve my pity for all the innocent Iraqis, Afghans and political prisoners who have died over the last several years.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:37 AM on September 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


Remember the talk about moderates taking back the republican party?

No. Refer to the 2004 polling numbers above.

41% of the country thought the 2001-2003 tax cuts were "good for the economy".
49% claimed to be small-government conservatives.

37% want to defend the traditional sanctity of marriage.
42% want tighter restrictions on abortion availability.

In our 50/50 polarized situation you simply can't drift away from 30-40% of the country and win an election. The small-government contingent, ranging from 25-50% depending on the economy, depends on the ~30% social conservative bloc, whose vote is fixed to whomever panders to their single issues (guns, god, gays).

HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE.

I take comfort in the knowledge that a people get the government, and governance, that they deserve. I can say this because other than my share of the $2.5T in deficits he's piled on 2001-2009, none of his policy disasters have affected me personally in the slightest.

The neocon agenda has increased the probabilities of blow-back attack in the intermediate future, but that is neither here nor there right now.
posted by troy at 1:38 AM on September 1, 2008


They aren't quite that dumb. They blame it all on the Bush administration, Bush had the right idea but he inexplicably selected a group of incompetents to implement it.

Yes, they are that dumb. These are the people who voted for Bush. Twice.
posted by three blind mice at 1:59 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


They blame it all on the Bush administration, Bush had the right idea but he inexplicably selected a group of incompetents to implement it.

Yes. I have heard several Republicans express this notion. I have also read a lot of comments on MetaFilter saying how incompetent the Bush Administration is. My belief is that they have been very effective in accomplishing the things they cared about. Other things like disaster relief appear to be evidence of incompetence, but are really the result of not giving a shit.

Things they care about:
-Getting Iraq's oil for Exxon Mobil & friends
-Changing the tax structure to shift the burden onto the non-wealthy
-Loading the Supreme Court with pro-business ideologues
-Gutting the government agencies charged with overseeing business
-Generally deregulating everything in sight
-Privatizing everything they could, excepting police powers, which they concentrated under executive Federal control as much as possible

Things they don't care about:
-Constitutional rights
-Quality of life of people who aren't rich
-Any of the things America supposedly stands for, like self-determination, equal rights, protecting the powerless, etc.
-Serving the citizenry
-Defending the national interest
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:42 AM on September 1, 2008 [14 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy: Bush is going drink himself to death. He's started again, this is what my sources tell me.

Must be true, I saw it on the Internets.
posted by netbros at 3:26 AM on September 1, 2008


I hope there are questions about MCain's relationship with Bush in the debates. He's not a good liar.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:44 AM on September 1, 2008


Have we misunderestimated George W Bush? - The Independent, 1 Sept. 2008
posted by knapah at 4:34 AM on September 1, 2008


"When they dump Pelosi, I'll know they're serious about governing."


I'm kinda behind the ball, but what do you mean by this? By most accounts, Pelosi is an extraordinarily effective speaker of the house. What exactly do you mean by "governing?"
posted by lunasol at 4:57 AM on September 1, 2008


ost Republicans are not in favour of what Bush has done.

Not true. See Gallup on Bush's approval ratings:
In the current poll, 71% of Republicans approve of Bush, compared with an average of 64% in April through June. Twenty-five percent of independents now give Bush a positive review (compared with 23% between April and June) as do just 7% of Democrats (compared with 6% in the April-June period).
Republicans make up Bush's largest and most enthusiastic fan club.
posted by deanc at 5:29 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you seriously think that George W. Bush will spend the rest of his life as a pariah, shunned by most civilized people as a corrupt war criminal, you're fooling yourselves. Look at what happened to Nixon, a war criminal, tax evader, and -- it's all on the White House tapes -- a shamefully racist, antisemitical man.

Nixon ended his days as elder statesman, after about ten years spent keeping a relatively low profile -- he had after all resigned to escape certain impeachment and removal from office -- Bush will instead happily leave office unscathed thanks to Pelosi's incredibly unprincipled (and probably politically dumb) "impeachment is off the table" thing.

Nixon's funeral (nominally not a State funeral, but everyone was there) was an orgy of historical revisionism and insincere praise, with Mourner In Chief Bill Clinton, then the President, who had been elected waving his old photo of himself and JFK, heaping appalling praise on the man who, among his many crimes, hated the Kennedys the most.

Let's hear it from Philip Roth -- long quote but worth it:
Then the realists take command, the connoisseurs of deal making and deal breaking, masters of the most shameless ways of undoing an opponent, those for whom moral concerns must always come last, uttering all the well-known, unreal, sham-ridden cant about everything but the dead man’s real passions. Clinton exalting Nixon for his ‘remarkable journey’ and, under the spell
of his own sincerity, expressing hushed gratitude for all the ‘wise counsel’ Nixon had given him. Governor Pete Wilson assuring everyone that when most people think of Richard Nixon, they think of his ‘towering intellect.’ Dole and his flood of towering clichés. ‘Doctor’ Kissinger, high-minded, profound, speaking in his most puffed-up unegotistical mode–and with all the cold authority of that voice dipped in sludge–quotes no less prestigious a tribute than Hamlet’s for his murdered father to describe ‘our gallant friend.’ ‘He was a man, take him for all and all, I shall not look upon his like again.

Literature is not a primary reality but a kind of expensive upholstery to a sage himself so plumply upholstered, and so he has no idea of the equivocating context in which Hamlet speaks of the unequaled king. But then who, sitting there under the tremendous pressure of keeping a straight face while watching the enactment of the Final Cover–up, is going to catch the court Jew in a cultural gaffe when he invokes an inappropriate masterpiece?

Who? Gerald Ford? Gerald Ford. I don’t ever remember seeing Gerald Ford looking so focused before, so charged with intelligence as he clearly was on that hallowed ground. Ronald Reagan snapping the uniformed honor guard his famous salute, that salute of his that was always half meshugeh, Bob Hope seated next to James Baker. The Iran-Contra arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi seated next to Donald Nixon. The burglar G. Gordon Liddy there with arrogant shaved head. The most disgraced of vice-presidents, Spiro Agnew, there with his conscienceless Mob face. The most winning of vice-presidents, Dan Quayle, looking as lucid as a button. The heroic effort made by the poor fellow: always staging intelligence and always failing All of them mourning platitudinously together in the California sunshine and the lovely breeze: the indicted and unindicted, the convicted and the unconvicted, and, his towering intellect at last at rest in a star-spangled coffin, no longer grappling and questing for no-holds-barred power, the man who turned a whole country’s morale inside out, the generator of an enormous national disaster, the first and only president to have gained from a hand-picked successor a full and unconditional pardon for all the breaking and entering he committed while in office.”

Most Republicans are not in favour of what Bush has done. They recognize that this Administration has been a series of disasters for the country.

You don't know what you're talking about. As the stats above, among other things, demonstrate.
posted by matteo at 5:33 AM on September 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


Like Reagan, Bush is never going to introspect. He'll care about his legacy (Reagan wasn't around for his) but not introspectively - only through the lens of whichever paper he gets in DFW.

It works to McCain's advantage to not have Bush or Cheney at the convention.

Most folks I know who voted twice for Bush are surprised by what they perceive as his colossal mismanagement (how they didn't see it in 2004 I'll never know). So I could see some of them thinking McCain could go right where Bush went wrong. That being said, my lifelong republican father and his cronies in super-rural Indiana are either abstaining or voting Obama, which blows me away.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:38 AM on September 1, 2008


Bush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war
posted by homunculus at 2:36 AM on September 1 [1 favorite +] [!]


I understand that the country has been in a nominal state of permanent emergency since 1933.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:57 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Prison... he belongs in prison...
posted by ALvard at 6:11 AM on September 1, 2008


In 2004, I was well aware that Bush would win, and the only reason I got any comfort out of that fact was that I thought it would fracture the party. To a large extent, I think it has. What I want now is the party that hates government so much yet wants to control it so badly finally be shown explicitly for what they are....a bunch of rich fatcats who want to be in power to make themselves and all their buddies richer.
posted by nevercalm at 6:22 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'll read the link and this thread in a second, but I want to say this first: Who cares.
posted by michswiss at 6:48 AM on September 1, 2008


Getting rid of the Republicans is everything.

Look, historically Democrats were the party of farmers and the working poor, while Republicans represented merchants and the wealthy. When the Democrats choose to take on the mantle of race relations, they pretty much lost the South, and with it a huge chunk of their farmers base. That's why the election map in 1964 looks like this but the next elections' map looks like this and thereafter it has pretty much been the same: all of the Southern states show up red (the one real exception is 1976, which practically looks like an inverse of the normal situation, with a long blue strip of blue along the bottom but plenty of red in the northeast and exclusively red along the west coast).

At the same time, as corporate influence grew, this took a larger chunk of Republican attention. The Republican party also swelled to include all the Dixiecrats and others who didn't like the socially progressive politics of the Democratic party. These two factors turned the Republican party socially conservative and tilted towards the "military industrial complex".

Personality probably plays a huge rule; I think we can blame Reagan for setting up the current stance of the Republican party. Bush Sr. was a bit of a doofus and I didn't agree with his policy agenda but I think at least he tried to govern based on reason, whereas both Reagan and Bush greatly preferred to govern based on wit and guts.

I'd love to see a Republican party that returned to its roots in promoting business and limited government. I'd really love to see the social conservatives splinter off into their own stinking party, since I think once they were surgically removed from the Republican agenda it'd be pretty clear that they cared little about reducing the size of government and their hatred of "government" was more visceral and tied to concerns about public welfare than actually caring about how powerful the government really was. Plus, realistically a third, socially conservative, party would probably be large enough to permanently unhinge the 2 party system (which is why instead social conservatives have been tossed back and forth across party lines depending on the zeitgeist).

I am not a historian, and most of this is probably poppycock. But sometimes it's nice to go on and on and on...
posted by Deathalicious at 6:52 AM on September 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


Is there going to be a massive, mutli regional celebration when this is all over?

Probably. ...and for the purists
posted by Deathalicious at 6:57 AM on September 1, 2008


I'd like to think that Bush will have the rest of his life to consider his mistakes and watch as the nation slowly repairs the damage to our society, but it's pretty clear that he's living a most un-self-examined self. It's as if the self-doubt center of his brain, which normally keeps us on some sort of even keel, has been surgically removed. He'll probably live another 30 or 40 years happily convinced all the while that it's just a matter of time before we add his image to Mt. Rushmore.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 7:03 AM on September 1, 2008


After spending ~12 years getting paid very well to give the occasional incoherent speech to CEOs, he'll reemerge as a public figure to support Jenna's 2020 presidential bid.

And we'll be insisting that Chelsea is really the best choice. Ahhh, democracy.
posted by Killick at 7:05 AM on September 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


Oooh, fight between three blind mice and five fresh fish. Somebody page this guy to break it up!
posted by Deathalicious at 7:09 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


he'll reemerge as a public figure to support Jenna's 2020 presidential bid.

Hindsight in 2020!
posted by hal9k at 7:42 AM on September 1, 2008 [8 favorites]


I appreciate the link to the article, one that I would have missed otherwise. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:28 AM on September 1, 2008


After watching humans for but my humble 29 years, and studying history rather closely, I think I have decided to vote McCain because I no longer think the world is worth its salt. He's apt to destroy it wholesale. Let McCain-Palin Apocalypse begin. Frankly, I don't give a shit what Bush is doing, I just figured drinking.
posted by IvoShandor at 8:31 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bush will be a pariah even within his own family.

When his father George H W Bush broke down crying a while back during a speech after mentioning Jeb Bush, it was because he knows 'W' has destroyed Jeb's prospects of holding any high office in this country-- much less the presidency-- and because he realizes the Bush Dynasty itself, the work of generations and carefully passed from father to son, has been obliterated by his misbegotten almost namesake.
posted by jamjam at 8:34 AM on September 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bush will be a pariah even within his own family.

When his father George H W Bush broke down crying a while back during a speech after mentioning Jeb Bush, it was because he knows 'W' has destroyed Jeb's prospects of holding any high office in this country-- much less the presidency-- and because he realizes the Bush Dynasty itself, the work of generations and carefully passed from father to son, has been obliterated by his misbegotten almost namesake.


If that's the case then Sr. f'ed his lineage through poor parenting.
posted by dobie at 8:46 AM on September 1, 2008


Sr. f'ed his lineage through poor parenting.

Yes. In more specific terms, he failed himself, his son, his family, and his country by using his political power at every crucial moment in W's life to insulate the boy from the consequences of his own actions.

Sr. deserves exactly what he got, but we don't.
posted by jamjam at 8:57 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


After watching humans for but my humble 29 years, and studying history rather closely, I think I have decided to vote McCain because I no longer think the world is worth its salt. He's apt to destroy it wholesale. Let McCain-Palin Apocalypse begin. Frankly, I don't give a shit what Bush is doing, I just figured drinking.

There's some truth to this. Electing Obama--which a huge part of me really wants to see--will simply be a stopgap, a bandaid, covering the wound that's been open since 1980.

We need a fresh start. A tiny part of me wants to see McCain (and especially Palin) installed in 2009. Four more years of tax cuts, war, a shitty economy, and everything that follows Republicans might wake up Americans to take the country back.

Broken eggs and omelettes, and all that.
posted by John of Michigan at 9:16 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Most Republicans are not in favour of what Bush has done. They recognize that this Administration has been a series of disasters for the country.
You don't know what you're talking about. As the stats above, among other things, demonstrate.


If today's Republican party really does represent what the people want, then I'm shocked and dismayed.

I can understand supporting the Republican party in the past. But this party, today's party? It's completely corrupt, utterly incompetent, and actively engaged in destroying America's best interests in the name of enriching a few plutocrats and corporate barons.

If half the US population really is so dumb as to desire going down this road, I sincerely suggest you smart people get outta there. Abandon ship, save yourselves and your children.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:16 AM on September 1, 2008


We need a fresh start. A tiny part of me wants to see McCain (and especially Palin) installed in 2009. Four more years of tax cuts, war, a shitty economy, and everything that follows Republicans might wake up Americans to take the country back.

That's exactly what some on the left were saying in 2000 and 2004; Give the country a dose of the bitter medicine that is far-right governance and they'll come flocking back toward the left (or, at least, the center) in droves. It was a bad idea then and it's a bad idea now.
posted by Bromius at 9:33 AM on September 1, 2008 [5 favorites]


Most Republicans are not in favour of what Bush has done. They recognize that this Administration has been a series of disasters for the country.

This is only false insomuch as most of the Republicans who are adamantly opposed to the Bush administration's false pretenses for war and erosion of our freedoms aren't Republicans anymore. Like me.

I was foolish enough to vote for Bush in 2000 (don't worry, I live in California, my vote never actually counts in a Presidential election), but can't get fooled again. I voted Kerry in 04, and Obama has my whole-hearted support in this election.

There really was a time when the uneasy truce of the Republican party limited the wacko religious nut-jobs' power and also believed in things like "the government has no right to know anything about you unless you are under specific suspicion of a crime." Look how THAT turned out.

No, the religious right will fracture (no religious, ideologically driven movement will last long, historically, without major schism), they'll be disillusioned that the Bush administration had so much power but didn't pay off on their pet hatreds. The more libertarian wing of the party have already pretty much bailed out. The tax-low, spend-low small government crowd are crying in their beers over the biggest bureaucracy expansion since the New Deal.

It may not be fully realized in this election, but there will be a serious shake-up in the GOP.

Personally, I don't believe that the notion that Republicans are that much in lock-step with each other explains the close polling between McCain and Obama. It's really one thing, and one thing only: as has been demonstrated with the more maniacal Hillary supporters, it is simply the case that a small number of both parties (but enough to be statistically significant) simply will not vote for Obama because he is half black. It's massively to his credit that he is keeping ahead and at this time probably still has a better than even chance against McCain.
posted by chimaera at 9:34 AM on September 1, 2008


If half the US population really is so dumb as to desire going down this road,

Over 1/2 of the US population doesn't vote.

62,040,610 voted for George The us population was going to be 292 million in jan 1 2004.

That is less than 1/4th.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:40 AM on September 1, 2008


If half the US population really is so dumb as to desire going down this road, I sincerely suggest you smart people get outta there. Abandon ship, save yourselves and your children.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:16 AM on September 1


Yes, 1/2 the population REALLY IS that dumb. Yes. Yes. A thousand times YES. That's only 1 out of 2. Think, 1 out of 3 still think Bush is doing a great job! Still! Even now!

The polls are DEAD EVEN right now for November. How is this even possible?

And, I've thought strongly about leaving America. The wife and I were watching a TV show about ex-pats just this morning. The question is though, where is the sanctuary? Where can you go that the shadow from America does not reach?

Nowhere on this Earth.

simply will not vote for Obama because he is half black

Indeed. But most people, especially Mefites, refuse to even acknowledge this. As I have said in threads like this before, outside of the coasts, there are a LOT of people who will simply refuse to vote for a black man. It doesn't have to be a majority, as little as 10% would be enough to massively swing the election. And in the heartland, there is more than 1 out of 10 who are uncomfortable with voting for a black guy. I hate it, it embarrasses me, but there it is.

The interesting thing is that racism and sexism overlap to a great degree... so who do they vote for? Black man or white woman?

Interesting.

On preview, rough aslar, that doesn't explain the polling that shows roughly 1/2 supporting the republican candidate.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:44 AM on September 1, 2008


IvoShandor: I think I have decided to vote McCain because I no longer think the world is worth its salt.

How's that skyscraper you're building at 55 Central Park West in New York doing?

Gozer/Vigo '08!
posted by Servo5678 at 9:49 AM on September 1, 2008


"...he sometimes asks companions and agents to ride behind him so that he can have the illusion of riding alone."

There is an extremely bizarre turn to this, I believe, which can be seen from the perspective of a great post by homunculus last January.

I think Bush is actually acting out a bicycle version of his favorite painting, in which a man on a horse rides ahead of a mass of other riders just visible at the edge of the painting:

George W. Bush is famous for his attachment to a painting which he acquired after becoming a “born-again Christian.” It’s by W.H.D. Koerner and is entitled A Charge to Keep. Bush was so taken by it, he took the painting’s name for his own official autobiography. And here’s what he says about it:

"I thought I would share with you a recent bit of Texas history which epitomizes our mission. When you come into my office, please take a look at the beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us. What adds complete life to the painting for me is the message of Charles Wesley that we serve One greater than ourselves."
...

[Bush] came to believe that the picture depicted the circuit-riders who spread Methodism across the Alleghenies in the nineteenth century. In other words, the cowboy who looked like Bush was a missionary of his own denomination.

Only that is not the title, message, or meaning of the painting. The artist, W.H.D. Koerner, executed it to illustrate a Western short story entitled “The Slipper Tongue,” published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1916. The story is about a smooth-talking horse thief who is caught, and then escapes a lynch mob in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The illustration depicts the thief fleeing his captors. In the magazine, the illustration bears the caption: “Had His Start Been Fifteen Minutes Longer He Would Not Have Been Caught.”

So Bush’s inspiring, proselytizing Methodist is in fact a horse thief fleeing from a lynch mob. It seems a fitting marker for the Bush presidency


Pedal harder George, history is right behind you and it's gaining fast.
posted by jamjam at 10:00 AM on September 1, 2008 [15 favorites]


Following on from knapah's link, from Prospect, a conservative magazine in the UK:
A Truman for our Times
posted by djgh at 10:04 AM on September 1, 2008


"Until then I hope Bush Jr. sleeps poorly for the rest of his life...

From Bklyn, I think you are ascribing to Mr. Bush an ability for introspection that the last eight years clearly demonstrate he lacks. I have no doubt he goes to bed every night and falls asleep the moment his head hits the pillow - and he dreams of vast fields of sugarplums.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 10:09 AM on September 1, 2008


It's really one thing, and one thing only: as has been demonstrated with the more maniacal Hillary supporters, it is simply the case that a small number of both parties (but enough to be statistically significant) simply will not vote for Obama because he is half black.

Obama: The Price of Being Black
posted by homunculus at 10:10 AM on September 1, 2008


On a lighter note, this thread (especially the bit about the bike riding) reminds me of President Clinton's Final Days).

Is this the part where I mention that I don't think Obama has a chance in hell at winning because the Republicans are an evil conspiracy that runs the entire world and the US government is just one big set-up, and it really saddens me, both that I'm this cynical and that I really believe this? Ok.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:31 AM on September 1, 2008


After watching humans for but my humble 29 years, and studying history rather closely, I think I have decided to vote McCain because I no longer think the world is worth its salt. He's apt to destroy it wholesale. Let McCain-Palin Apocalypse begin. Frankly, I don't give a shit what Bush is doing, I just figured drinking.


Ooooooh Good Idea!
Also, we should start to use our faces as toilet plungers, and that way we'll get a better view of what's down there, thus being better equipped to deal with future problems.
Logic! Is there anything it can't do?
k time to start drinking...........
posted by mannequito at 10:47 AM on September 1, 2008


Until then I hope Bush Jr. sleeps poorly for the rest of his life...

Akira Kurosawa had a good take on what Bush's future sleeping habits will be.
posted by deanc at 10:58 AM on September 1, 2008


If half the US population really is so dumb as to desire going down this road,

As konolia recently demonstrated in the Palin thread, millions of voters are, literally, single issue voters.

My mom is against abortion and that's keeping her from voting for Obama, because otherwise she's a pretty liberal New Deal democrat.

It doesn't cost the plutocrats anything to sign onto the pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay legislative and juridical agenda, not to mention the Straussian overtones of encouraging muscular christianity ("Who Would Jesus Bomb?") as a means of societal issue control.
posted by troy at 11:00 AM on September 1, 2008


U.S. politics certainly makes a great spectator sport for Canadians. Too bad the outcome of the game affects the whole world and not just your country. What puzzles me is:

-- so many Americans are politically uninvolved and uninformed
-- the minority that votes seems to do so based mainly on team loyalty or something trivial like the candidate's wife's smile.

The result is that the country seems irreparably divided. There just is no consensus on what constitutes good or bad government.

By contrast, when we had a manifestly "bad" leader (Brian Mulroney) some years back, the country just about exterminated his party in the election. From a major party with a majority rule they went to about 2 elected MPs. I cannot understand why the choice between Obama and McCain still seems so close in the polls after the experience of republican rule for the last eight years. Well, except for the two points I just made above.
posted by binturong at 11:06 AM on September 1, 2008


A really sad thing about the abortion issue is that promising to reverse Roe/Wade gives the Republicans so much traction with people who otherwise disagree with them that I can't see a Republican government actually coming good with the promise. Poor devout people selling out their principles for what they see as one big principle, never to get anything in return apart from shafted.
posted by Grangousier at 11:20 AM on September 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


binturong, I've been thinking about this lately. I wonder if, the reason Americans are so superficial and disconnected from our elections is that, for the most part, we are very much removed from any involvement with our government and its workings? What I mean is that we really don't have a true vested interest on a day-to-day basis.

We don't have single-payer healthcare, for instance. Canadians do and, thus, are that much more invested in how their government runs things. Americans, on the other hand, have had this enormous anti-government nail driven into our collective heads from day-one to where we seem to instinctively run-away from anything that might lead us to actually...y'know...give a crap.

About the only things that keeps Americans even tenuously connected to caring about government are Social Security and Medicare...and the general population seems to be close to chucking those away as well, under the steady beat of the "it's too broke to fix, privatize it all" drums. Once those are gone from government control, I suspect we'll be lucky to get a 15% turnout for elections.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:23 AM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm no doctor, but I couldn't help but think about this ( WikiP ):


ICD-10 Criteria for Dissocial Personality Disorder

Specifically, the dissocial personality disorder is described by the World Health Organization by the following criteria:

1. Callous unconcern for the feelings of others and lack of the capacity for empathy.
2. Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations.
3. Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships.
4. Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence.
5. Incapacity to experience guilt and to profit from experience, particularly punishment.
6. Marked proneness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior bringing the subject into conflict.
7. Persistent irritability.

So is there hope?

"In practice, most general psychiatrists rarely treat people with dissocial personality disorder ...as no interventions have proved to be effective"

Well, at least he's "grown surprisingly wistful", the poor man.
posted by buzzv at 12:30 PM on September 1, 2008


Thorzdad, yes, there is a very widespread "my vote doesn't matter/won't make any difference" way of thinking. The other oddity is that Americans seem to regard politicians as revered leaders rather than public servants who they can fire. Hence a lot of inertia and return of incumbents no matter how bad their record.
posted by binturong at 12:31 PM on September 1, 2008


Poor devout people selling out their principles for what they see as one big principle, never to get anything in return apart from shafted.

I think the pro-life people realize that this is a generational-level struggle like the abolitionist, suffrage, and civil rights movements were.

They've been fighting the rear-guard kulturkampf against the Satanic (and I mean that literally) cultural corruption of limousine liberals, feminazis, and teh Gay since the 1960s.

They're looking at velocity of the debate coming towards them, not the absolute position. Zogby Polling from late 2003:
"Some 68 percent of Republicans agreed with the statement that abortion "destroys a human life and is manslaughter" while 43 percent of Democrats in the U.S. also agreed.

The Zogby poll also showed that Americans are more inclined to support "restrictions on abortion" compared to five or ten years ago."
While I am pro-choice I respect the pro-life position since at its kernel is the defense of human life. Ie, given the belief that a human life begins at conception, preventing the host of this life from aborting its development is morally akin to preventing mothers from killing their unwanted infants.
posted by troy at 12:46 PM on September 1, 2008


Fuck that guy.
posted by Wonderwoman at 1:24 PM on September 1, 2008


Let me also throw in a vote for "jail and disgrace" as the final result. Grr.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:03 PM on September 1, 2008


Among the items found in Larry Walsh's final report on Iran Contra one finds "unfortunately the criminal investigation of George H. Bush is incomplete..." it will be no different for his son , privilege has its class.
posted by hortense at 2:57 PM on September 1, 2008


promising to reverse Roe/Wade gives the Republicans so much traction with people who otherwise disagree with them

With the Republican abandonment of any pretense of small-government conservatism, we now have two parties that operate at a curious ideological intersection: supporting the increasing power of government over the lives of citizens, while abrogating their own power to corporations and special interests. If we continue on as we have--and I see no reason why we won't--the future of the United States looks to be one where we'll live as consumers (rather than citizens) in a corporate-dominated surveillance state. (The latter was really brought home to me back during the probably-already-forgotten FISA debacle of several months ago, when Obama assured us that he'll use his unconstitutional domestic spying powers responsibly if he becomes president. If the closest thing the Democrats have had to a genuine liberal candidate in the several decades thinks like that, what hope is there?)

I included the quote above because it seems to be the key to the other path that American politics might take in the future. Right now the two parties have divvied up the elites that their respective supporters feel outraged by: the GOP has the 'liberal elites,' those people from Hollywood, smart-alecky intellectuals, atheists, lovers of things European and what have you, they're the party of social class resentment; the Democrats, at least nominally, are opposed to the corrupt moneyed interests, though they don't push the 'class war' line too vigorously for obvious reasons. Thus two parties where the base grudgingly votes for them, even if they may be indifferent or hostile to the party's fringe interests.

If the parties remain locked in a sclerotic struggle for pork and corporate payola, I expect our democratic experiment to be increasingly undermined before it dies a quiet death at some point in the not-too-distant future--around the time China overtakes us in nominal GDP always seemed like a poetic choice. Change, genuine change will happen only when at least one of the two institutional parties is destroyed, and that will only happen when one of the two jettisons their fringe in order to make a play for the other party's base. That is, when one of them gets rid of the unworkable this-elite-good-that-elite-bad approach and advocates populism, whether in the form of a Bryan or a La Follette.

Given that Democrats have been tentatively willing to embrace socially conservative candidates, while it'll be a cold day in Hell before a Republican ever uses the phrase 'social justice,' I expect the Democratic Party would be the one likely to survive any future political realignment, so it can become the center-right party that it already is in its heart, and a genuine party of the left can emerge. Again, I still consider this less likely than our politicians coming ever closer to being wholly owned subsidiaries of this or that corporate interest. Maybe one day they'll literally wear their endorsements on their sleeves, like NASCAR drivers.
posted by Makoto at 3:50 PM on September 1, 2008


U.S. politics certainly makes a great spectator sport for Canadians. Too bad the outcome of the game affects the whole world and not just your country. What puzzles me is... so many Americans are politically uninvolved and uninformed [and the] the minority that votes seems to do so based mainly on team loyalty or something trivial like the candidate's wife's smile... By contrast, when we had a manifestly "bad" leader (Brian Mulroney) some years back, the country just about exterminated his party in the election. From a major party with a majority rule they went to about 2 elected MPs.

Actually, the voter apathy of Canadians is increasingly beginning to match that in the USA, and it's important to remember that Mulroney wasn't as bad a prime minister so much as he was a smug, unlikeable asshole with a smug, snobby wife who was crucified for introducing the GST in the middle of a recession and for sucking up to the Americans with the Free Trade Agreement. The Liberals made a lot of hay out of the two issues in the 1988 and 1993 elections, but both ended up making a huge contribution to the relatively prosperous and deficit-free Liberal-dominated 1990s.

Technically Mulroney was not voted out in 1993, he stepped down and left Kim Campbell to take the fall in the election, which she called. The Tories were decimated and left with only two MPs in the House while the Liberals doubled their seats, but turn-out was a good 5% less than in 1984, when Mulroney came to power with the largest majority government in Canadian history, and the 1988 election that kept him there. I don't know how much of that 5% were disgruntled Tories, but I assume it was a lot. Also, conservative Canadians took advantage of the choices offered by the newfangled Bloc and Reform parties won over a hundred seats between themselves. If those options had not existed the rout of the Progressive Conservative Party would not have been so severe and it would probably have survived and recovered.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:20 PM on September 1, 2008


USA: kinda of shitty, but what are you gonna do
posted by stinkycheese at 5:55 PM on September 1, 2008


Alvy Ampersand: If Mulroney had had the balls to run on his record instead of cowardly leaving Campbell to take the heat, I imagine he would've been nuked so thoroughly at the polls that we'd still be looking for the body.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:58 PM on September 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's the thing, though; aside from a recession that he couldn't control which contributed to the deficits and prompted the introduction of the GST, his actual record wasn't that horrible compared to those who came before, and in some ways, after. That's why I disagreed with binturong's apparent assertion that Mulroney & Co. were removed by a Canadian electorate more enlightened, enfranchised, and less shallow than their neighbors to the south.

The Tories did get nuked, but it certainly had more to do with the lingering personal contempt people felt for that crooked crumb-bum Mulroney, and by association, the Progressive Conservatives and more choice for right-leaning Canadians and Quebecois than it did about actual track records and real issues.

People hated and continue to hate the guy, but free trade has been a benefit, the GST was a big help to the Liberals who ran on a pledge to eliminate it, and had Mulroney's constitutional antics succeeded, the separatist and referendum crises of the '90s might have been averted.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:32 PM on September 1, 2008


The image of Mulroney is one of the select few that can instantly send my blood pressure up. That smug, greedy fucker should be taken forty yards out into the back section and a bullet put through his head. [spit]
posted by five fresh fish at 6:54 PM on September 1, 2008


Well Alvy, I dont disagree with your perspective but the fact remains that if Americans also took it into their heads to punish a "crooked crumb-bum" -- even by his proxy successor and for whatever reasons -- the race for next president wouldn't be nearly as close as reported. That's what truly puzzles me. Why do half the US population still support the party of massive cronyism, corruption and incompetence?
posted by binturong at 6:54 PM on September 1, 2008


Why do half the US population still support the party of massive cronyism, corruption and incompetence?

It's a two-party system wherein both organizations have a vested interest in portraying themselves as ideologically diametric opposites.

"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:47 PM on September 1, 2008


People in Canada really fought Mulroney and his ideas - and, as you mention, many of his initiatives had a half-life or an early death because of this. In the case of free trade, or the Meech Lake accord for that matter, it's really impossible (for me at least) to imagine how we'd be living now if the public consensus had been positive back then.

A quasi (or more quasi, I guess) independent state, a rah-rah defense buffer zone/clearinghouse for natural resources to big brother to the south? Or is that what happened anyways? And one could certainly argue that "the separatist and referendum crises of the '90s" have ultimately been a positive thing too, although that's certainly a debateable point.

On preview: I agree. It seems to me like the US system is broken as a system. It needs revision and correction, certainly as far as the electoral system goes at the very least. Two choices is not enough.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:05 PM on September 1, 2008


both organizations have a vested interest in portraying themselves as ideologically diametric opposites

It's not about what political parties say, it's about what they do. My point is that the electorate in the US doesn't seem to pay attention to the effects of bad governance while Canadians are a bit more clued in -- because, as Thorzdad said above, we are not ideologically anti-government and have an interest in keeping our civil servants serving society as a whole and not just a privileged insider minority.
posted by binturong at 8:19 PM on September 1, 2008


As follow up to the point that we punish cronyism, that is the main reason we kicked out the Liberals last time, not because we liked the Conservatives. Hence the nice compromise of a minority government -- which is just about to be tested again.
posted by binturong at 8:27 PM on September 1, 2008


That was May. As of late this month, the president and the would-be successor from his own party have not spoken since.
Wow. Good article; the writer (Peter Baker) obviously has good sources among Republicans.

I'm surprised that Baker uncritically accepts the idea that the surge is working: "He could have done the easy thing," says Terry Nelson, a political strategist who worked for both Bush and McCain. "He could have taken the Baker-Hamilton report, and everyone would have said that was good. And instead, he took a gigantic political risk, which today seems to be paying enormous benefits in terms of security in Iraq and political progress. And he gets no credit. None."

Violence in Iraq may be down relative to its peak, but Iraq is nowhere near stable:
The overall level of violence in Iraq is down, with the Iraqi government saying 382 Iraqi civilians were killed in August 2008 compared to 1,770 in the same month a year ago. Only 11 US soldiers were killed in combat in August compared to 56 a year earlier.
That may be enough to keep it out of the evening newscasts in the US, but it doesn't mean Iraq is "stabilizing." See Juan Cole's analysis.

Similarly, he talks about Bush not getting credit for a "long-running economic recovery." It was a pretty weak recovery; see this graph of employment-to-population ratio.

Thorzdad: I wonder if, the reason Americans are so superficial and disconnected from our elections is that, for the most part, we are very much removed from any involvement with our government and its workings?

Maybe. To me it seems more like Americans tune out because political campaigns are so interminable. Here in Canada, the federal government is expected to call an election this week, with the election to take place October 14.
posted by russilwvong at 9:29 PM on September 1, 2008








« Older Haven't heard from your Mummy lately?   |   Technology + Art = Magic Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post