David Seaton's picture

    Why I miss George W. Bush more and more with each passing day

    The Obama administration has long been bumbling along in the footsteps of its predecessor when it comes to sacrificing Americans’ basic rights and liberties under the false flag of fighting terrorism. Now the Obama team seems ready to lurch even farther down that dismal road than George W. Bush did. Instead of tightening the relaxed rules for F.B.I. investigations — not just of terrorism suspects but of pretty much anyone — that were put in place in the Bush years, President Obama’s Justice Department is getting ready to push the proper bounds of privacy even further. Editorial - New York Times

    A review of President Obama’s record suggests that he may have been for same-sex marriage before he was against it. New York Times


    I miss George W. Bush more and more with each passing day.

    What do I miss most about George W. Bush?

    I miss "hope".

    George W. Bush gave the American people hope.

    When Bush was president I, and many like me, had the hope that the United State's fundamental problem was that the president of the United States was stupid.

    Now that Bush has gone, and we have elected a president who is said to have a very high IQ and a suitable time has passed, and looking around, it is becoming clear that things are no better: Guantanamo is still there, the Patriot Act is still there, the people who caused the financial crisis are still there. The two wars that Obama inherited are still there, plus another one he has started on his own...

    It is obvious that the problem we and the world are facing isn't as simple as presidential bandwidth, and, although Barack Obama is beginning to look a bit like William Faulkner's impression of Henry James, whom he described as, "one of the nicest old ladies I ever met"; whatever the problem is in American government, presidential stupidity is not at the heart of it.

    It is beginning to look as if perhaps the American political system itself and perhaps even the country itself are stupid; that George W. Bush and the United States of America were a perfect fit.

    And if that is true, then it is quite difficult not to lose hope.

    Crossposted from: http://seaton-newslinks.blogspot.com/


    Many years ago, someone asked me what I thought NYC should do to improve the subways. I said, put cement mixers at every entrance, and pour cement into all the entrances until you've filled up the entire system, and then start over.  I'm beginning to feel that way about the Federal government.  We elect a very smart man that we think is going to repudiate the failed policies of the Right, and boldly take the country in a completely different direction and he mostly perpetuates all the right-wing inspired policies, or effectively waters down any left-leaning policies so that they can be easily nullified by a determined and unified effort by the Right.  Obama's re-election prospects are pinned not on our hope, but on our greater revulsion with whomever the Repugs nominate.   Sad, that it's come to this.  Perhaps it's time to order up the cement mixers. 

    The problem is that we have people in power and a populace that has gotten drunk on the Kool Aid of unrestrained capitalism and laissez-faire economics. We are now seeing the consequences of this here and in Europe. Especially in Europe where they came up with this fantasy of a common currency and no governmental or regulatory body to make sure all were playing by the same rules.

    So what we have now is a situation where economic anarchy rains and only the financiers are making out with everyone else being thrown under the bus. Any student of history can tell you well that works out.

    I do not recall that you were all that hopeful about an Obama presidency in 2008.  IIRC, you enjoyed the negative attention your criticisms drew from Obamabots at TPM.  Of all people, you should not be expressing disappointment for dashed hopes from Obama's presidency.  Some people are just not made for hope, eh?



    You misunderstand me... I had hoped that the problem was Bush's stupidity... I had few hopes in Obama, but even those few hopes were misplaced.


    While you sit over in Spain being hyper-critical, there are people here in the United States working on solutions. You gave up. You live in Spain. The last thing we need is advise from a quitter. Enjoy your new Spanish government.

    The big problem with the USA is that it isn't just a problem for the USA, it's a problem for the entire world... every square inch (centimeter) of it. The solutions: reform of campaign financing, end of militarism, a few taxes for the rich, a real single payer national health plan, etc, etc... but why go on.... The solutions are all "worked".... but for some reason, we know that they are never likely to happen... and like I say, this affects every man, woman and child on the planet. 

    Can you name any point in human history that you would have considered ideal?

    How is a lack of a national, single-payer health care plan in the US a problem for "every man, woman and child on the planet?"  

    American anxiety affects everyone.

    Yes, and the beating of a butterfly's wing in Omaha can cause a tsunami in Japan.  I was hoping for a slightly more direct causal connection.

    Rising income inequality in the USA, with stagnant or falling incomes, now with high, long term unemployment with absurdly short unemployment coverage (only 6 months) topped off with no national health plan (when people lose their jobs they have no health insurance) means that Americans have to deal with more anxiety than the people of any other developed country. This anxiety makes calm discussion and reasonable policy making difficult or impossible.... and THAT hysteria affects everyone on the globe, America being the problem nowadays and not the solution.

    brewmn, Some so-called Progressives have gone completely mad. They have a laundry list of complaints and then conclude with the statement that none of their complaints can be solved. Can you imagine how emotionallly draining it must be around people who admit defeat before they have even attempted to do anything?

    Some truly believe that by letting a political foe win an election you have actually won a victory. These so-called Progressives have a depressing message and then wonder why people don't feel inspired after hearng their views. At the end of the day they only thing that they have is the same depression driven anger that we get from the Tea Party.

    *Looks around, goes back to his churrascaria*

    LOL!  I really do like the reason Bush gave you hope about this country.  But yeah, we've been talking about the New Manual here this week, and the prosecution of good whistleblowers, and the investigation of peace groups and political activists...it's all getting to be too fucking much.  Plus the thrity-page memo Obama gave Congress about how Libya isn't a war and ...and...Charlie Savage's piece in the Times kinda blows that all up: Koh/Obama v. the Rest of the WH Lawyers. 

    Lulu stuck it up In the News.  (via Greenwald)

     I would like to say that it can annoy the tar outta me that you and a few others breeze in here and only tend your own blogs.  Or have I said that before?   ;o)


    Only so many hours a day for blog tending, with a family and a job.

    Most all of us have serious time constraints, Dave, but manage to comments on at least a few other blogs of interest. 

    I shall visit you assiduously! Innocent

    LOL!  Got me, Dave!

    And here I thought I was falling down on the job because I mostly ONLY comment on others' blogs.

    Until the GOP base is small enough to drown in a bathtub, and until voters can prune the Democratic Party down to the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, things aren't going to change much, except for the worse if the GOP gets back in total control of the government, which voters seemed eager to accomplish in 2010.

    The nine most feared words in the English language, "I'm a Republican, and I'm here to govern you!"

    Your blog alludes to a point that I think is important...

    And that is the importance of capturing the reigning ideology.

    Ideology is more important than individuals because it's all-pervasive, like the air we breathe. It thus colors the way we think about issues and the options we think we have.

    The conservative ideology has reigned really since Reagan, but with Carter presaging it in some ways. Clinton and Obama are liberals who've found ways to get elected in the face of this ideology. But they haven't been successful in changing the prevailing winds.

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