Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Spying Shows "Il Doofus" Bush Not Only Worst President: He's the Craziest

By MANIFESTO JOE

Much has been written this year about the possibility that future historians will regard George W. Bush as the worst U.S. president ever.

Recently, columnist Richard Reeves wrote:

"The History News Network at George Mason University has just polled historians informally on the Bush record. Four hundred fifteen, about a third of those contacted, answered ... 338 said they believed Bush was failing, while 77 said he was succeeding. Fifty said they thought he was the worst president ever."

I'll go one up on that. Not only is Bush at the bottom among the presidents -- Fillmore, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Grant, Harding, Hoover and Carter, I would argue, were probably all marginally better, or at least not quite as bad -- in addition, Bush is arrogant to a point that suggests megalomania, a mental disorder. He's even more arrogant than Nixon, and that's saying plenty.

I leave it to Reeves to lay out specifics of Bush's staggering incompetence. He did a fine job in the aforementioned article, "Is George Bush the Worst President -- Ever?" It can be found on his Web site. I'll just add that Bush has the anti-King-Midas touch. Everything seems to turn into excrement.

But after his so-called defiant performances in defending the secret eavesdropping, in complete disregard for the law, the "president" revealed himself as what some have long suspected. This is the American Mussolini, only crazier. (And at least Il Duce could make the trains run on time).

Early in Bush's first term, even before 9-11, one blogger dubbed Bush "Il Doofus." Now, with three years left in Bush's second term, it doesn't seem so funny.

Bush not only has the insolence to claim that his warrantless domestic spying was proper, he has also complained about "illegal" leaks to the media about his administration's brash lawlessness.

The fact is that a 1978 law, passed in response to Nixon's many abuses of power, clearly and explicitly requires the government to obtain a warrant for such action.

Predictably, Bush has had defenders. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales were quick to oblige. And this is simply part of the problem. This megalomaniac has surrounded himself with nothing but cronies and toadies. Anyone who would dare risk one of his private tantrums has long since departed, leaving America to be "led" by a crypto-fascist crackpot who apparently believes that God speaks directly to him.

The first thing the House of Representatives should do when it reconvenes in January is start drawing up articles of impeachment. If they would do that to a president who lied about getting a blow job, what about one who has clearly broken a law that specifically limits his powers?

Problem is, some of Bush's GOP toadies are in the House, chairing committees. And then there's the Supreme Court that appointed him president in the first place. This offense is likely to go to them for a decision. It will be 5-4, I'll bet.

The Boston Globe recently quoted Yale University constitutional law professor Jack Balkin: "Once you begin with the assumption that an emergency justifies suspension of constitutional rights, and that the president cannot be bound by the rule of law ... there is very little left to restrain the president. And so he has not been restrained."

I'll suggest one thing to restrain this president. A straitjacket would do the job nicely.

MANIFESTO JOE IS AN UNDERGROUND WRITER LIVING IN TEXAS

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good points, but I have to admit, I was disappointed that this writer included Jimmy Carter on a short list of crummy presidents. I can't understand why Carter would be included on such a list and not, say, Ronald ("Death Squads") Reagan, a mediocre grade B actor who had to be told EVERYTHING what to do by his advisers (when he wasn't sleeping at Cabinet meetings, that is). Reagan was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children civilians in Central America. Reagan also left America with gigantic deficits that haunt us to this day. In comparison Carter did the following:
1. Successfully negotiated the ONLY signficiant peace treaty the U.S. ever achieved in the history of the Middle EAst (between Israel and Egypt).
2. Created 10 million jobs (a better job creation record than Reagan, who created 18 million jobs over TWO terms).
3. Pressed for human rights worldwide. (Yes, I know, it's hard to believe, but once upon a time, the U.S. was actually a leader in human rights). Seems like a million years ago.
BTW, Carter has been tainted by revisionst historians who point to the nation's economic woes during his term. But they fail to point out that the U.S. was slammed by the second OPEC oil crisis in 1979 (something that would have harmed the economy under ANY president and something Carter had no control over).
Usually, I agree with what I read in this blog, but I disagree strongly that Carter is a mediocre president.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I always found it ironic that Reagan portrayed himself as a foe of government and labor unions. I mean Reagan basically had 2 jobs in his life: labor union president (when he was an actor) and government employee for many years. During World War II, Reagan never set foot outside of California, where he spent the war getting blowjobs from young actresses and living the glitzy life of a young, hotshot Hollywood leading man. By contrast, Carter, a submarine commander, was in uniform longer than any other president.

Anonymous said...

MANIFESTO JOE RESPONDS:
I truly understand were y'all are coming from about this. My personal opinion is that Reagan intentionally did much more profound long-term damage to the country than Carter ever accidentally tried to. Please understand that when I included Carter on a short list of failed or below-average presidencies, I was doing so based on the consensus of historical opinion about this, as it stands now. And, although Carter has certainly distinguished himself in his conduct as a former president, please recall a few things about him:
(1) Carter was the start of the serious rightward movement of the Democratic Party away from the New Deal, pro-labor consensus that helped make the U.S. economy a strong one for ALL Americans during the 20th midcentury period. He started the movement toward neo-liberal deregulation -- the airlines were dereged during this period, and look where they are now. After the Soviet invasion of Afganistan, he was behind a $40 mil. covert program to train Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan and Afghanistan for combat against the Soviets. Was this the birth of al Qaeda? And despite his lip service to human rights, what exactly did he do about the genocide that was going on in East Timor, under the vicious, U.S.-backed Suharto dicatorship in Indonesia? His administration betrayed organized labor and the progressive movement generally. Why do you think Kennedy, against good advice, decided to challenge him in the '80 primaries?
(2)He was a notoriously ineffectual politician. Sorry, but that's part of how the game is played. He was infamous for being unable to deal with the Congress --unable to get much major legislation passed, even with his own party in control of both houses. He was known as a "narcissistic loner" who simply couldn't work well with others. Very high IQ. Very low EQ.
(3) Despite being a 16-hr.-a-day workaholic, he couldn't even get his own reps in the U.N. to vote as directed. Remember that time when they screwed it up?
Let's not romanticize the past. Best to own up to past failures and move forward with better leaders. Let's face it, Carter was not only no FDR. Hell, he wasn't even Clinton.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Bush being crazy, British author John le Carré wrote an excellent piece on "America's Madness," which you can read here:

http://www.snopes.com/rumors/lecarre.htm

Anonymous said...

The writer makes a number of points in describing why he thinks Jimmy Carter should be on the short-list of below-average presidents. Say what you want to about Carter, but the fact is, he didn't subvert the Constitution like Reagan did with Iran-Contra. Anyway, it's strange to be debating Carter's merits in the first place when there are so many evil criminals, so richly deserving of our wrath, in power today in the Bush White House (which represents probably the greatest gang of crooks to seize a modern state since WWII). All this in-fighting and self-doubt among Dems is noticeably absent over on the GOP side these days. You won't ever catch any Cons sitting around wringing their hands about any failed GOP presidents. Instead they're working furiously all the time to polish the image of and rehabilitate presidents like Nixon. If you ask me, the Dems are just too goddam polite these days--they really need to take off the gloves and fight for a change. In case you haven't noticed it, our nation is in big trouble, people.

farang said...

I'd like to point out that the airline "De-reg" was Reagan's pet project, not Carter's.

I'd like to point out that Carter started an "Alternative Fuels" program, of which a commenter at DKos produced a chart (May 2005) showing that in 1980 the US actually DECLINED in oil imports, for the ONLY TIME EVER in our history, which Alzheimer Ron promptly cancelled.

Just don't historically revise Carter's legacy, it was the Mighty Wurlitzer of the Right that tagged that "Ineffective" meme on him, and you should know better that to be hypnotized by it here.

Thenekkidtruth said...

Just piling on:

- Carter inherited the cost of the Vietnam war, which Ford largely passed on to him instead of dealing with it.
- But for an unfortunate helicopter crash in Carter's attempt to deliver the Iran hostages, he would have been remembered for all times as a strategic visionary and a hero. Bush wakes up to similar military disasters on a daily basis, and has for years.
- If Carter's brilliant energy policies had been heeded rather than ignored, we may have avoided the disasterous conflict we find ourselves in today. Reagan literally removed the solar collectors off the roof of the White House on his first day in office.
- Carter's Camp David Accord forged a framework of peace between Israel and Egypt that lasts to this day.
- Back when presidents were successful in dealing with other nations' nuclear armament, Carter brokered a unilateral removal of nuclear arms with South Korea.
- Carter had a clear sense of whom to trust and ended US backed support for Somoza's dictatorial regime in Nicaragua, and broke with US precident by criticizing Augusto Pinochet and the apartheid government of South Africa. Carter let human rights be his guide with regards to decisions like these, in contract to his Republican predecessors and successors.
- Carter had an outstanding record on civil rights and was a tireless advocate for the environment, creating the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which is at risk today by Bush Republicans.
- In contrast, Reagan's administration was the most corrupt administration of any president with 138 indicted individuals, he reverted to a familar pattern of trusting the wrong individuals in foreign affairs (Afghani insurgents, including Bin Laden, Manuel Noriega in Panama), and Reaganomics was the beginning of a disasterous economic policy for the working class and a pattern of not being straight with the American people (if he didn't like an economic statistic, he would change the metric or simply kill the report) that's been taken to an extreme by Bush. It's well-accepted today that the fall of Soviet communism would have occurred anyway without Reagan's influence.

Right-wing spin has been effective in defacing Carter's presidency, but in truth, a good case could be made for Reagan's presidency representing the better contender for a dismal presidency. With virtually no redeeming qualities, and an appalling amount of damage both here and abroad, however, Bush's presidency demands serious consideration as the worst of all times.

Anonymous said...

MANIFESTO JOE responds belatedly to Farang:
No revisionist history here. The Airline Deregulation Act was signed into law Oct. 28, 1978, by President Jimmy Carter. Let's not gloss over Carter's true record. As Patrick Moynihan said, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. True, Carter was better than our recent GOP presidential disasters. But his administration was damaging to the Democratic Party, and the country. He may have unknowingly opened the door for the right-wingers to more or less rule us for 26 years or more.

Anonymous said...

Michael Moore—an anti-war activist and filmmaker—believes that Bush’s egregious delay in rescuing stranded residents of New Orleans was rooted in racial discrimination. “It’s black people who are dying, so Bush doesn’t care” (Interview by David Smith. Statement by Dr. Calvin Butts (Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City and president of the Council of Churches of the City of New York). (2005, September 4). ‘It’s black people who are dying, so Bush doesn’t care.’ guardian.co.uk/. Retrieved October 16, 2008, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/04/hurricanekatrina.usa1).

“‘A large part of our self-esteem derives from our [racial background],’ Monteith said. ‘To the extent we can feel better about our [racial background] relative to other [racial backgrounds], we can feel good about ourselves. It’s likely a built-in mechanism’” (Shankar Vedantam. (2005, December 10). Psychiatry Ponders Whether Extreme Bias Can Be an Illness. Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2008, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/09/AR2005120901938.html).

“‘I don’t think racism is a mental illness, and that’s because 100 percent of people are racist,’” said Paul J. Fink, a former president of the American Psychiatric Association (Shankar Vedantam. (2005, December 10). Psychiatry Ponders Whether Extreme Bias Can Be an Illness. Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2008, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/09/AR2005120901938.html).

An individual’s dispositions relative to people of other racial backgrounds, however racist, may be nobody else’s business and do not in and of themselves constitute moral offenses or blameworthy actions or blameworthy omissions of action where every person is a racist to whatever extent. Dr. Paul J. Fink indicates—above—that “100 percent of people are racist.” Maybe one cannot be blameworthy relative to racist dispositions that secretly and merely exist in one’s heart and mind. However, a moral offense or a blameworthy act or a blameworthy omission of action has been committed or effectuated when one acts upon a racist disposition in a way that disadvantages and/or harms one or more individuals. Accordingly, President Bush may not have committed any offenses in secretly hating black people in his heart and mind. This hateful and racist disposition of Bush may be nobody else’s business. However, Bush committed or effectuated moral offenses or blameworthy acts or blameworthy omissions of action when Bush acted upon his hatred of black people in so delaying rescue efforts relative to stranded residents of New Orleans. Kanye West—an American rapper, record producer, and singer—said on NATIONAL TV: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

Bush’s racial prejudice against black people pursuant to Hurricane Katrina resulted in the deaths of so many black people. Those dead black people are never coming back. They are gone forever. Look what Bush has done.

Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993