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