Saturday, November 11, 2006

More Reactions to Bush and the Elections

Years from now, people will be studying the Bush Administration on how not to run a government. Bush and Karl Rove knew a thing or two about divisive politics and running campaigns and they succeeded in obscuring some simple facts for three elections: neither knows much about the lives of average Americans or how to run a rational foreign policy or how to save a region after a hurricane. And Cheney was no Mr. Fix-it man despite his reputation when he decided to become a de facto prime minister of sorts. President Bush could have saved his presidency a long time ago by simply admitting that he didn't really know what he was doing. Asking for help is not a sin, and not a sign of weakness. Republican Abraham Lincoln is regarded as the greatest president of the 19th century, maybe the greatest ever, and he was not shy about picking the brains of the best minds of his generation.

Leonard Pitts Jr., who writes for the Miami Herald, had this to say:
There is a thin line between steely resolve and mulish obstinacy, and the signature failing of the Bush administration where Iraq is concerned may be the simple fact that it has never understood this, that it crossed the line a long time ago without thought or hesitation and never looked back.

Mission accomplished, they said. Iraq has turned the corner they said. The insurgency is in its last throes, they said. And never mind all the evidence that the mission was not accomplished, the corner was not turned and the insurgents have throes they haven't even used yet.

Moreover, never mind the evidencce the invasion was a botch from day one and the administration had no realistic plan for securing Iraq after it fell. ...

The administration was willfully walled off from the real world and thus, happy to dismiss any voice that dared raise itself in dissent.

And as the months turned to years, it became painfully clear that it didn't matter whose voice it was; there was none so authoritative that Team Bush could not ignore it.


... So there is something inspiring about the events of this week, some necessary reminder that power in this country ultimately resides with the people.

On Tuesday, the people said no. On Wednesday, Donald Rumsfeld was gone.

It's reassuring to know there's still one voice even the White House can't ignore.

Even the Democrats will have to remember that. I'm a liberal Democrat but I respect the voters. For me, being a liberal in this era means first protecting democracy and the US Constitution and, secondly, rebuilding a functioning government by doing nothing more than demanding accountability and favoring professionals and experts (regardless of party) over cronies and Republican loyalists more intent on pushing the party line rather than good sense.

Some issues are going to have to wait as long as four to six years while we repair our government and rebuild public discourse. Some important issues, like energy independence, are six years overdue and are going to require attention from both parties for some years to come. The Republican Party has left a big hole in the middle and the Democratic leadership seems to understand that the hole needs to be filled. There are plenty of good things to be done.

In the meantime, our nation needs to start a serious discussion about the future. Of those now living, many of our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will live to see the 22nd century, and we need to make sure they and our democracy have a future.


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