September 16, 2005

Scandals, Corruption, & Lies. Oh My!

It must’ve been a long hot summer for George W. Bush, plagued with so many detrimental events that made his approval ratings plummet. Now that the summer is over, I thought it would be a good time to review and ‘summer-ize’ what happened in the name of neo-conservative governance.

What I found particularly ironic was that each time a scandal broke out and made George & Co. look bad; they got bailed out… by another scandal! No really – when was the last time you heard about the Downing Street Memos? Not since the Valerie Plame/Karl Rove scandal dominated the headlines. And when was the last time you heard about Val & Karl?

So, here’s my summary of the summah…

Social Security Privatization….er….Reform

The summer started out with George going on tour to promote his pet project to make his Wall Street buddies richer and decimate the New Deal. The country didn’t buy it, and his approval ratings plummeted.

Terri Schiavo

A woman in Florida lay helpless in a persistent vegetative state for 15 years, kept alive only by feeding tubes. Her husband did everything he could for her, but finally decided it was time to move on. However, her parents still weren’t ready to let go.

As he tried to ‘pull her plug’ and let her die in peace, a national uproar emerged when the Republicans stepped in to grab the spotlight and ‘save’ Terri Schiavo. Even George W. Bush went out of his way to fly back to Washington ahead of schedule, to sign a bill steamrolled through by the Republican-dominated Congress, to keep Terri Schiavo’s feeding tubes in place. It was their “...culture of life…” statement.

In the end the ‘activist’ judges ruled that it was a private family matter and Congress had no business getting involved. Not surprisingly, that’s exactly how the people in this country felt by all accounts in the polls. But as the scandal heated up, the Republicans had egg on their faces, and their approval ratings plummeted.

The Downing Street Memos

Many of the people in this country already knew that George & the Neocons had duped us into war on Iraq with falsified intelligence. That’s right - FALSIFIED intelligence, not FAULTY intelligence. The 9/11 Commission didn’t have the chutzpah to come out and say that the Bush Administration deliberately lied, but they came pretty close. Instead they just blamed the ‘faulty’ intelligence.

The Downing Street Memos are clear-cut positive proof that Bush lied. He “.. fixed the intelligence around the policy..”. I thank the brave Brits who shared these documents with the world. As the Downing Street Memos gained momentum, Bush’s approval ratings plummeted.

The Valerie Plame Outing

Although this actually happened in 2002, this summer it was revealed that Karl Rove was the ‘Senior Administration Official’ who deliberately leaked the identity of an undercover CIA operative. Bush didn’t keep to his word and do anything about it. There’s no way he would consider firing his mentor – Karl Rove. Instead, his lies and hypocrisy bled through, and his approval ratings plummeted.

Cindy Sheehan & the Anti-War Movement

The anti-war movement was limited to the blogosphere until Cindy Sheehan stepped up and assumed the role of anti-war leader of this country. She’s simply an articulate, passionate lady who lost her own son over the quagmire in Iraq, and had the courage & backbone to take Bush to task. As George spent the entire month of August on vacation, Cindy spent the entire month on his doorstep, bringing attention to the sometimes-forgotten war he’s waging in the Middle East.

Keep an eye on this one because the anti-war movement is only going to get stronger. How do I know? Because it’s not going away. And as the anti-war movement strengthens, Bush’s approval ratings plummet.

Skyrocketing Gas Prices

This is the one that touches everybody. We all have to buy gas for our vehicles & heat/cool our homes, and the outrageous price of gas has had a huge impact to our collective pocketbooks. As Dick Cheney once said: “High gas prices are a sign of a failed presidency”. Let’s not forget that the price of gas began to soar long before the Katrina hurricane hit the Gulf coast. And as the price of gas rises, Bush’s approval ratings plummet.

The Iraqi Constitution

I won’t harp on the fact that the Iraqi National Assembly missed the deadlines Bush set for them… repeatedly. However, I will harp on the fact that the Iraqi Constitution, as it appears in draft, is a joke. Not only is it not supported by Sunni’s who are the basis of the insurgency, but the draft of the Constitution reportedly installs Islam as the country’s official religion. Doing so makes Iraq another Islamic Republic, akin to Iran... a theocracy where women are second-class citizens. The people in our country see right through this quagmire in Iraq, and as they do, Bush’s approval ratings plummet.

Hurricane Katrina

What started out as a deadly hurricane, turned into a complete disaster, and largely because of the way the Government handled it. The common opinion is that the Government failed at every level, but in particular, Bush himself was (and still is) heavily criticized for the way he leisurely went about his politicking and fundraising while poor black people in New Orleans suffered and died. There’s a truckload of more criticism to go around, certainly too much for this short essay, but suffice to say - you guessed it - Bush’s approval ratings plummeted.

Yeah, the summer couldn’t be over soon enough for George. Now that fall has arrived, we have to ask ourselves: What scandal will next divert our attention from the Katrina catastrophe?


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