"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Monday, January 19, 2009

The End of The Bush Era Is Near

In less then 24 hours, the Bush Administration will cease to exist with large celebrations nationwide. Like many, January 20th at noon can not come soon enough as George W. Bush Jr. failed in every way a President can fail.

His simpleton black and white approach to the world, his infantile view of what a leader is and his constant desire to prove he should be the favorite son of his father nearly destroyed this country.

His decisions seemed to be based on few criteria. Step 1 was to show up his father (Iraq, taxes). If the decision had nothing to do with that then step two was compare it to his simple word view criteria which comes down to rich is good, big business is good, and government is bad. If the decision hit against those criteria he was against it, if it matched them he was all for it. Its why there was NEVER a decision he made that didn't benefit his rich friends or large corporations in some form or fashion. It’s also why Katrina was such a disaster because no decision he could make would match those criteria.

What was worse though was his view of what a leader is. He thinks it’s sticking to your guns and making quick decisive decisions without showing any doubt and taking credit for successes and placing blame elsewhere for the failures. In essence is the middle manager approach to leading of maintaining illusions while depending on others to get the work done. However, most middle managers at least have enough sense to make sure those that get the real work done are competent enough to do it. Bush was so focused on getting yes-men he failed to look deeper, after all doubt isn't a sign of leadership. In the end, his Nixonian belief that anything the President does is right compounded mistake after mistake preventing a reversal of course even after we saw the crash coming.

While Bush's friends try to spin his administration as one history will vindicate, it’s pretty clear that is delusion at best. Economically he was part of two recessions, one that teeters to a depression. Foreign policy he started two wars, on two fronts, without an exit plan or an end. He created the "Axis of Evil" that has lead to North Korea to seek nuclear weapons as a defense when he basically threatened an invasion. In the end he had few friends on the worldwide stage, having made all of them look like fools. Domestically there is 9/11, Katrina, and crumbling infrastructure and a massive debt (despite claim republicans are fiscally responsible). What ever standard you want to use to measure a President, things are worse now then they are when he started.

The man is an epic failure who sadly will walk away with his head held high because he doesn't have the brain power to recognize his own failure and too much pride to admit it even if he did. Introspection just isn't a characteristic of the Bush clan. Here is hoping the Obama years are much better as he tries to repair the damage Bush wrought.

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