George W. Bush: So Many Scandals...
The George W. Bush administration has had so many scandals, it’s incredible that the public (and the media) seems to focus on just one scandal at a time. They called Reagan the Teflon President, but compared George W., Reagan was made of Superglue. Thanks to the “media” – or whatever you want to call the handful of corporations that owns most of the newspapers and TV/radio stations – as soon as a new Bush scandal pops up, the previous one just falls off the radar.
During the summer of 2002, with the corporate scandals (Enron, etc.) burning up the headlines, Bush’s insider trading allegations with Harken Energy started getting more attention. For a brief period, Bush was squirming under the same microscope with Kenneth Lay and other disgraced former CEOs. And then – a little sleight of hand – Omigod, look over there! It’s Saddam Hussein! He’s going to nuke the world any minute. We have to do something Now! And poof – the Harken scandal fell off the edge of the Earth.
And the Iraqi war – where to begin……. First we had fake documents (no, not “faulty intelligence”) to conjure up this global threat from Iraq. After invading Iraq it was realized that the Weapons of Mass Destruction didn’t exist, and Saddam Hussein wasn’t allied with Osama bin Laden or Al Qaida. The war – which was supposed to last several days – is still raging more than a year-and-a-half later. Nobody in the administration anticipated the number (or ferocity) of the insurgent groups that are now tearing Iraq apart. Does anybody in the “intelligence” community know anything about the Middle East, or even speak Arabic?
In other words, Bush has totally screwed up everything that could possibly be screwed up – from the non-existent reasons for invading, to the mounting death toll a year and a half after “Mission Accomplished” was declared, to the plan for getting out of Iraq (i.e. there isn’t one). When Lyndon Johnson botched everything up in the Viet Nam war, he refused to run for re-election (knowing he’d probably be trounced on election day). And Johnson inherited the Viet Nam war from previous administrations. Bush, on the other hand, single-handedly created the Iraqi war, botched everything every step of the way, and now he stands a good chance of getting elected next Tuesday??!?!?!?!
The Valerie Plame scandal: When Joe Wilson, a retired diplomat, wrote an article refuting Bush’s claim about Saddam Hussein seeking uranium from Niger, Bush got even. Two senior administration officials leaked the name of Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, to columnist Robert Novak, and Novak printed it. Valerie Plame is a CIA agent whose life was threatened by having her name revealed. (A brief digression here: How does Robert Novak sleep at night? And why isn’t he being prosecuted?) And then the Valerie Plame scandal fell off the front pages to make room for……
The Medicare prescription coverage scandal. This bill was pushed, and loudly publicized, to show the Bush administration’s concern for Medicare patients. In reality, it’s mostly an expensive giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry. While the bill was being debated in Congress, the top Medicare actuary came up with a cost estimate that was tens of billions more than the amount Bush had “estimated.” The Medicare administrator, Thomas Scully, threatened to fire this actuary if he didn’t keep his mouth shut.
You could fill an encyclopedia – heck, a whole library – writing about Bush’s war on the environment. Just one recent item: a law regulating strip mining in West Virginia was reworded slightly. By changing just one phrase, Bush changed this entire document from a law to a loose guideline.
Each Bush scandal has its 15 minutes of fame, and then vanishes. If any one of these scandals is isolated and analyzed separately, it may or may not be sufficient reason to fire him. But in the larger view, seeing all of these scandals together, it becomes shockingly clear: We need to get this *%*&$#*$&* out of the White House!