Saturday, November 22, 2008

Goodbye George W. Bush - A Thanksgiving Remembrance

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W. Bush, August 5, 2004

As Thanksgiving approaches, many are wishing for no better gift than for George W. Bush to resign early. And while some would like to eulogize Bush's accomplishments, I, instead come not to praise W., but to bury him.

For, early or not, in just a couple more months, the terrible disaster of the George W. Bush presidency will be over.

But...hold your cheers for a moment. For now, as the great American holiday of Thanksgiving is upon us, let us take a journey down memory lane to remember the amazing accomplishments of the past eight years of this magnificent Presidency, and to give thanks.

For who could forget our beloved leader reading the importantly instructive "My Pet Goat" while the twin towers fell, and his immensely inspiring twenty minute pause for inner reflection during this time of mass panic?

There is then, of course, the revelation of the infamous report, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the U.S.," proving the White House was more than prescient in its attitude to ignore the threats about domestic terrorism.

Let us remember that the Administration reacted swiftly to the crisis, demonstrating a clear facility and ease for manufacturing false intelligence (otherwise known as the "miracle of the yellowcake") as well as the brilliant insight required to re-employ journalists as tools for suppressing descent and White House operatives for smearing political opponents and committing perjury.

And who, indeed, was not "shocked and awed" by the invasion of the country that had nothing to do with the attacks - Iraq - and swift resolution of our purpose there to find weapons of mass destruction...ahem, I mean route out and destroy Al Qaeda...ahem, I mean establish a shining beacon of American democracy in the middle east...ahem, I mean, depose Saddam and reap the economic benefits of middle-eastern oil...ahem, I mean, establish a permanent military base in the middle east...ahem, I mean, just see if we can stop the internecine bloodshed for long enough to get our asses out of there? And was the mission not successfully accomplished to much brouhaha and fanfare, as our leader proclaimed in 2003?

After such clear early success, Bush became truly a new-technology pioneer, uniting phone and Internet companies with the visionary goal of creating a vast new secret government network for spying on American citizens.

And will not Guantanamo Bay and the policy of "secret rendition" of political enemies to far-flung ex-Soviet-block countries for torture-interrogation programs forever be remembered as one of America's most inspiring programs for democracy?

However, I think, for some of us, what we will miss most is the extraordinary literary focus of Bush Administration, with for instance Bush's eloquent speech titled, "Fool me Once, Shame On — Shame On You. Fool Me — You Can't Get Fooled Again," and the particularly remarkable poetic ode by Staff Existentialist, Donald "Shit Happens" Rumsfeld: "Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns."

There was also, of course, the conservative genius of attempting to shrink government through the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the most massive dysfunctional bureaucracy in U.S. history, followed quickly by the even more wonderful government bureaucracy of the Prescription Drug Program, otherwise known as Welfare for Pharmaceutical Companies. And let's not forget successes that Bush has had in other areas, such as the massive success that No Child Left Behind has had in lowering teaching standards, and the ability of the Clear Skies act to lower anti-pollution standards.

Who then, could forget Bush's miracle of being able to squander the Clinton budget surplus in less than a single year, and go on to triumphantly create ever larger and larger budget deficits than even the best accounting minds could predict!

Who could also forget the Bush's family masterful touch at foreign policy, as Bush Jr. followed up his father's vomiting on the Prime Minister of Japan by staring lovingly into the eyes of Putin and groping the German Chancellor, Merkel.

But I think we were all, perhaps, most amazingly touched by the unexpected and powerful Karmic Alluvial Tidalwave & Relocation In North America program (otherwise known as "KATRINA"), which vastly improved our flood plains management in the Louisiana Delta area while also relocating impressive numbers of pesky undesirables (and the occasional tourist) either to their grave or to government trailer parks in states across the South. "Heckuva job, Brownie!" said Bush to the program's manager, and rightly so!

But we did not foresee that this was just the start, with Bush being able to successfully transform all levels of government through the simple formula of filling government with political hacks and incompetent cronies - especially so in the Interior and Justice Departments (though, unfortunately, Bush's political enemies prevented him from achieving similar success on the Supreme Court).

Thus, we can credit Bush and his administration cronies with delivering on at least one campaign promise for his constituency: sending the price of oil to $140 a barrel and making Exxon Mobil the richest corporation in the world.

Of course, Bush has also made housing more affordable for everyone by presiding over the largest decrease in home values in our nation's history.

And so, let's pay homage to some straight facts about Bush's amazing management of the economy. By the time he leaves office in January, Bush will have been able to increase the unemployment rate from it's terrible historical low at the end of 2000 of 3.9% to over 8%; increase the number of Americans without health insurance by 7.2 million; and successfully decrease the median household income by $2,000. These are achievements indeed quite rare in the history of our great country.

But lest you be in awe of all of that, let us not forget George W. Bush's greatest masterwork, the Market Crash and Financial Crisis of 2008 and Great Depression, 2.0, where Bush competed to outdo our last great Republican disaster President, Herbert Hoover, both in residing over the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and becoming the worst - and most unpopular - President in modern history.

My friends, the end of the Bush era is truly a moment in history we all will miss, the way we miss a cancer or especially bad case of pneumonia. Most especially comedians on late night and Comedy Central will miss our dear President, as the dearth of head-slapping belly-groaning jokes at our nation's leader will soon be in short supply.

And because January 20th cannot possibly come soon enough, let us all remember the swift and certain two-year success of the Obama campaign, and give thanks that the nightmare of George W. Bush will, in a matter of mere weeks, be over.

Goodbye, dear George W. Bush. I will pray that your spiritual inheritor, Sara Palin, enjoys a Thanksgiving feast over a turkey in your name.

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