First Couple of Days

They say that Nero fiddled while Rome burned and George W. Bush read My Pet Goat to schoolchildren as the single most calamitous terrorist, or otherwise, event occurred on U.S. soil. Only the mad emperor Nero was likely playing a lute, and New York City and New Orleans could both certainly duke it out as the limits of presidential ineptitude. Otherwise I think that the analogy kind of works.

The fall of the World Trade Center and one wing of the Pentagon could all be disastrous in and of themselves. The fact that they both occurred on the same day among other attacks shows the cunning of a committed, organized enemy. Hurricane Katrina, or rather George W. Bush’s lack of response to it, revealed a slothful callous side to a man that was generally regarded as brash dullard. The 43rd President proved impetuous after the events of September 11, 2001 and he literally wasted no time in squandering billions of dollars in resources in order to exact revenge by launching The War in Afghanistan and the subsequent Second Gulf War, and Occupation of Iraq, on October 7th of the same year.

Those of us that knew the type of man George W. Bush was knew that he would lump them all together in one great mess. The election thief that he was, he also had a penchant for jumbling things up like the words and phrases he often mixed in official public speaking engagements. As a politician, however, he was unequalled in his almost innate ability to deceive people into believing that he actually stood for something, anything that they might share in common. What most people didn’t know was that George W. Bush really didn’t have much of a plan beyond holding on to power after his election. The sheep of America elected him again to make certain of his incompetence in 2003, and he didn’t disappoint.

By the time that Katrina made landfall in New Orleans on August 29, 2005 even the sheep were certain that they were witnessing new levels of uselessness in their shepherd. Up until this point, historically speaking, United States presidents would be most proud of acquiring territories and protecting citizens from harm and here was George W., the only man to lose a city and thousands of inhabitants. At long last the jig was finally up on George the younger and it became apparent that his lack of ability ran rampant in other areas as well. The economy began to unravel from his wanton deregulation after the housing bubble burst. Both parties refused to cooperate with Bush in his waning days, a special brand of bipartisan vitriol infected the government, and even a journalist threw two shoes at him at a press conference.

Enter a brand new day and President Barack Obama. With less than month in office he has quite a job on his hands, thanks to George W. Bush, who incidentally, believes that history will vindicate him. I, for one, don’t think that this could possibly be the case because I was really trying to look for any long lasting silver lining in the cloud over his presidency and I couldn’t find any. The only thing that he managed to do was to royally screw things up. Maybe it will turn out that Bush is that dark nadir before Obama’s light? Only time will tell the story, but if the newspapers write the first draft of history then blogs are the new outlines.

As for the U.S. economy, I don’t think that there will be a quick fix for President Obama.  As it stands right now, there are too many new unemployment claims and even reputable companies are reporting significant losses.  President Obama has made terrific strides in his first week in office by chastising those banking companies that still paid record bonuses despite the fact that they received monies from a government bailout.

Such shameful behavior is something that Americans have become all too insensitive towards under the regime of George W. Bush.  Of course, after eight years of a dysfunctional regulation system for banks it will take a considerable amount of time to reverse these negative effects.  I hope that it will not take years, but rather months before we can truly be optimistic about our economy again. I have no idea how President Obama plans to go tinker with the minutia but his campaign did outline clues to his larger, overall plan.

One of the biggest boosts to the economy will take place after President Obama stops wastefully spending for combat troops in Iraq.  The war in Iraq was a major debacle created by George W. Bush and it has been a tremendous strain on our military as well as a drain to our financial standing.  George W. Bush previously, and incorrectly I might add, estimated that revenues could be generated from an invasion in Iraq through the sale of oil.  A reduction in force in that region will greatly impact our ability to become financially responsible again as well as rest our overworked combat troops currently stationed there.

When George W. Bush took office, he inherited a fiscally responsible government that was actually functioning at a surplus from the William Clinton administration, the 42nd President of the United States.  Now, eight years later, President Obama has inherited a highly partisan government with the biggest deficit that the United States has ever seen.  Of course the details are all pretty complex and cannot be expressed to the fullest in this simple article but I believe that you can get the general idea that Obama isn’t exactly set up for “no crystal stair.” So far, though, President Barack seems to be suited for the task and I have every confidence in him to turn us around. The optimism is truly infectious, and I am told that not since Kennedy did the nation seem to rally around an individual in such a way in order to help change the perception of Americans around the world.

The beautiful irony of it all, of course, is that President Barack Obama is a black man. Should he succeed, once again, America will have to acknowledge the fact that this grand experiment in democracy and liberty would not have been possible were it not for the contribution of those that it had formerly cast aside as undesirable. George W. Bush, the favored son of the 41st President, a man of great privilege will finally be exposed as a bright and shining lie. The underlying current of white supremacist racism may finally begin to be swept away from the world and King might realize the broadening of his dream as the tide turns in the favor of a more perfect humanity. And speaking of a more perfect humanity, I bring you a black man on United States legal tender. Above is the approved design of the District of Columbia issued quarter featuring legendary musician Duke Ellington.  Check it.


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