Let’s put aside the anger and hate and move on

As lame-duck President George W. Bush enters the last two weeks of his Presidency, the anger over his actions during the past eight years appears to be on the rise.

Much appears to stem not just from anger over his policies or his actions but instead from a deep-seeded hatred of the man.

Regular readers of this column know I disagree strongly with many of Bush’s policies and actions. I’ve been hypercritical of his administration.

But I don’t know the man and I have trouble understanding the anger and hatred that I see in the comments section of this web site or elsewhere on the Internet.

I worked inside the Republican Party for a number of years. A number of my friends from those days know Bush personally. While many of them also disagree with what he did as President and leader of their party they also believe that his actions were those of a true believer in his cause, his judgment and his country.

In many ways, George W. Bush’s actions as President defined extremism at the highest political level but extremism in politics is not unusual. Former Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater once said that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." Goldwater at the time was running for President and considered too extreme when compared to then-President Lyndon Johnson.

History has since proven Johnson as the extremist who drove this country deeper into the abyss of Vietnam.

President Bush, and those who support his policies and actions, believe history will judge his administration less harshly than we have in the present.

There’s no way to know how history will ultimately judge George W. Bush because the legacy he leaves behind has yet to play out. The origins of our current economic crisis date back many years. Osama bin Laden began planning the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon long before Bush took office. Bush created many problems during is two terms in office. He inherited many as well.

I believe history will judge Bush’s Presidency a failure but I don’t know at this point if history will judge him as one of the nation’s worst Presidents. History is fluid, evolving and still being written. From a historical perspective, Watergate still overshadows Richard M. Nixon’s accomplishments in foreign policy.

In our trial-by-Internet culture, the Bush administration has already been convicted of many crimes.  Many want he and his appointees pursued on the legal front after Jan. 20.

But it won’t happen. Ex-Presidents are like ex-spouses. They fade into memory as they are replaced by new loves, new passions and new problems.

America has a way of surviving. Our focus must be on the promise of the future, not the failings of the past. We should learn from any such failings but put aside the anger and the hate and move on.

America’s future will be determined by what we do in the days ahead and we cannot shape that future by wasting time dwelling on the past.


  1. AustinRanter

    I don’t think that I’ve ever been so confused by at least some of the reactions to “Let’s Put Aside Anger and Hate and Move On”.

    I guess that had some of you had close family who were victims of Ted Bundy, Wayne Gacy, or Jeffery Dahmer…you could say, “Well, I don’t hate the guy…just his evil behaviors.” Nonsense.

    Sorry, don’t buy it!

    It’s very difficult to separate the person from their deeds…good or bad. (Like it or not…it’s human nature to connect one’s deeds to the person who created them and executed them.)

    Is “anger and hate” all that has been felt over the past 8 years? Really?

    If I said to you, “I feel cold, please put your coat on.” How would you react?

    If you understand the sentence above then I’ve accomplished the task of engaging you to utilize logic, reason, and critical thinking skills

    In addition to the statement, “I feel hatred.”, do you personally feel offended or uncomfortable by any of the following statements?

    I feel ashamed
    I feel anger
    I feel contempt
    I feel beaten down
    I feel cut down.
    I feel criticized
    I feel dehumanized
    I feel disrespected
    I feel embarrassed
    I feel humiliated
    I feel insulted
    I feel invalidated
    I feel labeled
    I feel lectured to
    I feel mocked
    I feel offended
    I feel put down
    I feel resentful
    I feel ridiculed
    I feel stereotyped
    I feel teased
    I feel underestimated
    I feel controlled
    I feel imprisoned
    I feel forced
    I feel manipulated
    I feel obligated
    I feel over-controlled
    I feel over-ruled
    I feel overwhelmed
    I feel powerless
    I feel pressured
    I feel restricted
    I feel suffocated
    I feel trapped
    I feel abandoned
    I feel brushed off
    I feel distraught
    I feel deceived
    I feel betrayed
    I feel disapproved of
    I feel discouraged
    I feel ignored
    I feel insignificant
    I feel invisible
    I feel left out
    I feel lonely
    I feel misunderstood
    I feel neglected
    I feel rejected
    I feel unheard
    I feel unimportant
    I feel uninformed
    I feel unsupported
    I feel cheated
    I feel guilt-tripped
    I feel judged
    I feel misled
    I feel punished
    I feel robbed
    I feel abused
    I feel afraid
    I feel attacked
    I feel defensive
    I feel frightened
    I feel insecure
    I feel intimidated
    I feel terrified
    I feel threatened
    I feel under-protected
    I feel unsafe
    I feel violated
    I feel victimized
    I feel cynical
    I feel guarded
    I feel skeptical
    I feel suspicious
    I feel untrusting

    I would dare say that I’ve felt most of the items on the above list at least once, and some of them probably many more times, at various periods during George Bush’s presidency.

    I’ve taken Mind Reading 101 tens of thousands of times and I’ve failed each and every time. I don’t know how any other human being is feeling at any given time unless they express their feelings verbally, in writing, or even possibly physically.

    For the average person, most likely it would only take a combination of a few of the items listed above to conjure up the “feeling of intense hatred”.

    The citizens of not only our country, but around the world, have been pounded for eight long years with radical politics at every level…and have been subjected to ongoing behaviors or events that so many individuals have been shoved into the throws of an emotional binge to the point that eventually something’s gotta give.

    Then on top of all of the insane politics…our government writes laws that allows the world market places to legally steal our savings, pension plans, our investments. YES…STEAL without chance of prosecution.

    Today, the best way to express, purge, or look for some venue to allow a catharic process to happen is in forums such as CHB. In CHB and other like sites there are rules on how such feelings can be expressed. Rightfully so.

    So the question is:

    Is the anger and hatred expressed by the editor, staff writers, and subscribers meeting the guideline of expressing one’s opinions, views, and feelings? The feelings part is probably one of the most important of these expressions as that is usually what brings us all to this type of forum. We just need to get it out.

    Ever have “Buyer’s Remorse After Posting Your Feelings?

    I have on many occasions wanted to kick my own ass for posting things that in retrospect causes me to feel embarrasment or possibly even shame.

    One thing is for sure, after we express our opinions, views, or just feelings…chance are that we will have gains some personal resolve because by posting such in a public forum…most likely we’ll be asked to have exchanges about our motives or where we came to believe what we posted.

    I would like to add that the reverse of “Buyers Remorse” might occur for the writer. It’s totally possible that there won’t be any feelings of regret…we may have feelings of justification because of the situation or circumstance. There have been so many hate invoking behaviors by our government that we can’t count them all.

    Aren’t feelings, regardless of their nature, the impetus that makes blog sites so popular?

    Feelings don’t usually have external consequences unless they are manifested into a behavior. Now, when I feel compelled to express my feelings in a forum such as Capitol Hill Blue…I know that I’m putting myself at risk for expressing “my feelings”. If I express my feelings in a negative manner, which is obviously aimed at causing injury to another’s physical well-being, character, and/or public image, then I have to pay the consequences for allowing myself to invoke such behaviors.

    The bottom line is that ”I alone have to be responsible and accountable for my feelings and how I physically express those feelings.” The problem is that when someone either fails to understand my “intent” or “misinterprets my intent” as I voice my feelings…then obviously there is destined to be a conflict.

    Obviously the word “Hatred” is causing others to feel offended or uncomfortable. So then, let me just say:

    “I personally feel incredible “contempt” for George W. Bush without feeling guilt, shame, or remorse. I have a choice to live in that feeling of contempt or ignore it. I’m gonna try like hell not to dwell in my feeling of contempt for Mr. Bush, but I also choose not to close the door on how I feel.” There have come many lessons learned from my feelings.”

    Mr. Bush’s behaviors, in a position of the greatest power on earth, must be remembered and used to construct a mental model of the type of persons we don’t ever want to experience in such a role ever again in our future. It is imperative that each of us remember the behaviors invoked by Mr. Bush that provoked and cultivated such public contempt…in order to create an indelible set of criteria to use in the future to inspect any persons who seek such a position as President of the United States.

    If we fail to set those standards…and we allow another Bush type individual to lead our country…then we deserve the misery and consequences of ill feelings that might have been so easily avoided.

    I don’t want anyone telling me how I should or shouldn’t feel. My feelings are my own. If you want to debate the motives for my feelings…then cool, I can dig it. If you feel that my feelings have personally infringed on your character, image, or physical self…then confront me. But if my feelings have hurt your feeling because you don’t like how I expressed my feelings without addressing you personally…well, then that’s a whole new ball game.

    ~Don’t condemn me for my beliefs…but rather my deeds.~ Is that statement possible?

    (Jan 8 2009 – 10:00 AM Texas Time: Sorry, I originally wrote the above late in the night and after re-reading it this morning…there needed to be some clarity in the way I constructed my stream of thought, but the overall context remains the same)

  2. 33rdSt

    I don’t hate George Bush, though I do hate what he has come to stand for in our country and in the world in which we find ourselves. I am angry and will not get over that anger soon. The reason cannot be stated any more succinctly nor profoundly than was stated by The Rant itself on September 26, 2008:

    “Our Constitution lies in shreds on floor, ready to be gathered up and flushed into the political sewer that is Washington, Our rights disappeared into that sewer long ago, buried under mounts of partisan, putrid excrement that pours out of the rectums of the politically extreme.

    We are a nation drowning in the diarrhea of distraction, suffocated by a government of greed. If there was an escape route, it disappeared into the sewer long ago.

    When he finally leaves office on Jan. 20, 2009, Bush will leave behind a broken, dysfunctional government that cannot be repaired by one man or woman or even an army of true reformers, even if such an army existed on either side of the political spectrum.”

    I think we should remember. We should remain angry. And we should evaluate the process and actions that led us to the state of affairs so eloquently set forth in those words.

  3. spartacus

    It would also be easier to forgive a man who didn’t feel such contempt for the President-elect that he refused his request to stay at Blair house, which was made in mid-December, because he claimed that it was booked up until January 15. However, Bush was in keeping with his character when he said it: he was lying through his teeth! NO ONE was booked to stay there!!!!! In fact, the only person booked there is FORMER Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who made the arrangements AFTER President-elect Obama made his request. Do you smell a rat? I do. There is not a doubt in my mind that the arrangement with Howard was made to make his excuse for not allowing Obama to stay there look real. What makes this really galling, other than the obvious contempt factor on Bush’s part, is that the protection needed for the future first family is costing the American taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars; whereas Blair House is already security friendly and set up for someone like the Obama family. What does it matter to George Bush if he costs this nation another several hundred thousand dollars? That’s chicken feed compared to the deficits he’s run up because of the Iraq War. That, added to his ‘midnight regulations’ and his obvious disregard for the desires expressed by the Amerian people in regard to those scandalous regulatory rewrites (and the anger of some Republican lawmakers as well), make Bush someone whose flaws are impossible to overlook. How do you overlook EVERYTHING this creep has done when he leaves office as the same arrogant jerk he was when he entered it? Are you kidding me?

  4. Scorpion

    Sadly, Mr. Flapsaddle is willing to allow criminals deserving to be held accountable for their actions simply fade into the sunset – that is quite disturbing. Maybe you should attempt to glean your news from other sources except Fox. Oh, and your use of the word apoplectic is somewhat gauche for the context in which it was couched – please try again later after consulting a reputable thesaurus.

  5. Flapsaddle

    Unfortunately, Mr. Thompson, you were spot-on when you previously suspended postings because – in good part – both this page and the blogs had become little more than vehicles for rampant anti-Bush, anti-Republican bellowing. A perusal of the current column leads me to believe that nothing has changed despite the fact that you relented. Sadly, the responses to this article serve only to convince me that the site has again become very little more than a primal-scream therapy room where those for whom dislike of Bush has become pathological may vent to the point of becoming apoplectic.

    Having said that, I agree with your basic notion: The country has problems that need addressing far more than it needs revenge.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  6. Scorpion

    It is time to dismiss any of Doug’s commentary – in total. He has betrayed his own beliefs. Remember Doug, when the moron-in-chief referred to the Constitution as just “another goddamn piece of paper…” You have disgusted many of your former readers – which is a consummate shame. This must be the kinder, gentler journalist – disgraceful. Go back to la la land!

  7. 26charlie

    Bush admitted breaking the FISA law, for one.

    If you dont believe that then look into it and challenge it with the facts you find. Just saying there were no laws broken because there has been no legal action initiated is extremely naive for anyone with more than a basic knowledge of political events – and how our govt works with one very partisan party able to disable the only constitutional checks on the executive branch. This executive has been able to do anything he wants, with the only checks on his abusing power being a very cowed group of repub senators. If they can thwart examining evidence of laws broken, then no official facts can be established of that.

    The bushies appointed gonzo as their attorney general specifically to prevent any examination of the facts surrounding the laws that were clearly broken. The repub’s control of the senate committees prevented senate investigations from examining clear evidence of laws being broken and even threatened their own members regarding voting to allow an investigation (see the intel committee struggle to start an investigation). The repubs only allowed investigations that had specific instructions to avoid investigating the areas where the evidence lay. (Learn what ‘phase 2’ was about with the senate intel committee.)

    Bruce Fein said it best – Bush is the only president that has actually admitted to an impeachable offense (breaking the law) when admitting he ignored the FISA law. Lets keep in mind that the law was written specifically for a president during wartime because they have a tendency to be tempted to do the wrong things when they are in control of the enormous power of the POTUS.

    The bushies didn’t have to break that law too, especially when all they had to tell the repub congress was repeal it because it “hindered” their ability to defend the country. Who would have ever opposed that??? (But the WH said early in 2002 that the law didn’t need any adjustments and was working for them fine the way it was – even saying to “monkey with” that law could affect our constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties).

    So, why did they need to break that law and so it so secretly?

  8. 26charlie

    Establishing the facts will be important to correcting the excesses in the future. But does it have to be an arrest or trial, given how the repubs could effectively kill legal actions by delaying them and use it as a weapon against the dems.

    Certainly, the facts need to be put on trial. The only politically feasible way for that to happen would be if there was a promise of immunity from prosecution for helping to establish the truth.

    (I dont remember an apology here either – if there was, i’d wonder when was it issued? I didn’t believe the input here about bush saying he was more important than the constitution and that it was “just a piece of paper”. Just how many mole sources could doug have in bush’s white house?)

  9. 26charlie

    Best to clarify “hate” when discussing what Bush has done.

    Sure, we have to assume bush did things with the best intentions of the country in mind, until we see all the evidence. Were his decisions always made in the best interests of the country or was there a significant number of them only best for his party and crony contributers that he was loyal to?

    I read here that bush once arrogantly referred to the constitution as “just a piece of paper”, when deciding to ignore it. Is it unreasonable to hate a manager that lies to give a different impression to the electorate, in order to gain and maintain power for himself?

    Should we ever hate someone for being willfully deceptive in their daily communications to the public in order to gain advantage for their political party, regardless how many lives it needlessly costs and how much of the treasury is wasted away?

    What sort of things done by a president can appropriately warrant hate from the public? (I’d like to know because i honestly dont hate the guy till i see all the evidence. I dont like him, for sure.)

  10. ckaye99

    Wow! Doug, just the laws he skirted within the public’s view were mindboggling – here is a small article covering some of those:


    Umm, disapeared memos and emails, flouting of subpeonas, refusals to produce income tax returns, refusals to disclose meetings, conflicts of interest, the DOJ shenanigans, Valerie Plame. Please! Yes at least one of these cases could be proven, let’s just say that there are various reasons why it MIGHT not be taken up. Though for the sanity of the people and the respectibility of the gov’t., they should take at least some of these characters down.

    I don’t know why you are so afraid to say that criminal or corrupt actions were performed by this President, Doug, but really, there is lots and lots to go after.

  11. Scorpion

    Fox “News”

    It is evident that Doug desires to join the Fox Network Team – no spine required!

  12. ckaye99

    The most innocuous thing you could say about this is people need to blow off steam. And probably the most positive thing you could say about this is that people need to see exactly what was done wrong by Bush and cronies in print to clarify and focus what they are angry about. So it’s good in that regard.

    Word is that Congress and Senate do not want to go through an impeachment process now because there are so many urgent matters on the table at this time they shouldn’t be distracted from.

    If Pelosi and company totally let the guy walk, they will pay a price, which is further loss in their credibility. So they might be forced to do a little ritualistic wrist slapping sometime in 2009. The Dems are also afraid of being outed because of course they colluded in some of the things that went down, and it was obvious that a lot of armtwisting and probably blackmail was going down too. You could smell it in the air.

    Rice wants to go back to teaching at Stanford – how many people do you think will be happy to see her there again? Where do you think Bush will be able to go without being identified and roundly vilified? Kissinger can’t leave the country without consorting with this lawyers over the chances of being picked up and brought to the Hague. Imagine that kind of future for Mr. Bush! 🙂

  13. CheckerboardStrangler

    I have one question:

    Who are you and why do you have the real Doug Thompson bound and gagged?

  14. ChescoRes

    I’m sorry. I’ve been as big a critic of the Bush Administration as anyone but I cannot say with any certainty that he has violated any law.

    ANY Law? You can’t say he has violated ANY LAW?????

    To paraphrase Mr Bumble, If that is true, then the law is an ass!

    And if you truly believe that after the last eight years and all the things you have written about him, then I can only assume you have lost all perspective, to say nothing of credibility.

    Not that it will matter to you, but here are the articles of impeachment against George Bush.


  15. ChescoRes

    While I don’t remember reading any apologies for those things, I do applaud you for putting it so succinctly by saying “I was wrong to do so”.

    But back to the subject….

    You say,

    Whether we like it or not, Bush invaded Iraq with the legislative approval of Congress. Where, exactly, did he break the law? What crime has he been charged with? He hasn’t been charged and the reality is that he won’t, nor will any member of his administration.

    Your two questions there are VERY different.

    Where exactly did he break the law? He broke the law, and the trust of the American people by lying about the intel and putting the Congress in a position where they couldn’t really do anything else.

    What crime has he been CHARGED with? The answer to that is none, but that doesn’t mean crimes weren’t committed.

    So let me ask you this Doug. Leaving aside whether or not he will actually be put on trial, do YOU believe that George Bush committed impeachable, even indictable offenses? And if so, are you really OK with him getting off scott free, without even an arrest or a trial?

  16. RichardKanePA

    I wonder if disappointment over Obama’s cautiousness and fear that perhaps real change won’t actually occur, with Obama trying to sneak a little change without offending any lobbyists is what people are really upset about.

    But the only convenient place to express this disappointment, without discouraging Obama from at least doing a little, is by expressing anger at George Bush.

    The only real progressive in the new cabinet was Richardson. Richard Warner and the other Republicans that sometimes voted with the Democrats to limit war funding left or were kicked out. Ted Steven’s voted to set a date once, maybe doing so made the Bush administration prosecutors notice his grave train. And prosecutors noted the governor of Illinois was corrupt only after a lobbyist with the wrong causes wanted to raise money to buy the seat for Jesse Jackson Jr.

    After Eliot Spitzer condemned Bush for creating a predatory lending crisis, suddenly it was discovered that he frequented prostitutes,

    But its hard to express anger that Obama may not do enough to change all this. It’s easy to be mad at George Bush.


  17. tropicaltaco

    George didn’t do anything his dad (Panama) or other presidents (Viet Nam and most other wars) didn’t do, except the idiot let the cat out of the bag and clued us all into what is going on. Now we know, with out a doubt, we do not have a democracy and the will of the people means nothing. What we have at this point is a corporetocracy, fueled by financial institution elites who care nothing for us or the environment. The financial world has defined itself as an economic science that is beyond social value, ethics and morality.
    Out of this will come good in the form of new laws, one of which must be that corporate officers, past and present, as well as all shareholders will be held accountable for the actions of the corporation. We must use every means possible to once again gain control of our country and it’s government. All of those famous words of our forefathers ring so true today.

    “If the American people ever allow the banks to control issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied.” …Thomas Jefferson

    If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
    greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us
    in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down
    and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon
    you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
    —Samuel Adams

  18. Chick

    Doug: Don’t dwell on the past

    Ahh. What a nice comfortable, warm, good feeling solution. Why didn’t I think of that?

    Of course, since the Bush administration continues, I tend to think of it as being in the present. But, I won’t get technical.

    However, that path seems to suggest we shouldn’t dwell on much of anything since everything eventually ends up in the past. Maybe we should adapt the, “Don’t worry. Be happy,” way of life.

    Meanwhile, let’s all mentally pardon Bush and all future presidents. Why not? We have the future to look forward to.

    Bring ’em on! The sheep are waiting.

  19. claypigeonbx

    Hatred is not something I choose to harbor toward any human being. It distorts judgment and is clearly detrimental to both physical and mental health.

    But, we must hold the people who govern us accountable for their decisions. If they break our laws, if they violate our constitution, if they commit treason or crimes against humanity, then we must not just “put it behind us and move on.” We have done that in the past. And, as a result, people who betrayed the public trust decades ago returned in the Bush administration to do even worse than what they had done in the past.

    We must stop whitewashing our history so that we can feel better about ourselves. It’s time to face our shadow and deal with it, before it completely destroys us. (We could begin with a real investigation of what really happened on 9/11/01.)

    P.S. The truth is what it is. It is not a matter of opinion. And it does not change because we refuse to recognize it.

    Freedom and Justice for All!

  20. woody188

    To not hold President Bush accountable for his part in lying, torture, spying, and the destruction of our constitutional Republic is to say you agree with the neo-conservative’s tactics and fascist vision of our country. HELL NO! Even if you must indict and try all of Congress, it is essential to maintaining our system of government. Without it, chaos will ensue. If you will not hold those in the highest offices in the land accountable, then you will not hold those of the lower classes accountable. Justice will be served or the United States will have been lost forever. Therefore if you are correct Doug, then welcome to the USSA. Sieg heil mein Präsident sie bastard!

  21. Wayne K Dolik

    Doug when you don’t look back and you keep making the same mistakes over and over, that is the definition of insanity!

    Here are a few reasons that I can’t put it aside. And, you say charge everyone in Congress with a crime that voted for it? I would call that a good start.

    The list: 1. 2 stolen elections. 1.a. Not preventing 911. 2. A questionable war in Iraq with thousands murdered. 3. Osama Bin Laden lives. 4. Loss of Habeas Corpus, Torture and Spying on U.S. Citizens. 5. Preemptive War and Law. 6. Hurricane Katrina. 7. And, a destroyed economy and the looting of the U.S. Treasury.

  22. 33rdSt

    Yet you decline to extend your olive branch back 8 more years? We purge the anger toward Bush and his destroyers of the Constitution (your words not mine, though the Rant in which you published them no longer is on line) and allow their apologists to resurrect the crap from the Clinton years, including your own expressions of unhappiness about the return of people from the Clinton administration to positions in the administration. It comes off looking like one-sided “justice” or selective amnesty, rather than a heartfelt plea for moving ahead. Which is it, Doug?

  23. DejaVuAllOver

    Doug, you’ve got this all exactly backwards. There will always be evil in the world, but until you hate that evil and have the courage to fight it, the evil grows stronger as we’ve seen for the past eight years. Justice REQUIRES judgment; if that judgment happens to be hate than that’s darn well the best possible response to these extraordinarily evil times and the evil people who make it happen.

  24. CheckerboardStrangler

    Sorry Doug, I applaud your heartfelt and seemingly genuine call to practice forgiveness. It’s a cornerstone of the best recovery programs and probably deserves to be the cornerstone of American ethics as a whole.

    But we’re also dealing with forces of nature, and
    (apologies to Paddy Chayefsky) Bush has meddled with the primal forces of nature, and he WILL ATONE.

    Nature demands a balance, one way or the other.
    America demands some sort of catharsis, a shower to rinse that dirty feeling off us, the kind of feeling a woman must certainly feel after a rape.

    I favor a call to move on, to forgive.
    But I dare not pretend that this nation is not in need of something which will tell it that its people hold their leaders accountable.

    If the worst Bush can be accused of is extremely bad karma, don’t think you can fuck with the Karma Patrol and get away with it forever.

    Again, it’s the primal forces of nature, Mister Beale.


  25. Scorpion

    Simply misguided? How far the pendulum has swung regarding your credibility! Do we not, as a nation, deserve to know the TRUTH about this cadre of criminals? Let’s all just gloss over the past 8 years, hold hands, and sing kum-bay-ya – everything is forgiven. There goes another spine into the abyss of “let bygones be bygones…” Revolting.

  26. pondering_it_all

    Punishment may not be possible, since Bush can pardon everyone for everything on his way out the door. But we can at least get the whole truth: Any Bush administration figure (right up through President) can and should be called before a court or congressional investigation and forced to testify under oath about all the crimes committed by the administration. Anyone who refuses or commits perjury can then be prosecuted.

    This has been the most secretive administration ever. We need to know the full extent of what they did, if only so we can fix the system to prevent such acts in future administrations. This is our only chance to make our government work as we all intend! It can never improve if we just ignore all the problems, as “old news”.

  27. 33rdSt

    Good job, Doug. You got the Clinton dig in through the back door while pretending to be in favor of putting hate behind you. Brilliant! Any number of examples you could have used but you chose this one! Ingeneous.

  28. Elmo

    Hate the Sin, not the sinner — or so they say.
    I’m reasonably certain that if he came by my place and wanted to help me clear some brush, we’d get along reasonably well. In my more idealistic moments, I’d even be willing to forgive him for all the trash he and his non-competent cronies dumped on our Constitution and the republic. But first, he’d have to acknowledge his error and ask forgiveness from the people. It’s not likely he’ll ever do that — he’s so all-fired convinced that he’s doing godly works that I can’t think of any way that he doesn’t think of himself as the recipient of a Divine Right instead of the person who was given the trust of the people of the United States and misused it.

  29. spartacus

    First of all, I must say that you’ve judged Bill Clinton on his bedroom antics, not on his policies. The American people, for the most part, have judged him on his performance as commander in chief; no doubt history will as well, since it tends to take a less salacious view of things. History books are not, after all, People magazine.

    Richard Nixon is judged on Watergate because not only was it a serious crime (obstruction of justice, lying under oath by key administration officials, you name it), but the flaws exhibited by Nixon’s behavior during Watergate were indicative of the flaws in his character throughout his career: this time, however, it was serious enough and bold enough to have merited investigation and prosecution. Nixon, unfortunately, was a seriously flawed individual who viewed the FBI as a means to exact vengeance upon his own personal enemies, etc. He had way too many personal demons for the job. He also was responsible for many great accomplishments, such as the Endangered Species Act, serious environmental regulations, etc. His accomplishments, unfortunately, will always be overlooked by the demons because of the abuse of power he exhibited while in office.

    As for George W. Bush: I know Texans who didn’t like him in the ’80s because of his attitude then. He wasn’t always the most likable of people, which shows even now.

    I think he is a criminal and should be prosecuted for crimes too numerous to mention, not the least of which would be war crimes. However, it would be much easier not to feel so much anger if he hadn’t decided to give the middle finger to every voter in the last 30 days of his presidency and decided to follow through with his ‘midnight regulations’ over the objections of hundreds of thousands of citizens. Rewriting the Endangered Species Act; allowing truckers to drive 11 hours a day as opposed to 8 – you surely drive on I-81 and know how unsafe it is NOW with all those trucks; allowing mountaintop mining and the resulting waste being dumped in mountain rivers, lakes, and streams; oil and gas leases being given to oil companies even almost at the entrances of some of our western national parks, not to mention the ones that completely ruin the beauty and integrity of the land forever; etc. The American public voted AGAINST his environmental assault and still he gave his business allies what they wanted. If his administration had been about ANYTHING other than business interests, then fine. But everything this man and his administration did WITHIN THE BORDERS OF THIS COUNTRY involved Big Business interests; the interests of the American population were of no concern to this man. Nor, for that matter, was the well-being of the Iraqi population when he invaded despite all the rhetoric: it was all about the control of oil. When Dick Cheney says the administration had almost reached its goals in Iraq, he isn’t kidding: Shell, Bp, Exxon Mobil, et al are about to sign huge business deal for control of 90% of Iraq’s oil, which would not have been possible under Sadam. All that cost was trillions of American dollars and over 4000 American troops’ lives, not to mention the wounded and 1,000,000 dead Iraqis. Then there are the 5 million displaced Iraqis, and the loss of world heritage sights, many due to our own troops’ deliberate destruction (building an airfield over ancient Baghdad); Iraq is the cradle of civilization, and much of it has been forever lost due to this war. Funny how 3000 years of war hadn’t done that before: all it took was George Bush and this fiasco.

    It isn’t unreasonable to want Bush and company to pay for their crimes. After all, those crimes weren’t just committed against this country, but against others as well. His parting shots to all of us are what make him simply abominable in my book. Even when his party received a huge drubbing at the polls, and he knows from comments, etc, that the public wants him to cease and desist in his efforts to further tamper with current environmental and safety laws, he goes ahead full steam, even planning decisions for the day BEFORE Obama takes office. It will take months or years to undo the damage this man is doing in his last month of office; even knowing that his successor is already working on how to undo his reckless actions, he follows through. There is nothing likable about someone so stubborn and downright evil.

    He has no shame; maybe if he has to face the music, he finally will.

  30. erika morgan

    Thanks Doug for bringing up this topic in this way.

    I feel I must add my thoughts on this subject because I feel that our very democracy’s continuing is contingent upon the RULE OF LAW applying to every individual in all their acts in the public domain.

    I feel sorry for GWB but I don’t hate him, I just hate the wrongs he did against the sovereign American citizenry, and in our name against others across the world. I wouldn’t have voted for him, I projected from activities of his dad and Reagan that he would take us to war, ruin our economy, personally drive up the cost of oil and decimate any social security net as well as concentrate the nations wealth into an ever shrinking few hands. Remember the Granada war of Reagan, the taking of Noreiega by US military, Desert Storm, Somalia; all designed to rewet the American appetite for supporting a war machine with escalating violence. I think, this was done to regain the glory of WWII after the embarrassing defeat in VietNam. I don’t think this works for baby boomers because our experience of the expense of rebuilding the world taught us that a lot of expense can be avoided if you skip the destruction of war and just afford the rebuild up at the outset.

    No matter how painful it is we must investigate and find out every possible official transgression of the law committed by, first the executive and next the senate and congress possibly following up with the judiciary itself. We let Nixon himself off for breaking into a Psychiatrists office and interfering with patient confidentiality looking for dirt to use against possible political foes, and for breaking into the DNC headquarters wishing for an unfair political advantage. Since we let Nixon off for election interference, Chaney and Rumsfeld, young Republicans at that time were emboldened into their false interpretation of the UNITARY PRESIDENT. This is why we can not let this go quietly into the night as Bush heads into retirement. If we do not insist on democracy we deserve tyranny. It is my hope that if we Americans and our corrupt Congress do not have the tenacity and fortitude to handle the breaches of our law: then the World Court will have no choice except to bring the various players to the Hague for trial. They certainly have been aggrieved with the unprovoked attack upon Iraq and the torture of captives authorized by, according to Cheney, George and Dick themselves.

  31. Scorpion

    Truth is not an option in our present climate – look at the witless millions still praising this fiend. Punishing the exiting villains might be a pipe dream – granted; this does not negate the need for this entire nation to peer into “the belly of the beast” and to expose the crimes of the past 8 years – while we still have the open wounds that cry out for relief.

    The current media and politicians have become spineless drones that will simply bury the horrific under an unassuming headline.

  32. Baal


    I LOVE my country, he SPIT on it….

    He put party over country.

    He is an example of a true, class privilidged, UGLY American. Born on 3rd base, thinking he hit a triple.

    Arrogant, IGNORANT, pompous, illiterate, divisive… a Blue nosed SNOB if there ever was one.

    The GOP chastized Bubba over lying about consensual sex, but swept under the rug Bushs lying about his COCAINE ABUSE and DUI…..

    They spit on Kerrys Purple Hearts, making Bandaid jokes about a man who VOLUNTEERED to serve his country, all the while glamorizing Bush, who couldnt even PROVE he ever completed his Tour of Duty. And NOBODY frelling CARED!!!

    I HATE the man…. plain and simple, and I will NEVER forgive him for what he did to our country…

  33. Doug Thompson

    And "concrete action" is pursuing former public officials on charges you can’t prove in a cause you can’t win?  Yeah, that’ll solve the problems this nation faces. Ken Starr proved that.

  34. Scorpion

    Hope is not the answer – let’s leave that empty concept to the professional liars that spew their fairy tales from pulpits each Sunday morning. We need concrete action to rebuild our nation from the current economic, social, and political ash pile that has become America. Hope is meaningless without resolute goals – we live in reality, not a dreamworld.

  35. Paolo

    I don’t know Bush, so I can’t comment on his being on drugs or being mentally unstable. I do think he shows a lot of characteristics of a dry drunk, though. These include smarmy sentimentality, religious fervor, and a desire to meddle in everyone else’s problems. See http://www.counterpunch.org/wormer1011.html

  36. Scorpion

    I, for one, am in no way willing to forgive this pile of human dung for his actions (and those of his cronies), nor assuage my anger. Why should we? This criminal stole two elections, sent our men and women to die in Iraq for oil and a grudge, allowed our own citizenry to be spied upon, sanctioned torture – should I go on ad finitum, ad nauseum?

    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and company belong in prison – let’s judge these vermin on their actions, which are heinous and reprehensible.

    Forgive these vile scoundrels – NEVER!

  37. Doug Thompson

    And BTW, who exactly was it during the last few years that accused Bush of being a) on drugs b) a dry drunk, and c) mentally unstable?

    Of course, that was YOU Doug. I didn’t hear much criticism of the policies in all that. And now you presume to come here and lecture US on how to "put aside the anger"?

    Yes, I wrote those things and I was wrong to do so. I recognized that and apologized for doing so. I admit my mistakes. Keep your hate if you want but don’t expect me to share it.

  38. ChescoRes

    Here we go again….

    Gee Doug, where to start? How bout here.

    As lame-duck President George W. Bush enters the last two weeks of his Presidency, the anger over his actions during the past eight years appears to be on the rise.

    Much appears to stem not just from anger over his policies or his actions but instead from a deep-seeded hatred of the man.

    Since when did you start spouting right wing talking points?

    And BTW, who exactly was it during the last few years that accused Bush of being a) on drugs b) a dry drunk, and c) mentally unstable?

    Of course, that was YOU Doug. I didn’t hear much criticism of the policies in all that. And now you presume to come here and lecture US on how to “put aside the anger”?

    Spare me.

    I’ve never met George Bush and I hope I never do. That doesn’t change the fact that what I hate are his policies. I would be happy to smile, wave and wish President Bush a very nice day, ….. while he’s being perp walked in hand cuffs off to jail.

  39. CheckerboardStrangler

    Doug, I think what we are witnessing is the normal reaction when tens of millions of people awake from a slumber to find that their
    wallet is missing, their butthole is burning, their windows are broken, their cars have been graffittied, their dog is beaten, their girlfriend is smoking crack and their best friends are nowhere to be found.

    And the stereo is blasting:

    “Na na na na, hey hey-y-y-y, good-bye…”

  40. AustinRanter

    I believe that it’s human nature to connect behaviors to the physical being who acts out those respective behaviors.

    I recently saw “Elizabeth, The Golden Age” movie. A line in the movie by Ms. Blanchett was, “I won’t condemn my people for their beliefs, but only their deeds.”

    While it would be wonderful if we could separate the person from their deeds, as a whole, we humans just haven’t evolved enough to overcome that specific character flaw.

  41. 33rdSt

    Assuming the advice is good advice, it should be broadened a bit. Time to set aside the anger Mr. Thompson feels toward Bill Clinton and move on. We should not, in the spirit of this column, see any additional references to President Clinton and his love life, unless or until there is a repeat performance.

    What are the odds?

  42. DVL666

    My first act as President would be to have W, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Karl, Condi, Wolfie et.al. renditioned from the reviewing stand. After they would be subjected to their definition of acceptable “interrogation” until they acknowledge the real reason for Iraq. I’d just be using the laws that they established. After that they can be detained w/o habeus corpus until the last trooper comes home.

  43. griff

    Bush is a puppet. Obama is a puppet. The Congress are puppets. Ike tried to tell us.

    Ceremonial bit actors playing before the media and the awestruck, bewildered populace. The rape and pillage of not only this once great country, but the rest of the world, will continue in earnest while we all hold our collective breath for the new messiah to deliver us from the evil that our Political Class has wrought.

    What a joke we have become. Relegated to hoping and begging for that which is ours, but never to be had again. Worshipping these elitist, treasonous scum even as they steal our country and our future, themselves insulated from the effects of their policies. Sermonizing from on high, promising salvation yet delivering nothing but more misery.

    But you are right, Doug. No one will be held accountable because birds of a feather flock together, as the saying goes.

  44. Doug Thompson

    There was no dig intended. I’m sorry you saw it that way. As I noted in another post, the entire Ken Starr fiasco was a waste of the nation’s time and effort. Any hate you feel I had towards Clinton is your own misinterpretation.

  45. Doug Thompson

    I’m sorry. I’ve been as big a critic of the Bush Administration as anyone but I cannot say with any certainty that he has violated any law. His invasion of Iraq, however repugnant, was authorized by Congress. Lyndon Johnson was never charged or tried for the lies surrounding the Gulk of Tonkin incident and more than 55,000 Americans died in that war.

    Bush will not be charged with any crime. Neither will Cheney, Rumsfeld. et. al.

    In 15 days, he and his administration are history. It’s done. Get over it and move on.

    We have much bigger problems to deal with in this world and we cannot afford the distraction of a hopeless cause simply to satisfy a bloddlust for revenge.

    I believe Bush was misguided but I cannot say with absolute certainty that he was either criminal or corrupt. I played fast and loose with such charges during his Presidency and I was wrong to do so. It was a mistake that will not happen again.