Oh God! Another year of George W. Bush

Wrapped up as we have been in presidential-election hoopla, machinations and drivel, we have to sober up and realize we still have another entire year of the Bush administration to deal with. What should we expect?

Ed Gillespie, senior White House counselor and one of the few experienced work-a-day Republicans who haven’t fled the administration, says President Bush plans to spend this year in a “lot of travel.”

He says the time frame for getting anything through Congress will expire on or about July 4 as senators and representatives race home to campaign for re-election.

The basics: No major new initiatives on foreign policy, another try at extending No Child Left Behind, more funding for the troops in Iraq, a reprise of past State of the Union speeches, some vague effort on reforms to make the housing market more stable and, as always, making the tax cuts permanent. Oh, yes. More fights with Congress over last year’s budget.

Folks, this is depressing.

It’s for certain we don’t want any more disasters from this president. His legacy involving the war in Iraq, the tragic, botched response to Katrina, the confused non-commitment to saving the planet from greenhouse gases, the failure to capture Osama bin Laden, the catastrophes of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the loss of American prestige, the probably illegal destruction of the CIA torture tapes and a huge national debt is bad enough.

But Bush has only a little more than 365 days to try to save his presidency from a thorough trashing by historians. (begin ital) And the former co-owner of the Texas Rangers has no game plan! (end ital)

The last edition in 2007 of Parade, the ubiquitous Sunday-newspaper supplement, has a smiling picture of Bush on the cover advertising an article called “What Made My Year Special by President George W. Bush.”

In an article the president most assuredly did not write personally, he says that as he and his wife Laura took stock of the past year, they found themselves thinking about the “extraordinary people we have met.”

The article then spoke about the president’s inspiration at presenting the Medal of Honor to a dead soldier’s mother, presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a genome scientist who believes in God, visiting the bread factory of a “single mom” in Tennessee, holding the HIV-free baby of an HIV-positive South African woman visiting the White House and meeting with the wife of a doctor imprisoned in Cuba for advocating democracy.

“The caring, compassionate, hardworking people who use their skills and talents to build a better America and a more hopeful world” are what keeps the president going and makes him “so optimistic about America’s future — in 2008 and beyond,” the article concluded.

I don’t know about you, but I am disheartened that the president thinks the most satisfying thing about being the most important elected official in the world is meet-and-greets with neat people, all of whom have sacrificed more, worked harder and accomplished more against greater obstacles than he has.

We elected Bush the first time because he seemed to be a nice guy (despite the irksome smirk) and because Florida has messed-up ballot procedures. We elected him the second time because John Kerry was not a compelling alternative and we didn’t feel like jumping to a different horse mid-stream in a post-9/11 world.

Bush almost assuredly will never again run for elective office. He has the rare luxury of being able to set aside electoral politics to become a statesman and a whole year to try to correct his mistakes. But this president does not admit — publicly, at least — to having made any mistakes. He seems absolutely, arrogantly convinced that he made all the right decisions.

So the coming year will be much like the past seven dreary, tumultuous, conflict-riddled years.

The next president will have to deal with the war in Iraq, restoring respect for the United States, figuring out what to do with 12 million people illegally in the country, agreeing on a framework to prevent a meltdown of Social Security and Medicare, strengthening the weak dollar and bolstering a faltering economy. Not counting all the crises and surprises that bedevil every president every year.

The Iowa caucuses solved nothing. We still have big decisions to make. Let’s hope this time we get it right.

(Scripps Howard columnist Ann McFeatters has covered the White House and national politics since 1986. E-mail amcfeatters(at)nationalpress.com.)

7 Responses to "Oh God! Another year of George W. Bush"

  1. Caine  January 4, 2008 at 10:56 am

    You had to remind us of this fact? My day was going good until I got this reminder. Thanks!

    : )

  2. bryan mcclellan  January 4, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    He has the rare luxury of being able to set aside electoral politics and become a statesman.Ann,you jest I assume? A STATESMAN???He has no chance of ever becoming anything close to what could be considered Half Witted,and suddenly he’s to become a statesman.I will propel myself over the moon by flatulent, closely pursued by the cow if this IDIOT is ever remembered as anything but a cruel,lying,treasonous,subversive, and arrogant FOOL.Statesman?Jesus.H.Christ, that has to be the craziest most absurd summation of the horror filled year that we are about to experience that I’ve ever heard.If this asshole had Mr Peabody’s wayback machine he could not undo the harm that his recklessness has wrought.Statesman BAHHHHHHHHHH!!

  3. LurkingFromTheLeft  January 4, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Bryan –

    …glad to see you didn’t resolve to hold back this year –

    …but still, I’m not sure I’m sensing how you REALLY feel about him?!? –

    LFTL

  4. bryan mcclellan  January 4, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Hey Lefty: I honestly wish no ill towards smirk as I’m not prepared to dig two graves.I just wish he and his ilk to get their just desserts and then GO AWAY without the history revisionists giving our kids the soft soap about the worst that America had to offer in such troubling times.

  5. tropicaltaco  January 4, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    We need to send a strong message to all, impeach the bastards and try them and their accomplices for crimes against humanity.

  6. SEAL  January 4, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    We’ve done that many times over, Tropical. The voters did that in the last election. So far only one lonely congressman has drawn up a bill of impeachment but he can’t get any support for it. If I remember correctly, only one other member has signed on to it.

    The only way you will get Bush impeached is if you can get a few hundred thousand people to march into the capitol demanding it.

  7. Rob Kezelis  January 6, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    foreign travel by a president in the past has meant that the president fucking things up so badly domestically, that it was time to get away from the heat.

    yeah, that adage continues to work.

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