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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Getting a head start on Bush's legacy

Historians usually wait until a president has passed on before settling on a legacy he's left behind from his term in office. Considering how early we're jumpstarting the 2008 Election, I thought I'd take the opportunity now to review a few leavings from George W's years of misrule.

My main provocation for the effort is today's news that the Supremely Reactionary Court has taken the country back another step toward its golden years of repression and discrimination (see Across U.S., a New Look at School Integration Efforts from the New York Times).

This follows the absurd ruling from earlier in the year where the conservative block, anchored by Bush's appointments (Alito and Roberts, the titular supreme supreme), sided with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Corporation, which openly discriminated against a female employee by giving her smaller raises than her male counterparts (see US supreme court v women from the Guardian Unlimited).

The make-up of the court, and the damage that they do to civil rights and constitutional law going forward will certainly be one of Georgie's most lasting legacies, but it's not the only detrimental detritus that has fallen from his office. The Iraq War and its prosecution will certainly rank among the greatest US boondoggles, sapping the strength of our economy as it consumes the lives of our young soldiers. The trickle down affect from this little piece of neo-conservative pocket-lining has already begun, siphoning off funding from our city, county and state governments and costing us needed social services.

The legacy doesn't end there of course. Let's not forget the Prez's environmental track record, with his refusal to sign on to Kyoto and his Dick Cheney conspired energy policy that handsomely rewarded a fossil fuel industry that is churning the carbon into our atmosphere and charring our earth with drought and the other deleterious byproducts of an unstable climate.

Speaking of the Vice Lord, the news has been filled with outrage over his his recent refusal to disclose documents that could reveal just how illegal and unethical the tenure of this administration has been (see Cheney, master of stealth, readies himself for the final act of 'imperial' vice-presidency from the Independent). The Bushies have shown an amazing ability to circumvent the most time-honored and sacrosanct provisions of our Constitution. Whether it's creating extra-judicial procedures for enemy combatants, using signing statements to infringe on the legislative branch, abrogating habeus corpus, or illegally executing wiretaps, their sins have been great and their penetance lacking.

So after a literally torturous 8 years in office, these fine exploiters of people and resources will depart back to their darkened corporate boardrooms to count their winnings and revel in the waste to which our country and its founding principles have been laid. As they pack up their belongings and vacate the White House, the decimated Nation should join together with requisite venom and sing the last verse of Bob Dylan's Masters of War:

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead
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