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This may seem an odd diary on the day when our 44th President is being inaugurated.  But the title got your attention and I think that in a very perverse way (I write this as a progressive democrat) one must acknowledge that Bush achieved his objectives.

How can I make this claim?  It must be understood that Bush & Company from the outset never intended to serve the American people in its entirety.  Bush & Co. wanted to advance the interests of their base, and even more narrowly, the people who finance that base.  Before one slams this idea, I think it is unrealistic of Obama to believe he can represent all the American people.  Not possible.  The 20-30% base that Bush ended up with will always be against Obama.  Look at the Republican Senate leader who today announced he may hold up Hillary's appointment as Secretary of State.  It will probably be for just a few days; but they have no intention of "playing ball" with Obama, despite his dinners with them.  I think Obama should realize this and govern to push his base, especially the progressive base.

Bush did achieve what the people who put him in office wanted.  First, look at the tax breaks they have racked up (with democratic help) over the past 8 years.  Second, look at the concentration of wealth in ever fewer and fewer hands, also achieved over the last two terms.  Third, look at the increased centralization of power in the executive branch.  Bush & Cheney invented the "unitary" president approach (not that I applaud it).  Fourth, look at the foreign policy "successes" in Iraq which have helped consolidate US corporate power over Middle East Oil and also cemented Israel's power.  What does he care that a few thousand ordinary Americans died to achieve this?  Fifth, look at the loss of constitutional rights for the average American person (FISA anyone?  the Patriot Act?  etc).  Note too that some of these constitutional rights losses occurred with the help and support of Democrats, including Obama (especially on FISA).  

In short, I think Bush can go back to Texas with the knowledge that he indeed achieved the mission that those who put him in power wanted. Again, don't attack me for wanting this:  I am opposed to everything Bush & Co. stand for.  But we must also ask:  Will Obama be as "successful" as Bush?  

Originally posted to fflambeau on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:29 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  and his last act was to loot the Treasury (6+ / 0-)

    on the way out the door.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he left a turd in the Lincoln bedroom too, just out of spite.

  •  don't forget (5+ / 0-)

    he also succeeded in becoming a "two-termer" — something he can rub in daddy's face.

    •  And he killed Sadam. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auapplemac, Hill Jill

      The diarist is totally right. He was wildly successful based on his agenda.  

      There was an earthquake! A terrible flood! Locusts! It wasn't my fault I swear to God!

      by FXDCI on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:49:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

        He gutted our public agencies, consolidated wealth at the top of the ladder and put another gasoline-soaked log on the fires of the Middle East.  He shunned progressive allies, drove poor people further into poverty, and let cororations run wild.

        When "Government Sucks" is your bedrock guiding light, why on Earth would you undertake to have government do ANYTHING well?  The Bush Doctrine: if we do anything right, our philosophy is proven wrong.

        Crazy.

        Hillbilly? You Betcha.

        by Bin Bin on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:15:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Everytime I Heard Cheney's Name (5+ / 0-)

    and it is mentioned how much power he has. That he could in fact really be pulling the strings and Bush is just his puppet. That he no, I mean zero, accountability to Congress .... I think the same thing and it is NEVER mentioned here when we talk about him.

    That is, as I know 99% of us know, he was tasked with Bush before the first election to pick a VP. In the end he picked himself.

    I have to think during the process Cheney's phone was ringing off the hook. His co-workers at Halliburton and all across the oil industry. The military industrial complex. Drug companies. Lumber. Coal. You name it, telling him what could be done if just "somebody like you was in the White House with a rube like Bush."

    And next you know, Cheney is VP for eight years ....

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

    by webranding on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:35:43 AM PST

  •  To a degree... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea

    Yes, he looted and pillaged and burned and bombed, and this was all part of the plan.

    But to say he achieved his goals, well, I don't know about that. He may have weakened American power beyond repair. I don't believe Bush's foreign policy to be the string of errors and failures that we usually hear in the MSM narrative, but this can't be what success looks like.

    They made out like thieves, but lets not delude ourselves here. The Permanent Republican Majority is dead and buried. The Christian Right, that once homogeneous group, is no longer under GOP control. I can give plenty of other examples.

    I think you're right that many of the failures attributed to Bush have been stealth policies, but even so, Bush has been a disaster.

    •  I hear what you are saying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snack related mishap

      but I do agree with the author.  I never considered Bush a Republican.  He is much more of a corporatist.  The same is true for many members of both parties.  They vote with the dollars that support them, not the people that support them.

      In that regard, I think Bush was very successful for the reasons the author mentioned.  There aren't many in the top 1-2% who feel personally worse off following eight years of Bush.  Some may feel remorse at the condition of the rest of the country, but the positino is the top 1-2% is not measurably worse.

      I also believe Bush was wildly successful in the true aim of the conservative movement: to weaken the foundation of government and its ability to improve the lives of the people it serves.  The Bush presidency generated such enormous cynicism and distrust in government and depleted the belief in many that government can function properly.  Obama's most significant task will be restoring the faith that government can and does work.  The way he invested supporters in his campaign and vision was a critical first step.  But it also means that he must be successful.  What will government look like after 8 years of Bush if Obama then does not follow through?

      It's amazing what people will do to others in the name of themselves.

      by ABlueKansas on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:21:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  OK (0+ / 0-)

        I also believe Bush was wildly successful in the true aim of the conservative movement: to weaken the foundation of government and its ability to improve the lives of the people it serves.

        You'll get no argument from me here. When put that way, it's hard to disagree. I would agree that Bush has been wildly successful in turning over the public sector to private central interests, for example.

        But the assertion that Bush achieved his goals seems fanciful to me. Some, certainly, but not all.

        As for what Obama must do to restore trust, well, he has his work cut out for him.

      •  Maybe I am naive, but, (0+ / 0-)

        I always thought the President was supposed to acheive America's goals, not just the goals of his party or his contributors. After Al Gore conceeded the 2000 election, this shit said he would be the President of all the people, obviously he was full of shit.

        •  I hear you Vera but.... (0+ / 0-)

          Vera, you wrote, "After Al Gore conceeded the 2000 election, this shit said he would be the President of all the people... ."  Obviously W didn't mean that.  And what I'm trying to say, probably very poorly at that, is that it will be impossible for Obama to be "President of all the people" because there is a hard core of committed Republicans who will oppose him at every turn.  I gave the example of Clinton; look also at what Republicans are doing to Senator Al Franken--trying their damndest to keep him out of office.  I believe it is a pipedream that a single president can ever represent everyone; we after all have been a nation of parties and factions since our existence.  These parties have always pushed certain agendas.  My point is that now the democratic party, and hopefully its liberal wing, controls the levers of power.  We should take advantage of the moment just as Bush did for his constituency.  

          •  You make sense but, (0+ / 0-)

            with Bush he had to prove he would be President for all the people, he had to prove the Supremes knew what they were doing when they selected him. Obama won by quite a good margin. He won by saying he would be a President for all the people, Democrats, Republicans and Independents. He offered reasonable ideas and that is why people voted for him. Perhaps I am biased, but I feel like Obama's presidency will be a hell of a lot more inclusive for all the people than the Bush Presidency ever hoped to be. The Bush Presidency was just the wealthy corporate powers getting their guy in. Just how did anyone who was not among the wealthy benefit by the Bush years?

  •  Couldn't this have waited... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea

    until tomorrow? Really, I just want one day without an embolism caused by that greedy corporate shill we've been stuck with for the last goddamned decade.
    I don't disagree with what you said, I'm just sad because it's true, even though we won, there was so much damage done.

  •  Yes, Bush achieved his goals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vera Lofaro
    But look at the hubris he will leave behind. He took care of his own, at the expense of the nation and the world.  It may take a generation before this mess gets cleaned up.  Thanks for the memories Mr. Bush
  •  Well of course your analysis is right. (0+ / 0-)

    So far as it goes, anyhow.  The problem is that the one parenthesis that you added "(with Democratic help)" should have been a part of almost every plutocratic ploy that Bush plotted and executed.  The Democrats are also the party of wealth, as well as of us.

    Now our job is to make sure that the Party doesn't shoo us out of the 'party' about to take place.  Obama's job is to govern, with whatever tools that he finds available.  We have to match the organizational acuity of the richest families and organizations on the planet.

    But before we can match them organizationally, we'd better sure as shit do some thinking.  What are we after?  What goals are we seeking to accomplish?  If we fail to develop a message, a paradigm, a theory, more resonant than 'free market capitalism,' or 'better-managed free market capitalism,' you may mark my words.  We will find ourselves defeated and in disarray before 2012.  And the world will be flying to pieces around us.

    We need to construct the intellectual basis for a social democratic movement that can develop the organizational basis for power.  That's our job, and from what I see, it ain't happenin'.

    I bow to those who seek the truth; I flee from those who have 'found' it.

    by SERMCAP on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:35:47 AM PST

  •  his biggest goal was the Grover Norquist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore

    goal to bury the govt in a mountain of debt to try to prevent it from doing anything progressive

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