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Reflect Upon a Legacy

Today, let us reflect on the legacy of a man who has affected nearly every one of us in some way.  A man whose accomplishments are many, and whose single-minded pursuit of a dream changed the world forever.

No, I don’t mean Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I’m referring to George W. Bush.  Let us all take a moment to reflect upon Bush’s last day in office.

Ladies and gentlemen, his legacy:

– The invasion of Iraq.  In reality, just lying about the reason our country invaded another would be enough reason to be against the war, but that wasn’t enough.  There was also the mismanagement of the war, both militarily and economically; anywhere from 9-23 BILLION FUCK DOLLARS were lost in addition to the vile trillion or so already invested in this bullshit war.  The war was illegal.  Bush was required to prove to the Congress that Iraq was in violation of UN Resolutions by still being in possession of weapons of mass destruction, and secondly, that Iraq was behind 9-11. Both claims have since been disproved and discredited.  Then again, those were never the REAL reasons we invaded Iraq, now were they?  But when it comes down to it, the worst part of it all is the lives lost.  Everyone talks about the sacrifice made by American soldiers, but their blind devotion to a lie and to an organization, the US military, that sent them to die for the good of a president and sorry lot of corporate criminals is not something I like to champion.  Nobody ever mentions the lives of men, women, and children killed in Iraq, as if their deaths weren’t worthy of reflection.  NOT ONE HUMAN BEING should have died for Bush and his cronies.  And anyone who still thinks it was a matter of national security, contact Colin Powell and ask the motherfucker what he regrets most about his tenure in the Bush administration.

– Afghanistan.  Nobody talks about the legality of this war.  As far as everybody is concerned, Afghanistan was the “right” war.  It was also a violation of US and international law, as the nation of Afghanistan never declared war on the US.  To get around that, the Bush Doctrine was created, which stated that no distinction is to be drawn between terrorists and countries that harbor them.  I suppose I understand the logic.  I wish I could make up my own doctrine and grant myself the right to finally shoot Paris Hilton between the eyes with a ditz-seeking missile.  But I don’t.

– The United Nations, the organization we started to keep the peace, rendered irrelevant when Bush decided that the laws we set in place to govern our conduct simply ceased to apply to us (or to Israel, I might add…).  When we shit on the UN, we set a precedent for the rest of the world and lost the moral high ground.  We equated might with right and lost the world’s trust.  It will take decades to restore that trust – assuming we really mean it this time…

– Torture, Abu Ghraib (where it was estimated that 90% of the detainees were innocent), and Guantanamo Bay: just more reasons for the Bush administration’s dedication to rendering the UN irrelevant.  It’s hard to torture prisoners of war when the organization you started is calling it a “crime”.  Truly puke-worthy and an impeachable offense in and of itself.

– Lost an entire American city on his watch: New Orleans.  This happened by appointing a crony to the worst possible position to appoint a crony – head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Indirectly responsible for the deaths of thousands, thus proving Kanye West correct.

– ignored the widening annual trillion dollar trade deficit with Asia

– Record high energy prices. Record energy company profits. Dick Cheney’s energy task force meetings remain secret. Need I say more?

– Withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol

– Turned the U.S. Constitution into swiss cheese

– The outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame

– The castration of the EPA and its abhorrent effect on the environment
the constitution

– Politicized the justice department and fired attorneys who didn’t fall in line with the Bush administration

– No Child Left Behind (or, Cynically Named Piece of Legislation That Leaves As Many Poor Kids Behind as Possible)

– Tax cuts for the rich – at a time when the people need services the most – and a much wider gap between the rich and the poor

– The largest military budget in history

– Killed stem cell research – and lied about it

– Privatization of large chunks of the federal safety net

– Inherited a surplus (which would have gone towards paying off our staggering debt, but anyway…) and left us with the shittiest economy in 80 years…and even more staggering debt.

– Scandal, after scandal, after scandal, after scandal…

– after scandal…

There is, however, a silver lining to Bush’s tenure.  Bush had initially campaigned as a uniter, and unite us he did.  His inept and corrupt leadership galvanized the progressive movement and secured the rise of America’s first black president.  Before Bush, do you think this country would have had the nerve to elect a black man?  What better way to celebrate MLK day than by remembering Bush’s single greatest accomplishment while in office: being such an unholy fuck-up that half the country would rather take a chance on an inexperienced black man who admits to having snorted cocaine and listens to Ludacris, than on 4 more years of Republican rule?  Things actually got so bad that a large portion of the country decided that racism wasn’t as important to them as finally having a capable, intelligent leader with integrity, regardless of his skin color.   King’s dream is but a hair’s-breadth away, and to think, we have Bush to thank for it.  So thank you, George W. Bush. What a legacy indeed.

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