Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Bush Legacy Project

For an administration so adept at the Reverse Midas Touch, where everything they touch turns to shit, the one thing I give the Bushites credit for is their ability to spin. They are Rembrandts in the art of Flim-Flam. They were able to, for eight long years, fool enough of the people enough of the time to remain in power just long enough to fill their coffers and almost destroy the country in the process. And the P.T. Barnum of the political three-ring circus that is the White House? Karl Rove.

Ron Suskind, 2004: In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
We all now know that "the senior adviser" in Suskind's piece was Karl Rove. And Rove was right. Study we did. While everyone was flipping out over the latest Bush Administration outrage, the Bushites were creating another and another. And another. Until this endless avalanche of bullshit was so overwhelming, the focus of the "judicious students of history" Rove was talking about splintered apart. There was no consolidated front. There was no one particular story that would stick.

Hurricane Katrina was really the first time they took a big hit, but how many people still talk about Bush and Cheney testifying together, not transcripted and not under oath during the 9/11 Commission investigations? How many of us are still thinking about Alberto Gonzales and the mockery he made of the Justice Department? And when one jamoke resigns, another is ready to take his place and condone torture while avoiding answering what torture is. Who talks about the devastation that still haunts New Orleans over three years later? Or even the slow recovery efforts of Hurricane Gustav's wake just a couple of months ago?

We all know the long, long list that George W. Bush leaves as his legacy: 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, The Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Act, illegal wiretapping, cherrypicking intelligence reports, the Iraq War, rendition, torture, waterboarding, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, economic meltdown, record foreclosure rates, and on and on. That's just scratching the surface. Amazing isn't it?

And here we sit, eight years after the first national Bush atrocity that no one could have anticipated would become the norm from the crooks residing in the White House. Yet we are now hearing that Karl "Bush's Brain" Rove, former Bush communications director Karen Hughes and other senior Bush advisers are brainstorming ways to salvage Bush's legacy. A Bush legacy project. And they're meeting in the White House with current officials. They're doing it on our dime! How does one wrap their mind around the dilemma of attempting to create a positive spin on Bush's "legacy"? And since when is a president's legacy part of a White House agenda? Legacies are made, not manufactured.

This think tank's plan is to rewrite history. Already we're seeing Bush's farewell tour, kicked off with a Charles Gibson/ABC interview in which the Chimp in Chief tries to pass the buck in a sad, Bart Simpson-like "it was like that when I got here" attempt.

GIBSON: Do you feel in any way responsible for what's happening?

BUSH: You know, I'm the President during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written,
people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President.

"... before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President." What the fuck?! How does one turn that into anything positive? And isn't it ironic that Karl Rove, the man who only a short time ago was plotting a permanent Republican majority (possibly the last Republican majority for at least a generation), the man Bush nicknamed "Turdblossom," now has the dubious task of polishing a turd?
leg⋅a⋅cy  [leg-uh-see]noun, plural -cies.

1. Law. a gift of property, esp. personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.
3. an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent.
4. Obsolete. the office, function, or commission of a legate.
Hmmm.... Oh, here's one!
leg⋅a⋅cy - A gift of property by will, esp. of money or personal property; a bequest. Also Fig.; as, a legacy of dishonor or disease.

That last line nails it. Bush will be remembered for his indifference; for his lack of curiosity; for his ineptness; for his butchering of the English language; for his disregard of that "goddamned piece of paper," the United States Constitution; for his preference to be at his photo-op Crawford, Texas ranch; for the hubris of his crony appointments.

But most of all, the George W. Bush legacy will be one of dishonor to the office of the Presidency. His legacy is one of a parasitic disease that sucked our treasury dry, bled us of our moral standing in the world and crippled the last remaining superpower (if such a thing still existed). And no amount of revisionist history will scrub The Shrub's "legacy" clean.


jane said...

Nice work, Carlster!
Apt description about the avalanche of shit and how we've been kept continually asking "what just happened, and why, and how?" to notice the current wave of shit headed our way.

And such as, the irony of so much of this shit defies the imagination, but turd polishing is a good pick to highlight!

Ah well, it's late as hell AGAIN and I have another long day tomorrow...It's Nutcracker/Christmas Carol/my church needs a followspot season. No rest for the weary.

turailiz, also. Should Bob get one of these fancy word verifier thingies to block Teh Spam, or would we all hate it on open threads?

Broadway Carl said...

Yeah, a bit much on the word verifier idea at Bob's, although I'm hoping Travis gets booted soon. I think he just says shit to piss people off... and it's working with me!