Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thanks for the Bad Memories

President George W. Bush delivered his farewell address. I had imagined that he might use that time to offer some apologies for breaking the country or for his general assholeishnes. Or, even better, he could have used the speech as a confessional for the many crimes he committed over the past eight years. Instead, he spent fifteen minutes trying to convince people that his two terms in office weren't the total disaster that they appear to have been.

Bush decided to give his farewell address a little early, five days before he actually steps down from office. He would have done it the night before, but he decided to take the rest of his time in office as vacation days at Camp David. That is the story of this man’s administration. He has literally spent more than 450 days on vacation in his two terms in office. Wouldn’t that be nice to have a job where they gave you 1.5 years of paid vacation for every six years that you work?

Still, nobody looked happier than George W. Bush when Barack Obama won the election. “Finally,” he seemingly thought, “I can go and play baseball, which is all I really wanted to do.”

With all these farewell addresses and news agencies running retrospectives, it got met to thinking that CoG should do one as well. Here are some of the classic moments of Bush’s nightmare presidency that you won’t hear about from other sources:

    2000: Bush comes to power through a coup. Until the day I die, I will never understand why this nation accepted the completely illegal installation of Bush. He did not win the popular vote. He did not win the vote in Florida (though the news buried that tidbit months later when a statewide recount was finally completed).

      Uniquely Special Moment: The media made those of us who objected to the illegitimate seizing of power feel like we were nuts for expecting the person who won the election to actually take office.

    2001: Bush's first nominee for Secretary of Labor, Linda "English-Only" Chávez, is quickly forced to withdraw her nomination. Chávez's neighbor revealed that she once helped an undocumented worker by giving her cash and a place to stay (though not employing her).

      Uniquely Special Moment: Latinos across the nation, who best knew Chávez for her draconian visions of assimilation and anti-Spanish rants, were shocked to find out that she once did a nice thing for another Latina.

    2001: September 11 is one of the darkest moments in the U.S.’s history – Bush tries to make a run for Canada. Republicans cynically made September 11 one of the cornerstones of Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004, but nobody seemed to remember his abysmal lack of leadership on that day. Only later did some point out that Bush sat dumbfounded and watched the clock tick away while reading The Pet Goat. Though, to be fair, The Pet Goat was probably beyond his assessed reading level.

    When he finally did get off his ass, he ran away and hid. Rather than returning to Washington, D. C., Bush first ordered (or, more likely, somebody else ordered) Air Force One to fly in big circles. Then he started to zig-zag across the country from air force bases in Louisiana to Nebraska.

      Uniquely Special Moment: The White House was later caught making up stories that security around Air Force One had been compromised to explain Bush’s basic lack of character, leadership, and courage.

    2002: Homeland security, under pressure to show that it was doing something, announces the entirely laughable color-coded “Threat Advisory System” for the nation’s airports. This same agency would also respond in knee-jerk fashion to any threat, thus leaving passengers having to more-or-less disrobe before entering a gate and, of course, keeping liquids to under three ounces in a one-quart baggie. 'Cuz obviously a group of terrorists wouldn’t think to bring on board multiple baggies of three-ounce explosives as a group.

      Uniquely Special Moment: With all the fanfare associated with the color coded system, I have never seen it budge from “Orange” level. Apparently the risk of terrorist attack is always “High,” much like the person who came up with this color-coded system.

    2002: Radical-Christian Extremist John Ashcroft, Bush's first Attorney General, spends $8,000 on fancy drapes to cover up art deco statues titled “Spirit of Justice” and "The Majesty of Law" at the Justice Department. Ashcroft disliked that the statues were seminudes. We can only assume they gave him impure thoughts.

      Uniquely Special Moment: Having millions of Americans claiming that they couldn't find justice at the Justice Department wasn't enough for Ashcroft. He need to make sure that they literally couldn't find the spirit of justice as well.

    2003: More young people report that they get their news from the comedy program The Daily Show with Jon Stewart than any other source.

      Uniquely Special Moment: Sadly, the fake-news program actually provided better coverage of the issues than the twenty-four news networks.

    2004: The Bush administration prompts the return of the protest-song genre. Green Day’s “American Idiot,” P!nk’s “Dear Mr. President,” Eminem’s “Mosh,” and whatever the Dixie Chicks sing all expressed disdain towards Bush. Protest songs hadn’t been this popular since LBJ was yanking beagles around by their ears.

      Uniquely Special Moment: The phrase “Fuck Bush” sounds even better when put to music.

    2004: Bush wins reelection (barely) through a four-point campaign based on fear, war, greed, and homophobia.

    Having little to show for his four years in office other than a tragic terrorists attack, a collapsing economy (Yes, problems were already evident), and unwinnable wars, Bush and the overly-praised Karl Rove masterminded a campaign that drew on voters’ worst impulses.

      Uniquely Special Moment: Mary Cheney, lesbian daughter of Dick Cheney, is surprised that other gay folk find it distasteful that she campaigned for an administration that sought to harm people like herself.

    2004: Warner Brothers releases the film Catwoman starring Halle Berry. I haven’t figured out how exactly, but I am certain that the Bush administration was responsible for this piece of celluloid detritus.

      Uniquely Special Moment: The New York Times and other newspapers go to town with bad cat jokes in their reviews of the film (e.g. “Catwoman coughs up a hairball.”)

    2005: Bush nominates a groupie, Harriet Miers, to be on the Supreme Court despite her total lack of qualifications.

      Uniquely Special Moment: Miers claims that she only wanted to be on the Supreme Court because she lost the role of Catwoman to Halle Berry.

    2005: Bush reveals that he believed himself to be on a religious mission delivered directly by God to invade Iraq.

      Uniquely Special Moment: God files a libel suit, demanding that Bush not besmirch Her good name through false claims.

    2005: Rumors emerge that war-hawk (and perpetually "single") Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a lesbian when a Fox reporter encourages her to get "friendly" with pianist Lauren Green.

      Uniquely Special Moment: Upon learning that Rice might be sexually attracted to women, millions of lesbians across the nation throw up a little in their mouth.

    2005: As Katrina is about to hit New Orleans, Bush hosts a barbeque for his sycophant press corps (while on vacation at his ranch – ahem). In one swoop, the depraved indifference of both the press and the president is revealed as 60,000 people are trapped in the drowning city of New Orleans.

      Uniquely Special Moment: Oh, gosh, too many to count – In a supposed show of interest, Bush ordered Air Force One to circle above the city so he could look out the window (Hey, at least he didn't hide in a bunker this time). After countless incidents of mismanagement, Bush praised Michael D. Brown, head of FEMA, by stating, “Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.” Totally unaware of the magnitude of problems that faced average Americans, Bush mourned the loss of the multi-million dollar mansion of Senator Trent Lott.

    2006: Bush provides a graphic lesson in what constitutes a workplace “bad touch” when he gives an uninvited massage to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

      Uniquely Special Moment. Upon learning of the massage, millions of Germans throw up a little in their mouth.

    2007: People embrace the new Battlestar Galactica because it uses science fiction as a vehicle to question the current state of affairs and U.S. policies.

      Uniquely Special Moment: Many viewers saw a dystopia where heartless robots attempt to slaughter the last surviving members of the human race as more hopeful than contemporary life under the Bush regime.

    2006: A dedicated blogger uncovers the horrible truth that Donald Rumsfeld isn't really a man at all. He is actually one of the evil taking trees from The Wizard of Oz.

      Uniquely Special Moment: The press really should have suspected something when he threw apples at anybody who asked questions about looting in Iraq.

    2007: Alberto Gonzalez, after either committing perjury before Congress or having a case of amnesia heretofore only experienced by soap-opera characters, resigns in disgrace as Attorney General.

      Uniquely Special Moment: Gonzalez, the first Mexican-American to hold the position of Attorney General, was given a statue of the Texas Rangers as his parting gift. It was only fitting that a man who had undermined the rights of people like himself should be given an object commemorating a group that historically terrorized people like himself.

    2008: Bush tours the Middle East after promising a democratic Iraq and a “road map to peace” between Israel and Palestinians. It turns out that he really should have invested in a G.P.S. for peace.

      Uniquely Special Moment: The people of Iraq are so overjoyed with Bush’s role in their nation that they offer him the shoes right off their feet.

    2009: Against medical odds, Dick Cheney lives through the entire administration and has spare time to shoot friends in the face.

      Uniquely Special Moment: It proves that good can't live through a stiff breeze, but evil lives on and on forever.


Mel said...

You forgot that whole part about how history would vindicate him.

prof bw said...

tee, hee.

- thank you for including the schlock from Halle Berry; I am convinced Cheney (aka Voldemort) ripped up her outfit, probably practicing interrogation techniques

- I think you misinterpreted the Condi thing, the rumor was that she was sleeping with Bush not that she likes it . . .

- now a serious question: I thought Chavez had employed an undocumented worker and then said, when caught, "It is so hard to find good help these days." Am I wrong? I swear somebody early in the admin did this . . .?!?

vuboq said...

I liked the Catwoman movie. Is that so wrong?

The saddest thing about the last 8 years is that there are still people around who think that GWB did a good job. *sigh*

pacalaga said...

I do love you so. Thanks for posting the video, I don't get much Eminem in my life these days and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Roger Owen Green said...

I still hold him harmless after not returning to DC after 9/11 - but he's still the worst President at least since 1900.

David said...

You expected an apology? Seriously? Bartender, I'll have what he's drinking.

Anonymous said...

Many, many thanks for the diversion from my own "never ending research project of doom."

afod said...

Loved your timeline that brought back to memory things I forgot, along with a little whimsy. I look forward to the next 8-year timeline. A little hope there, huh?

Rick said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Thank God it's nearly over.

Patrick said...

This is excellent. It's also depressing to think of how many more things could have made this list. I'm with you, I will never understand how the country let him get away with the coup of 2000, or how those of us who considered it illegal were made out to be crackpots. Of course the same thing happened with the war in Iraq, Guantanamo, and torture; anyone suggesting those might be crimes was accused of being ridiculous.

Curtis said...

I, for one, will be so relieved to no longer be spoon fed a diet of "terror, 911, tough decisions" and all the other crap his administration has been giving us for nearly a decade.

It's time for some new rhetoric.

GayProf said...

Mel: Clearly he has made himself feel better with the idea that "history" will vindicate him because nobody will be alive to validate that claim.

Prof BW: Seemingly Linda "No Spanish" Chávez didn't actually employ an undocumented worker. Though the details do seem murky.

VUBOQ: If you go to East Texas, you will find many people who consider him a "great" president. Their criteria is a mystery.

Pacalaga: Eminem really should have released that song earlier. Doing it a week before the election didn't give it enough time to stick.

David: Hey, a boy can dream about a just world.

ROG: Short of out-right endorsing human slavery, it's hard to imagine how Bush could have done a worse job.

Anon: This blog is a memorial to avoiding NERPoD's.

AFOD: While I am sure that we won't love every single thing that Obama does during his time in office, it will nonetheless be refreshing to have somebody who is intelligent and curious about the world around him.

Rick: Unfortunately this Memory Lane is riddled with potholes and it's likely we are going to get car jacked.

Patrick: I know! When I started this list, I thought it would be just a few items. In reality, it could have gone on and on for pages.

Curtis: It will always amaze me that Republicans were able to turn 9/11, which showed their ineptness in office, into something that kept them in power.

tornwordo said...

Wow, how can history say anything but that he was the worst president ever. The world is happy it's just about over.

Doug said...

Amazing how many people threw up a little in their mouths over the past 8 years.

Earl Cootie said...

he's an ugly man
he always was an ugly man
he grew up to be
like his father
an ugly man
and he'll tell you lies
he'll look at you and
tell you lies
he grew up to be
like his father
ugly inside

- Rickie Lee Jones

I wonder how long it will take to undo all the damage this administration has wrought on our country and on the world? I just hope we're not so busy looking to the future that we can't look back, uncover the corruption, and then "punish the evildoers".

jp said...

I had entirely forgotten what he did to those poor Dixie Chicks.

Sadly, I remember the rest of it all too well.

Frank said...
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eda said...