Tick … Tock … Tick … Tock …

Let me tell you about what I think my job description is. I think my job is to confront problems, not pass them on to future Presidents and future Congresses. (Applause.) I know that’s what the American people expect of their leaders. — George W. Bush, August 3, 2005

Q Will there come a day — and I’m not asking you when, not asking for a timetable — will there come a day when there will be no more American forces in Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT: That, of course, is an objective, and that will be decided by future Presidents and future governments of Iraq. — press conference, March 21, 2006

There was a rumor — I haven’t found the primary source — that after the 2000 “election” president-presumptive Bush was told the state of Texas had run up a nasty budget deficit on his watch. “That’s not my problem,” he is said to have said.

Molly Ivins explained (in October 2003) how Bush used the Texas economy as part of his presidential campaign:

Between GeeDubya Bush’s second legislative session in 1997 and the official beginning of his run for the presidency in 1999, the state of Texas pissed away much of a $6 billion surplus. …

…Governor Bush made good use of the surplus, at least for his own political purposes. In a state known for low taxes and no income tax, he gave a big chunk of the surplus back to taxpayers. Then he ran for president saying, “I passed the largest tax break in the history of the state of Texas.” And why not? The economy was booming. Enron stock was going to hit $100 and split. Streets were filled with trucks laying fiber-optic cable. …

Dubya Bush arrived as governor after the party started. By the time it ended, he had ridden the Texas tech boom all the way to the White House. The first big Austin campaign bash in the summer of 1999 featured bad country music and a stump speech heavy on Bushonomic blather: “… the largest tax cut in the history of the state of Texas … give tax dollars to the people who earned them … ,” etc. Bush budget director Albert Hawkins, who had just left the state’s payroll to join the campaign, stood at the back of the crowd. Hawkins is a veteran capitol numbers-cruncher who knew better. Asked why none of the record surplus was banked in the state’s rainy day fund, Hawkins dismissed the question. The state’s finances were in good shape, he said. “We didn’t see any need to put any money in the fund.”

Then the stock market tanked, the Supreme Court named Bush president, tax revenues disappeared, and Texas went broke. As we write, we’re looking at a $10 billion deficit in Texas … As Bush rolled out his second big tax cut in Washington in 2002, the state he left behind was being ravaged by the deficits he created.

We are all Texans now. As in screwed.

In today’s Boston Globe, David Martin writes a tongue-in-cheek humor piece that suggests maybe we’d be better off if Bush sat on his hands and did nothing for the rest of his term. ”Anything I tried to do now would just need to be fixed up by some future president anyway,” says Bush via Martin.

But it’s only too true that Bush has skipped merrily through life without having to pay for his mistakes, since Daddy’s influence and money were always around to bail him out. As a result, Dubya is still the spoiled brat who expects the help to clean up his messes. The next president, whoever he is, will be faced with the biggest mess since FDR inherited the Great Depression and Lincoln was socked with the Secession Crisis. Trillions in debt, global nuclear proliferation, escalating violence and anti-Americanism in the Middle East — and we’ve got almost three years to go. This is frightening.

And even if Bush did sit on his hands until January 2009, the messes he’s made so far are going to get worse and worse without competent, pro-active leadership to deal with them. The deficit ain’t gettin’ smaller, Kim Jung Il still has plutonium, and today the Associated Press reports that “al-Qaida terrorists are setting their sights on Israel and the Palestinian territories as their next jihad battleground.” Yes, just what the world needs.

Unfortunately, the U.S. government is, in effect, hostage to a powerful cadre of Bush bitter enders and enablers who continue to intimidate news media, Congress, and the insider Washington pundit/consultant industries. Irrationally, given his negative approval numbers, conventional wisdom still says that taking on Bush and the VRWC could be fatal to careers.

However, not taking them on could be fatal to the nation.

6 thoughts on “Tick … Tock … Tick … Tock …

  1. I remember Bush stating he would not be around when the results of the tax cuts would come in, he would have another job. He said it after Gore had pointed it out.

    I remember thinking how Bush could be so sure he would be president, did he know something we din’t know? Guess he knew then that they would steal the election if they had to.

    The CHIP program was held up in returns for tax cuts, and the comptroller Scott McLellans mother always found some more cash to justify the cuts.

    When Texas finally did implement CHIPS it did not take long before it was cut down a lot because there was no money. Texas was late to start and very early to reduce it.

  2. What I find baffling is how this Administration, along with the Republican party, are unable or unwilling to affect change despite holding all the cards. They control all three branches of government (yes, one could make arguements about Judicial, but they don’t make laws… yes, that too can be argued… I digress), but lately they seem content to lay blame on everyone else for the nations current woes/issues. The “liberal” media (bloggers included) are the latest target for attacks because they’re making things “appear” so bad. Really? This is an “appearence” problem?

    Now it’s revealed, by the President himself, that the next president will have to contend with Iraq. Is that all? How about that 8-trillion dollar (and counting) hole? Heavy dependency on foreign oil?

    Question: How long does one stay the course before it’s declared to be the wrong course? Apparently, at minimum, it’s three more years.

    Good luck everyone!

  3. The next president, whoever he is, will be faced with the biggest mess since FDR inherited the Great Depression and Lincoln was socked with the Secession Crisis.

    Amen to that. The real question in my mind is whether we’ll have leaders who will have the courage to be brutally honest with us, and whether the country will be willing to face the truth. And whether this space of honest communication can be created and held in spite of the enormous noise from the right wing machine to the contrary.

    The situation is analogous to an alcoholic who needs an intervention. The problem is that politically there are powerful people who benefit from running this country off the rails, as they’re now doing, and have no interest in saving this country from delusion.

    I am hopeful that there is a sane part of the country that is absolutely hungry for the truth, no matter how awful it is, because they/we know that this version of America is just not working, no matter what the glib front men on TV say. This is the part that knows Bush is lying, has known since Day 1, and gets sick of even looking at the guy.

    If we don’t get an intervention soon, then the universe will up the ante: our economy will be ruined, or our enemies will attack, or any number of crises that saner heads have been predicting for years. The day of reckoning is coming, one way or another.

  4. While in my head I agree with the doom and gloom predictions of my fellow maha fans, in my heart I just can’t go there. I mean, Bush is getting beaten up by Helen Thomas, forgodsake! Helen Thomas!

    Cartoon Helen: Was I wearing a hat?
    President Lisa Simpson: Yes. Yes you were.

    If you’d like a break from thoughts of our gloomy future, the ever-hilarious karateexplosions is back on Dkos, and this week he’s taking on Dubya hisself:


  5. The Bushies will shut down the bloggers before the next election. They already own the Diebold voting machines. we are deluding ourselves if we think we have a chance to stop them. I live in Indiana and when I went to vote in the 2004 election they had the new touch screen voting machines. Every time I voted for Kerry it popped up Bush. I don’t know if I voted 4 times for Bush and 1 time for Kerry or how my vote was counted. No one can tell me.

  6. Maybe you are right Joanie, but I won’t feel more optimistic until ” That’s My Bush!” is back on T.V. and the war crimes trials are underway. ( are the cast and crew of that show currently residing in ‘Gitmo ?)
    Actually, since the war in Iraq will continue regardless of which party wins in ’06 and ’08, can we just make it mandatory Bush/Cheney do a tour of duty in Iraq? If they should happen to make “the ultimate sacrifice” while on duty, they would have “volunteered” and died as “heroes”, no higher honor is there than to die for ones’ country, Bush / Cheney supporters agree…

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