He Said He Was A Uniter

Crossposted to/from Big Orange.

Every so often, I feel compelled to return to this issue, the heart of what shows that Bush is evil — not just his administration, nor Bush himself merely incompetent — but the man himself, the puppet sitting in the Oval Office. He bears responsibility, no matter how he might try to avoid it.

Below the fold, I am going to ask you to come back with me, back to That Day, back to when the millennium truly turned and America changed forever — just not the way we thought or hoped. Just a heads-up.

I know there were still a few people who remained dubious about Bush on September 12, 2001. I got into arguments with one on an email list — so many of us became hawks briefly, it was all too easy. For me, it was personal. I’m a native New Yorker. I was born there. My father had worked at the American Stock Exchange, and my uncle was working there on the 11th. His story was harrowing, but he made it out alive.

What I remember most about that day, ironically enough, is not the hours waiting to donate blood, hours well spent with a few hundred of my closest friends, nor the fact that it is the only day I have ever simply “blown off” work, nor that I was awakened by a dear friend I had not spoken to in months if not years, calling from 3000 miles away, to tell us that the Towers had been hit. What I remember most is the shock, the sheer, unbelieving shock, as I stared at the television, still unable to process what was happening. When I woke up, there was a single tower bleeding smoke into the sky, and I tried to look around it — yes, while watching it on a TV screen — to find the other. It had already fallen.

Over the next few days, I was prone to wandering aimlessly. At work, I would drift into the storage room where someone had kindly set up a TV. There was, of course, constant coverage. The gaping holes in the city continued to vomit smoke for weeks. People ruminated darkly about the number of dead, wept at the sight of the bereaved survivors who would never have closure, and wondered when the news became part of the first act of a Bruckheimer disaster film.

And there was Bush, Mr. Uniter, claiming that the time for partisan division was past. Gore went to him in a show of support. New Yorkers were cheering a man most had certainly voted against. Even Falwell was unable to get away with bashing the Usual Suspects (read: us). For a brief, golden moment, it really looked like we might come together as a nation, that Bin Laden’s monstrosity would become his final folly. A French newspaper declared “we are all Americans,” and it seemed true. In the wake of the tragedy was hope: all things were possible, for we were America, and we had been reminded of who we really were.

For the true Axis Of Evil — Rove, Cheney and Rumsfeld — that simply would not do.

Rove was already plotting to use the attacks against the slender Democratic majority in the Senate (horrors! Democrats with power!), Cheney opened fire on the separation of powers with all guns blazing, and Rumsfeld started the plans to “sweep it all up, things related and not.” There was no spirit of compromise, unity or bipartisanship within this cabal, only the realization that this second Pearl Harbor could also be America’s Reichstag fire, if they worked hard enough at it. Of course, that would mean deliberately and viciously taking a sword to the dream of unity America found that nightmarish day.

Into this crucible came George W. Bush, widely described as Prince Hal become Henry V, at last come into his own. Here was the moment for the Cowboy President to be his own man, to do what he believed was right and unite the country as he claimed to wish all at once. All he had to do was not be irredeemably evil and hopelessly incompetent. As we have learned, that would have meant standing up to the aforementioned Axis, but no matter what came Before, Bush was — and is — the actual President. He could have done the right thing almost through benign neglect.

Instead, he personally spearheaded Rove’s two-front war, one against al-Qaeda and the other against Democrats, particularly the Senate majority. I’m sure I don’t have to list the travesties he supported with relish, but Iraq and the idiotic union-busting on the DHS were the beginning, and our warning signs. The Patriot Act was just a warm-up. Every stream of toxic rhetoric since then has started, one way or another, from the desk of President George W. Bush, and all he had to do was just say no.

He could have been remembered as a great leader if he had only tempered his greed. America could be as much a political hyperpower as it was a military one if he’d simply compromised, just a little, with other countries, other opinions. Instead, he became the Cowboy Caricature, with his blindingly idiotic lies (“they didn’t let the inspectors in”?!?) and equally moronic rhetoric (“bring it on” worked great, didn’t it?). Bush could be at 70% popularity right now, instead of half that, if he had just found common cause with all of America instead of trying to carve out 51% — which is exactly what he got — on one day in November of 2004. We could still have a nation leading the world towards something better, in a more prosperous environment, if Bush hadn’t been a spoiled child with an Oedipus complex.

There are a million reasons to resist this Constitution-shredding Dominionist plutocrat, ranging from the environment to protecting the First Amendment. For me, though, this is at the heart of what Bush is: America’s greatest enemy. Bin Laden wishes he could do a tenth as much damage to the country.

(/) Roland X
Fleeing the Chenon tyranny, the last Battleblog, Galactikos, leads a rag-tag fugitive web, on a lonely quest; a shining concept, known as Truth.

4 comments

On the morning of 9/11 (4.00 / 5)

I was standing beside a Muslim staff member as I, for the first time, saw the second plane hit the towers.

I turned to him and said one thing:  “Alot of innocent people are going to die over this.”

I knew before the 2000 election that if Bush won, there would be war in the middle east.  It is why I worked so hard for Al Gore.  I told friends the night of Bush’s selection that we would be at war within one year.

I knew that the man intended war right from the beginning.  There was never a moments doubt in my mind that the response to 9/11 would be brutal, deadly, and widespread.

There has never been a doubt in my mind about who this man is and what he would do in office.  He has been everything I was lead to believe he would be, as unfortunate as that has been for all of us.

by Quakerbill on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 20:43:23 PDT

My response to GWB is much like yours. (4.00 / 2)

He never fooled me, in fact the idea of him becoming president was frightening for all the reasons he has demonstrated since becoming President. I look around at how this country has changed, because of terrorist acts, and more so because of government action, and every day I have to choose my reaction to what I see. If I allowed it, I could be good and angry over all of it all the time, but it would solve nothing.

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Tue Mar 28th, 2006 at 07:28:58 PDT

We had the right play (4.00 / 3)

Just the wrong character. Bush is more Falstaff (without the comedic gifts and other redeeming qualities of that lovable lump) than Prince Hal. And the more I see of Bush in action, the more I wonder if he’s not really Hotspur, come back from the dead to plague us.

Michael

by musing85 on Tue Mar 28th, 2006 at 05:06:34 PDT

This will forever (none / 1)

Show that Ralph Nader was wrong, wrong, WRONG!!! There was, and is, a difference between W and Gore…and we all live with the consequences.

Blessed Be

Taliesin Athor Govannon
HP, Coven of Caer Arianrhod
Taliesin’s Witchcraft Page

by Taliesin on Wed Mar 29th, 2006 at 14:41:08 PDT

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