A Going Away Present For the President

Bob Herbert would like President Bush's departure from Washington to be accompanied by "a great hue and cry — a loud, collective angry howl, demonstrations with signs and bullhorns and fiery speeches — over the damage he’s done to this country."

This is the man who gave us the war in Iraq and Guantánamo and torture and rendition; who turned the Clinton economy and the budget surplus into fool’s gold; who dithered while New Orleans drowned; who trampled our civil liberties at home and ruined our reputation abroad; who let Dick Cheney run hog wild and thought Brownie was doing a heckuva job.

Yep. Tarring and feathering seems about right.

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    I'd settle for (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by scribe on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:22:40 AM EST
     starting with more shoes.

    A hail of shoes (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:49:09 AM EST
    at his last presser would be so funny. It will have to remain a fantasy though. More likely this press corps would still be lined up to dance with him and his cronies.

    If that would solve the problems (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Fabian on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:15:25 AM EST
    this administration is responsible for, I'd be all for it.

    Honestly, we know it wasn't just Bush and it wasn't just Cheney and it wasn't just their cronies.  The people who enabled or looked the other way or made feeble, token protests were part of the problem and they aren't all leaving town with Bush.

    I'll lift my glass of ginger beer to Congress no longer having the Bush Administration to hide behind, but I won't pretend Congress won't look for other excuses for not doing their job.

    Including the media (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:19:20 AM EST
    All of this tough talk from journalists (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:18:46 AM EST
    now that Bush is leaving by constitutional mandate is very amusing.  I'm not singling out Herbert, since he may have been fairly commenting on Bush's incompetence all along, but where were was the objective reporting on Bush prior to 2004 when we could have gotten rid of him by voting him out?  They were all playing the false equivelenace, "balanced reporting",  'pox on both houses' - whatever they choose to call it -  game and pretending Bush/Cheney were no worse than anyone else.

    I don't have much time for their professions of glee and relief now.

    Journalist? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:35:12 AM EST
    I think we can forget about journalistic integrity. The media is a multi-billion dollar business that is completely profit driven. In exchange for their blind eye the media was given a free ride by the FCC. I don't think we'll ever get the genie back in the bottle.

    Iraq has bee an eye openner for me. The media surveys determined that "we" were suffering from war fatigue. As a result of this study, they chose to quit covering "the greatest threat of the 21st century".


    Heh (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Steve M on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:44:23 AM EST
    Bush is such an easy target at this point, he's practically a pincushion.  There's no need for bullhorns, everyone this side of Laura Bush understands the verdict the American people have rendered on this president.

    What I'd like, instead, is for Herbert to aim some of the tar and feathers at his colleagues in the dysfunctional media who enabled so much of this president's misconduct.

    Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:46:23 AM EST
    Until we get a better media we are not going to get the best possible government.

    Yet as Bush leaves (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:14:08 AM EST
    His approval rating at 28% is about double that of the 14% given to the Democratically controlled Congress.

    I suggest you start digging around for that mote in your own eye. You are now responsible for what you loved to attack Bush for. And the public will rapidly figure that out.

    Reality check: actual Gallup numbers (none / 0) (#15)
    by wurman on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:41:31 AM EST
    Try real poll results here at Newsvine:
    Just 25% of the country approves of the job that Republicans in Congress are doing, a new record low according to Gallup, down a point from the previous record low of 26% set by Republicans last year. The GOP has lost 34 points off their approval ratings since setting a high mark of 59% in 2002.

    In comparison, Democrats have suffered falling ratings over that period as well, though not nearly as bad. 37% of the country approves of the job that Democrats are doing in Congress, up for 30% at the beginning of the year. Democrats captured control of Congress during the 2006 mid-term elections at a time when their party's approval rating was actually higher than it is today, at 41%.
    [my bold]

    An accurate statement would be that about 14% give congress an excellent or good rating & about 20% give them a fair rating.


    Okay (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:17:58 PM EST
    My cherry-picked statistics; not yours. (none / 0) (#31)
    by wurman on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 01:33:30 PM EST
    CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll. Nov. 6-9, 2008. N=1,246 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

    "Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Democratic leaders in Congress are handling their job?"

                     Approve Disapprove Unsure    

     11/6-9/08     47        50             3    
     10/3-5/08      34        64          1    
     9/19-21/08     44        54         2    
     7/27-29/08     36        63         1  
    [My emphases]

    I find CNN so much more suitable to my tastes & preferences than Gallup & Harris & Pew.  Here, of course, "leaders in Congress" mean Nancy, Steny, Harry, & Dick.

    It's important to note that the other statistics so loosely quoted & referenced refer to ALL of congress, which unfortunately include such folks as McConnell, Boehner, & henchthugs who earn the zero ratings they richly deserve, which drags down the AVERAGE for the group.

    I wonder which set of numbers Limbaugh quotes?


    yadda yadda (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:18:16 PM EST
    Tar and feathers and jail time (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:25:46 AM EST
    would be most appropriate.

    But who will administer this?
    Crowds with pitchforks and torches are the stuff of old movies, alas.

    The democrats got in bed with Bush's Iraq nightmare from day one.
    They're still cozy.

    The dems have expressed much more passion for large scale bailouts for the auto industry than they ever did for New Orleans.

    They wholeheartedly supported the Patriot Act and the renewal thereof. Out Pres-Elect went along with it too and is expressing no urgency about rescinding it.

    The economy is wrecked, but anyone could see it coming. How could we possibly afford the wars that the President proposes and the Congress rubber-stamps?

    So - who will do the tar and feathering?
    Nobody in a position of power - that's for sure.

    And the people are too battered and comatose to do anything except sit in front of the television and watch this frighteningly seamless transition of the reigns of power.

    As others have noted... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 03:19:44 PM EST
    an honorable mention tar and feathering is due the last few sessions of Congress...without their spineless capitulating none of it would have been possible.  

    So save some of that tar and feathers for them...all of them, even the ones who voted the right way most of the time...it wasn't enough.  In these desperate times we needed more desperate measures, not a simple "right" vote and a meek shoulder shrug.

    But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, (none / 0) (#1)
    by barryluda on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:16:30 AM EST
    how was the play?

    Tar and feathers aren't enough (none / 0) (#3)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:03:48 AM EST
    Massiv demonstrations throughout the country with everyone singing "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead"!

    What? What? (none / 0) (#11)
    by talesoftwokitties on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:34:32 AM EST
    Clinton grew the economy and had budget surplus?


    Ever hear of being a "bad winner"? (none / 0) (#14)
    by abdiel on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 10:54:54 AM EST
    Bush entered office as a Republican president with a fairly strong Republican majority.  He's leaving to a Democratic president with an equally strong Democratic majority.  That would qualify as a political disaster for the GOP.  

    And the Clinton surpluses were fool's gold from the start.  Anyone who believed in those surpluses on the back of the dotcom boom and the "new economy" is a fool.  

    This is why we have trials - if you want to tar and feather Bush, at least get the charges right.  

    Rightwingnutz mythical fools' myths (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by wurman on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 12:07:05 PM EST
    Media Matters:
    Describing the claim that "the Bush administration squandered this giant surplus left by the Clinton administration" as a "Democrat [sic] mantra talking point," nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh falsely asserted that "there never was a surplus" under President Clinton. In fact, from 1998 to 2001, the federal government ran total annual budget surpluses of between $69.2 billion and $236.2 billion, according to figures from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
    [My bold & underline]

    "Fool's gold," indeed!


    Yeah--In 2000 (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Blue Jean on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:18:33 PM EST
    When Poppy's cronies on the SC handed Shrub a victory he didn't deserve--and we heard countless repeats of "We won! You lost! Get over it!"

    BTW, not only did Shrub lose the popular vote by about half a million votes (as he would have lost the election if Florida had been decided fairly), his party lost seats so they were barely even in the Senate, and only picked up one in the House.  Hardly "a strong majority."

      Speaking of 2000, Herbert was one of the top reporters on the "Gore's an evil liar, and Junior is a nice guy you want to have a beer with." trope.  So while Herbert's throwing shoes at W, he should throw a few at his mirror as well.


    It will be interesting (none / 0) (#18)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 03:05:26 PM EST
    After he leaves office, will he get the OJ treatment?  When he enters a restaurant, everyone else leaves, which puts the owner into an awkward situation re: how welcome the ex-president will be in public.

    Sure he'll be surrounded by former sycophants (What else is Condi going to do with her unmarried time?), but now that he has nothing more to offer them except a piece of the unpopularity action, most of them will probably drift away.

    It'll be W., Laura and Condi, reminiscing about when they were relevant.  It's a wonder that Laura has agreed to sharing W. with Condi for so long; where might that go from here?

    Alas, no one cares anyway.

    "her unmarried time?" (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by vml68 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 03:13:24 PM EST
    What is wrong with you? We are almost in 2009 for dog's sake. Does a woman have to be married to be relevant?

    "It's a wonder that Laura has agreed to sharing W. with Condi for so long; where might that go from here?"
    There are millions of reasons to critisize Bush and Condi Rice and this is the best you can do? I bet all the women in your family are real proud of you.


    Find another Strawman (none / 0) (#23)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 04:16:35 PM EST
    Does a woman have to be married to be relevant?

    No. Did I make any such claim?  No.

    Now one for you.  Does Condi Rice represent you or any significant number of American women?

    Not to my knowledge, but I'll wait for your answer.

    If not, anything I say about her is about her alone and her strange relationship with the most significant man in her life, whom she once slipped and called her "husband."

    If she DOES represent you or an identifiable group other than Black, female, former National Security Advisers and Secretaries of State, I'd like to hear about it.


    Maybe you should explain (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by vml68 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 05:24:59 PM EST
    why you chose to write "her unmarried time" as opposed to "her time" and then we can talk about strawmen.

    "her strange relationship with the most significant man in her life"
    I would venture that you know next to nothing about her relationship with Bush or any other man. So your lewd insinuations say more about you than her.

    "Does Condi Rice represent you or any significant number of American women?
    If she DOES represent you or an identifiable group other than Black, female, former National Security Advisers and Secretaries of State, I'd like to hear about it."

    So now I have to limit myself to only defending people who represent me?
    And since you are waiting for my answer, here it is. Yes, Condi does represent me and a significant number of women who have to put up with "men" who can't seem to let go of their juvenile fantasies.


    that's nice. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Blowback on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:25:55 PM EST
    OJ Treatment? (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 03:15:21 PM EST
    He will be living in an upscale Dallas neighborhood, two adjacent homes abutting the 50 acre estate of Tom Hicks, Bush best buddy.

    You would be more likely to get the 'OJ treatment' there, than would Bush.


    Not to mention all the money... (none / 0) (#22)
    by vml68 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 03:20:12 PM EST
    he will be making with his "speechifying". He may not be an articulate man but he will still get paid the big bucks to talk about something or the other.