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September 16, 2005

Bush's Legacy just changed

Sidney Blumenthal lays it out in this Guardian article today. Blumenthal was part of the Clinton administration, so I imagine his understanding of the shift is deep, and the sense of vindication is sweet.

Link: Guardian Unlimited | Guardian daily comment | The petulant president.


The petulant president

Sidney Blumenthal
Friday September 16, 2005
The Guardian

Bush's America is gone with the wind. It lasted just short of four years, from 9/11 to 8/29. The devastation of New Orleans was the watery equivalent of a dirty bomb - but Hurricane Katrina approached with advance warnings, scientific anticipation and, before it struck, a personal briefing of the president by the director of the National Hurricane Centre, who warned of breached levees. No terrorist attack could be as completely foreseen as was Katrina.

Bush's presidency and re-election campaign was organised around one master idea: he stood as the protector and saviour of the American people under siege. On this he built his persona as a man of conviction and action. In the 2004 election a critical mass believed that, because of his unabashed patriotism and unembarrassed religiosity, he would do more to protect the country.


On Tuesday, he tried a novel tactic to deflect "the blame game", as he called it. "To the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right," he declared, "I take responsibility." "Extent" was the loophole allowing his magnanimity to be bestowed on the distant abstraction of government.

It was easier for Bush to renounce alcohol at 40 than ideology at 60. Bush had radicalised Reagan's conservatism, but never has Reagan's credo rung so hollow: "Government is not the solution to our problem." Social Darwinism cannot protect the homeland. Many thousands, mostly poor black people, were trapped in the convention centre without food and water for days. Poverty has increased more than 9% since Bush assumed office. The disparity between the superpower's evangelical mission to democratise the world and indifference at home is a foreign policy crisis of new dimension. Can Iraq be saved if Louisiana is lost? Bush's credibility gap is a geopolitical problem without a geopolitical solution.


Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, is the author of The Clinton Wars

September 16, 2005 at 11:48 AM | Permalink


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The Bush administration's credability gap could easily be mistaken for the Grand Canyon nowadays. Never before in the history of this country has it been so evident that the continued policies of the occupant of the whitehouse will turn this former industrial giant into a third world nation. One would have to be totally insensitive to what is going on around them to not see that the greed, arrogance, ineptitude at foreign policy, and total disregard for the health and wealth of all but his closest friends and supporters has turned this 'resident' into a paranoid and dangerous idealogue.

Posted by: Robert L. Gumm | Oct 24, 2005 3:05:12 AM

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