In President George W. Bush’s final nationally-televised address this past week, the country seemed to respond with a sense of haste - this, so Bush could finish his personal post-mortem, pack up, and return to Texas as a private citizen as soon as humanly possible.
I’m not among those who feel that Bush’s presidency was a total failure (the invasion of Afghanistan was indeed necessary, and his influx of AIDS prevention measures to Africa was noble), but by far, this administration’s worst flaws were a cult-like devotion to its chief executive, lack of introspection, resentment of the rule of law, and a rampant partisanship that seeped into most all levels, but especially the Justice Department which—with the goose-stepping likes of Alberto Gonzales, Monica Goodling, Brad Schlozzman, and Michael Mukasey—will take ages to fumigate.
Otherwise, while I’m not among those who directly blame Bush for 9-11 and Katrina, his flat-footed response to both events should clearly go down in history as examples of what not to do in similar situations after the dust has settled.
As for Dick Cheney, save “Goodbye forever,” the less said about him the better.
Condi Rice? Living proof that intelligence and good judgment can exist light years apart in the same mind.
Karl Rove? How’s it feel to go from “boy genius” to political dolt in less than two years?
At any rate, as Bush’s farewell was at last his final, clumsy missive in the president’s recent scramble to polish his legacy, no one simply cares anymore. As far as I’m concerned, his dogs can stay at the White House, but it’s long since time for all remnants of the Bush political dynasty to be swept away.
The show is finally, finally over.
And as I watch footage of George W. Bush next Tuesday boarding Marine One to return home for the final time, I will be extremely hopeful that his successor will pause to consider all sides of an issue before acting, versus (like Bush) addressing it with all the spirit of a mechanical bull: brainless, erratic, smelling of old beer and vomit, and completely ignorant of his surroundings.