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Friday, October 03, 2003

Failure on all fronts
I'm still irked anytime I read anybody giving Bush credit for ANYTHING, even if they're being generally critical. As far as I'm concerned, he deserves blame, and lots of it, for 9/11 and how he responded to it. He basically reacted to the killing of thousands of innocent people by killing thousands of innocent people, and spreading fear around the globe. He is a complete and total failure. Fortunately, this is gradually becoming a fairly common opinion. Two columnists at the NY Times have been excellent in making the case, and they do so again today:

Iraq is proving to be a bonanza for the Bush administration's corporate cronies even as it is threatening to become a sinkhole for the aspirations of ordinary Americans.

The vicious release to news organizations of the identity of an undercover C.I.A. officer could serve as a case study of the character of this administration. The Bush II crowd is arrogant, venal, mean-spirited and contemptuous of law and custom.
Americans are increasingly asking what went wrong. How could so much have gone sour in such a short period of time? Was it incompetence? Bad faith? Loud warnings were ignored for the longest time. Now, finally, the truth is becoming more and more difficult to avoid.
-- Bob Herbert.

But the true test of patriotism isn't whether you are willing to wave the flag, or agree with whatever the president says. It's whether you are willing to take risks and make sacrifices, including political sacrifices, for the sake of your country. This episode is a test for Mr. Bush and his inner circle: a true patriot wouldn't hesitate about doing the right thing in the Plame affair, whatever the political costs.

Mr. Bush is failing that test.
-- Paul Krugman.

I'm hoping the reaction against the venality and stupidity of the Bushies will extend to the corporate-run system that made them possible. Hopefully the public will start to see that the corporate policies of Clinton helped to make Bush II possible, and that we need to go past Clinton-like candidates whose main claim to rationality is having sort-of opposed an extremely stupid and illegal war (I speak of Dean and Clark). Getting rid of Bush will be a great thing, but fixing the system that made Bush possible is critical if we're to have any real hope for the future besides Jeb 2008. Dean and Clark want to work with (for) the corporations; Kucinich wants to reign them in and get them out of places they don't belong, like health care and Iraq. He supports instant-runoff voting, which will mean we could vote for our favorite candidate without worrying about helping our least favorite.