December 12 is also memorable for being the day in 2000 in which the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore came to an end, and unfortunately for all of us, Bush was declared the winner.
George W. Bush has stated on his recent book tour that he believes that his presidency will be judged many years from now, long after he's dead. No, George, you're wrong. In some cases, there are a few presidentials acts which are viewed in different ways with the passing of time, but in Bush's case, almost every serious historian has already decided and written that the Bush/Cheney era will go down in history as one of the worst presidential administrations in U.S. history. Republicans love to point to Jimmy Carter as being a terrible president, but in retrospect, his legislative accomplishments were actually pretty impressive, Carter just happened to have served during a terrible economy and he refused to play the role of the happy, glad-handing politician, which meant that many were turned-off by his personality. He also told the truth, which no one wants to hear. Democrats love to point to Ronald Reagan as being a disastrous president, and in retrospect, he was pretty ineffectual legislatively, even giving us the voodoo of "trickle down economics" which we're still fighting against today, but he was enormously well-liked and charming, and at least with his failures he didn't do great harm to the country. But in George W. Bush's case, he is roundly disliked and disowned by Democrats and Republicans. The list of his failures, i.e. the Iraq War, torture, Katrina, driving up the national debt with unpaid for legislation, deregulation of corporations and banks, denial of global warming, etc. are just too long to discuss here, but you can trust that we'll be digging out from under his bad choices for decades to come.
When one is faced with Bush's legacy and asked to encapsulate it, it's almost an overwhelming task. But we'd probably sum it up by saying that while Bush certainly wasn't an evil man, he meant well, he was just simply "in over his head". He never had the intellect, nor the political skills to be the president of the United States. We understand that every once in awhile a Republican has to be the president of the country, a Democrat can't win every time, but in 2000, it just never should have been George W. Bush. Bush's legacy, more than anything else, taught us that we really do have to elect someone with great intellectual capacity. And the other downside of electing someone with diminished brain power is that he is often too easily influenced by the worst people. For while we will never believe that Bush ever had evil intentions, we just as strongly believe that his assistant, Dick Cheney, certainly did. Cheney and the "Neo-Cons" had a philosophy and world view that, even in the most generous terms, would have to be described as warped and perverted. And they were determined to assert that world view at all costs, even if it meant breaking the law, which we believe Cheney and his co-horts did more than a few times. And when confronted with their misdeeds and the tremendous damage done by those failings, Cheney and his co-horts truly don't seem to care. Dick Cheney is the closest thing we've seen to political evil in a long, long time.
So that's how we'll remember Pres. Bush; he was nice guy, in over his head, and too dumb to realize that he'd let some really bad, really mean foxes into the henhouse.