Friday, November 14, 2008

Baby With A Chainsaw

(Note: It was not my intent in creating this blog to have it serve as an overtly political forum. Having said that, I would be remiss if I didn't make at least one post on the subject of the American Tragedy that was the George W. Bush presidency. This will be my first and last post on this subject)

As the days wind down on the Bush presidency, I am fairly confident that there is not enough time for his administration to inflict any further damage to the Constitution, or to trump up perceived threats from a distant land to substantiate a preemptive strike in the name of national defense.

But hey, you never know.

I realize there’s not much of a future in Bush-Bashing. Anyway, the electorate gave a far stronger repudiation on November 4 than I could ever muster. And as an aside, I have to say that the election results extinguished what had been a long-festering resentment I have had as to the ability of Americans to elect competence. But that’s not the focus of this article.

Instead, it is – in the waning days if a disastrous presidency – a look back on what I thought was the most abject act of hubris that I thought that even Bush could not dare try. First, let’s get the obvious gaffes out of the way: A preemptive war against a perceived enemy that did not attack us, an erosion or outright removal of carefully-constructed civil liberties, an inexcusable dithering while an American city flooded, removal of regulatory firewalls that resulted in the largest financial meltdown since 1929…and the hits just kept coming.

But there was one act Bush committed that, to me, trumped all of those in terms of in-the-bubble cluelessness: The nomination of his personal attorney to the Supreme Court. Talk about bundling arrogance, contempt & idiocy into one nice neat little package. Think about that for a second. It can be debated that the most influential power that a president wields is nominating Supreme Court Justices. Much is made about policy decisions that a president makes whether militarily or economically in nature, but the true enduring impact a president has on the national landscape is shaping the makeup of the Supreme Court - it literally touches our lives for decades.

Thus the President’s choice has to be a sober, reflective, clearly-though-out decision. Usually a President has advisors report back with a list of candidates, & policy briefs on each one is provided, other judges & lawyers’ opinions are sought, the list is winnowed down & eventually a decision is arrived at.

Why do I get the impression that Bush's ‘search’ consisted of looking around in every corner of the West Wing, then hitting the com button on his phone & saying ‘Hey Harriett, wanna be on the Supreme Court?’ Does anyone truly understand the shallowness & contempt of this decision? My Gawd, it’s one thing to believe in a cause that turns out to blow up in your face (Iraq) or to be hamstrung by bureaucracy to the point of ineffectiveness (Katrina), but the true measure of someone’s intellect is the quality of their decisions when given ample time and counsel. Under this standard, Bush is a baby with a chainsaw - too immature to be given such powers, and too feeble to avoid disastrous results with it.

I am thrilled his days of using the Oval Office as his personal sandbox are almost over.

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