January 19th, 2009 13:49 EST
There's 15 Reasons You Should Be Happy Bush is Gone
George W. Bush is gone and it`s not a moment too soon. I am not the only one who feels this way. A recent CNN poll found that 75 percent of Americans - three out of every four - said they are glad Bush was leaving office.
When I started writing this column, I did so with the intention of listing Bush`s top 10 failures. I could have easily named 30 reasons Bush should let the door hit him where the Good Lord split him, but in the spirit of David Letterman, I wanted a Top 10 list. I couldn`t do it. It was a struggle to list only 15, considering all of his blunders, but here they are in no particular order:
1) Bush lied while campaigning for the White House, saying he was a "compassionate conservative." His record eight years later, as had been noted, is one of being compassionate toward conservatives.
2) George W. pledged to be a uniter, not a divider. The CNN poll found that 82 percent of Americans feel he had failed to unite the country, compared to only 17 percent - most of them probably relatives - who think he has.
3) Bush told the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and used that lie as the pretext for invading Iraq.
4) Bush also misled the American people about what the war would cost. He said it would be in the neighborhood of $60 billion. It`s at $600 billion and counting.
5) W. told us over and over that capturing Osama bin Laden was his top priority. Bush boasted that he was wanted dead or alive. Well, judging by the recent audio tapes, the al-Qaeda leader is still alive. Osama bin Laden is still Osama Been Missing.
6) Bush refused to let a catastrophe such as Hurricane Katrina disrupt his vacation in Crawford, Texas. When he finally decided to take a peek, it was from Air Force One as it flew over the devastated area.
7) Instead of heads rolling, the president who speaks glowingly about the need to take personal responsibility, spoke glowingly about the person who was asleep at the switch when Katrina struck. Bush told Michael Brown, the head of FEMA, "Brownie, you`re doing a heck of a job."
8) Bush used the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2003 to announce his opposition to affirmative action programs operated by the undergraduate admissions office and the Law School at the University of Michigan. Even the conservative Supreme Court broke with Bush, upholding the concept of affirmative action in the Law School case.
9) Bush II, the self proclaimed fiscal conservative, took a federal surplus of $128 billion when he entered office and left with a projected $358 billion deficit. Senator Ken Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said: "If they gave out Olympic medals for fiscal responsibility, President Bush would take the gold, silver and bronze."
10) After rejecting calls for closer regulation of the financial services section, the Bush administration presided over the crash of Wall Street that saw the collapse or reorganization of the five largest investment firms, including Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.
11) Expanding home ownership was a top priority of the Bush administration. Instead of owning their homes, more and more Americans were left on their own as they faced massive foreclosures. United for a Fair Economy, a Boston-based non-profit group, initially estimated that Blacks will lose between $71 billion and $92 billion from the sub-prime fiasco, a figure likely to go higher in the present economy. Even the earlier figure was said to represent "the greatest loss of wealth for people of color in modern U.S. history."
12) Ignoring the Geneva Convention and applying tortured reasoning, the Bush administration approved torturing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
13) The summer before 9/11, Bush ignored a top-secret FBI memo presented to him Aug. 6, 2001 titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." That`s exactly what happened a month later, costing more than 3,000 lives.
14) At the request of Bush, Congress enacted more than $1 trillion in tax cuts, most of them benefiting the wealthy. A study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that households in the top 1 percent of earnings, which had an average income of $1.2 million, saw their rate drop from 24.2 percent to 19.6 percent. That rate cut was twice as deep as for middle-class families.
15) Perhaps nothing symbolizes the failure of the Bush administration more than his standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier in May 2003 with a banner in the background reading, Mission Accomplished."
The nation should put up a two-word banner with a different message: Good riddance.
George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com.