Republicans ignore Bush's failures

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This letter appeared yesterday in my local newspaper:

Democrats remain fixated on perceived mistakes

A recent letter attacked the electoral college for putting President Bush in office in 2000, his tax breaks, high deficits, going into Iraq, staying in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina relief, torturing prisoners, violating the Geneva Conventions and our rights under the USA Patriot Act.

That the electoral college is as old as the Constitution, that Bush's tax breaks have grown the economy, that the unemployment rate is the lowest in decades, that every intelligence service in the world agreed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that we have not been attacked since 9/11, that Democrats mismanaged New Orleans for decades prior to Katrina, that U.S. policy is not to torture, that al-Qaida regularly violates the Geneva Conventions by killing women and children and refusing to wear uniforms, and that no one's rights are being abused under the Patriot Act that both Republicans and Democrats passed in 2001, is irrelevant to a liberal mind-set fixated on perceived wrongs.

What Democratic congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi haven't yet learned is that people vote for leaders who will protect them, rather than clueless whiners who tell them the sky is falling.

[name redacted]

Here is my response:

Republicans ignore Bush’s failures

A recent letter writer described Democrats as “clueless whiners,” but he needs to get a clue for himself. He was correct about the age of the Electoral College, and wrong about everything else.

• Bush’s repeated tax breaks for the wealthy have siphoned amounts of money upward into the pockets of those who need it the least. This caused the recovery from the 2001 recession to be far weaker than it could have been if the tax cuts had gone to the poor and the middle class. In addition, Bush’s massive deficit spending spree is doing long-term structural damage to our economy.

The current unemployment rate is not “the lowest in decades.” December’s seasonally-adjusted rate of 4.9% was equaled by 1997’s rate. 1998 through 2000, each less than a single decade ago, had lower unemployment rates of 4.4%, 4.1%, and 3.9% respectively.

• The world’s intelligence services agreed that Iraq did have WMDs, but that was in the 1980s when Reagan and Bush’s father were Saddam’s suppliers. The inspection program was successful in neutering Saddam, and the administration's repeated assertions that WMD were found in Iraq are as false as their attempts to link Iraq to 9/11.

• The Army Corps of Engineers’ assessment of the New Orleans levees and FEMA’s bungled response to Hurricane Katrina were both failures at the federal level, and the latter was mismanaged by Bush’s buddy, Mike “heck of a job” Brown.

• Bush talks out of both sides of his mouth on torture. After being publicly shamed by former tortured POW John McCain into signing a ban on torture, Bush then declared that he would violate the ban whenever he wishes.

• Al Qaeda’s violations of the Geneva Conventions do not excuse Bush’s violations of them, such as “enemy combatants,” secret prisons, and the “extraordinary rendition” program. As with torture, Bush wants to claim the moral high ground while not actually living up to his lofty rhetoric.

• The so-called USA-PATRIOT Act does indeed sanction civil rights violations. Section 215 conflicts with the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments to our Constitution, as the ACLU has noted.

These issues are not “perceived wrongs,” they are actual wrongs. It appears that the soothing inaccuracies of talk radio and other right-wing media can lull some people into complacency about our nation’s future, and blind them to every miserable failure of the Bush administration.

[editor's note: fixed a typo]

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on January 12, 2006 12:57 PM.

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