is this a joke?

The following letter-to-the-editor ran in my local newspaper:

Bush deserves praise and support for his leadership

Thank President Bush for the strongest economy we have ever had. The Dow is the highest it has been in history.

Thanks for protecting us. We have not had another 9/11. Thanks for keeping nuclear bombs from terrorists. They are trying to get them and have not succeeded.

I am not persuaded by liberal media propaganda. I am a free thinker and the facts speak for themselves. We should all sleep well knowing we have strong leadership at the helm.

[name and address redacted]

Here is my response:

Bush deserves condemnation and scorn for his failures

Praising the Bush administration for offering “strong leadership at the helm” of our nation, as a recent reader did, is nothing short of delusional. He is correct that “the facts speak for themselves,” but instead of facts he spouted the pro-Bush spin common in the corporate media. Bush’s ill-informed stubbornness is not strength, and his penchant for photo-ops is not leadership.

The Dow Jones Average’s recent high is about 14% below its peak in 2000 after adjusting for inflation, and the stock market wasn’t the only thing that did better during the Clinton boom. Unemployment was lower, home foreclosures were less frequent, our civil liberties were more secure, our balance of trade was healthier, the economy was stronger, and the federal government hadn’t yet been driven into deep deficits by Bush’s budget-busting tax cuts and poorly planned wars.

Instead of ending the threat posed by Osama bin Laden, the culprit behind 9/11, Bush foolishly chose to sap our military might by invading and occupying Iraq. Far from protecting us, this compound failure has caused thousands of additional American deaths (a greater death toll than on 9/11) and fostered the growth of another generation of Islamist terrorists. The endemic corruption of the Bush administration and its GOP cohorts in Congress and the courts has weakened us domestically as well.

We should all sleep well knowing that Bush’s “strong leadership”—reflected in the miserable failures of his presidency—has only a limited time remaining in which to further damage our great nation. In only 21 more months, our long national nightmare will be over.

update: I received a response to this letter; the exchange is here.


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