Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Damage Bush Is Still Doing

Frank Rich's New York Times column today, headed "Obama Can't Turn the Page on Bush," is a sad symptom of America's best and brightest still obsessing over eight years of a national nightmare to the detriment of what needs to be done now.

With an economy in shambles and the Mideast a potential nuclear tinderbox, the Obama Administration has its hands full without "a new commission, backed up by serious law enforcement, to shed light on where every body is buried."

Although the Bush gang--Cheney, Rumsfeld et al--was a disaster, the American people elected them twice (originally with the help of some of the now-outraged idealists who voted for Ralph Nader), but they are gone.

The only power they have now (pace Cheney) is to control our consciousness with debates over past torture that Obama has now outlawed, with squabbles over what Nancy Pelosi knew and when she knew it, with new "revelations" that Rumsfeld was an arrogant, lying son of a bitch.

Nobody wants to forgive and forget, particularly those of us who spent years blogging and howling about Bush abuses, but living in the past is no recipe for undoing it.

Instead, it channels our passion into recrimination and self-righteousness when we should be getting on with the battles over health care reform, regulating Wall Street and the banks, finding the best balance of military power and diplomacy in the Middle East and the mind-numbing dilemmas that eight years of non-government have given us.

It will take brains not bile to concentrate on those issues, and that's where our energy should be going now.

What Bush, Cheney and the rest did was unforgivable, but the lessons of their folly are clear. Let them rant in interviews and memoirs as a sideshow like the political freaks they were and are, but get them off center stage. We don't need commissions to keep telling us what they did. The historians will do that job while we devote ourselves to cleaning up the mess and stop playing Madame Defarge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i am amazed that people still promote that lie of blaming nader for the dems losses in '00 and even '04.
First: there were a total of 6 third party candidates in FL in 2000, all of whom got more than the # of votes that Gore lost by. see
Also, Gore *threw* that race 3 times:
1.] by his own admission these days, he did not do enough to contest the voting irregularities
2.] if you see M. Moores "farenheit 9/11", you can see with your own eyes Gore shout down the Congressional Black Caucus when they attempt to contest voting irregularites on a "point of order" which is like saying that you can't call for help when you are gettting mugged in a hospital quiet zone
3.] early in his campaign, Gore's corporate paymasters had him stop talking about things that people wanted to hear [see "crashing the party" by ralph nader]
In short, the dems blaming their losses on Mr. Nader is like a street-walking hooker blaming their V.D. on Mother Theresa!