Monday, December 08, 2008

Unveiling Bush's Legacy

"Welcome to my hanging."

So said popularity bottom-feeder President George W. Bush at the unveiling of his Union League of Philadelphia's portrait.

Continuing to entertain his receptive audience, he complimented the artist, Mark Carder, for his fine job and observed, "I was taken aback by how much gray paint you had to use."

He later remarked, "I'm especially proud to be co-recipient with a guy I call '41'... we owe our achievements to the same savvy political counselor and firm disciplinarian: Barbara."

After these witty and self-deprecating remarks The Decider made an unabashed grab for Abraham Lincoln's distinguished coattails.

The Union League presidential gallery displays portraits of every Republican president since Lincoln. Bush seized on "Abe's" controversial leadership legacy saying.... "the principles on which he stood have stood the test of time: All men are created equal under God, he said, unflinchingly throughout his presidency. Liberty was given to every man, woman and child on the face of the earth. He has taught Presidents that you must act on your principles and make tough decisions, regardless of the political consequences.

"I have been a..... I have drawn strength from his example. I have learned lessons by reading about Abraham Lincoln"

Oh, pleeeeeze.

Too bad The Decider didn't live up to his own rhetoric or Abe's example.

An editorial in today's The New York Times, "Tortured Justice," paints a far different portrait than the one Bush wants us to see.... "The nation’s courts continue to grapple with the abuses committed by President Bush’s administration in the name of fighting terrorism. The extent of the damage to American liberties, and how lasting it will be, will be told in part by the outcome of two cases that are to be heard by the federal courts."

"On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that turns on Mr. Bush’s claim that he can order people living in the United States to be detained by the military indefinitely without charges. The case involves Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar who was in the United States legally. He was declared an enemy combatant in mid-2003 and has been held in a Navy brig since then..... This intolerable reading of the law would leave a president free to suspend the rights of anyone, including American citizens."

The second case involves "a Syrian-born Canadian with no ties to terrorism who became a victim of the Bush team’s lawless policy of 'extraordinary rendition' — the outsourcing of interrogations to foreign governments known to torture prisoners.

"Mr. Arar’s ordeal began in 2002, when he was seized by federal agents as he tried to change planes on his way home to Canada from a family vacation. After being held incommunicado in solitary confinement and subjected to harsh interrogation without proper access to a lawyer, he was 'rendered' to Syria, where he was tortured. He was locked up for almost a year in a dank underground cell the size of a grave before he was finally let go."

The Union League Bush portrait depicts a benignly smiling man.... not the ruthless, law-breaking, Constitution-rending, outlaw president who destroyed the American ideal of equal justice for all. Hopefully when hanging The Decider, the Union League doesn't place his portrait anywhere near honest Abe's.

1 comment:

Matt Farmer said...

A few of us in Chicago offer our musical tribute to W's "legacy." We hope you enjoy the video and the song. Feel free to do with it as you please.

(Matt Farmer)

Well, for eight long years we've been payin' your rent
But now your lease done run
And all our money's been spent
So pack up your bags
And take a last look around
At how you drove a great nation straight into the ground

And don't let the door
Hit you in the ass on the way out
Don't bother with the goodbyes
Just make sure that you stay out
There ain't no need to call
No need to write
We don't even need you to turn out the light
Just crawl back to Crawford, brother
Promise that you'll leave us alone

Every step of the way, your story's been the same
Just cruisin' through the world
On your daddy's name
You had the oilmen friends
You had the Skull and Bones
But it never would have happened if your name was Jones


Slam dunk, privatize, deregulate
Tax cuts, trickle down
The politics of hate
Flag pin, waterboard
Intelligent design
You were handed your throne by just five of the nine