Monday, November 10, 2008

Maher, Bush, and Obama (The Great White Hope)

Bill Maher had a couple great quotes the other night in his monologue:

"Yeah yeah, things have changed. Yes we can. But not for the Bush family. Once again they will call in a black guy to clean up a mess."

"Did you see the Obama's first news conference as president-elect? Wasn't it a great to see an adult at the podium?"

good stuff. the thing that struck me most about this US election (other than Obama's margin of victory was so great the normal republican election theft mechanisms weren't able to overcome the numbers) was the reaction around the world. from Europe, to Singapore, to the Middle East, to Sydney Australia and to Obama, Japan (Obama in Japanese means "little shore") the celebrations were on! i believe the joy shown round the world was based on three major themes:

1) that the worst US president in history, and his party, were thrown out of office
2) that the American people finally wised up and voted issues instead of stale (and hypocritical) ideology (perhaps they figured out that fascists are generally not good for the middle class)
3) that the powers that be actually allowed Obama to win

yet, Obama's challenges are vast. i don't envy him as he has been dealt quite possibly the worst hand of any President save Lincoln. speaking of Lincoln, i worry about Obama. note that in history it's always the good guys that get assasinated: Lincoln, JFK, MLK, Lennon, Ghandi, and Rabin ... one could go on and on. it's never the evil guys like Bush and Hitler. it's a sad fact of human history.

regardless, we are optimistic because we have a situation where Bush, the worst president in American history, has a chance to be succeeded by a man who has the potential to be one of the best president's in the history of the US: Obama. the big question is: has the US, under George W. Bush, travelled so far down the road to fascism that it cannot be turned around? what a burden for obama to shoulder...

i said earlier that Republican ideology was stale and hypocritical. when my family moved from upstate NY to Louisiana in the 1960's, i was the only Republican kid in my school as the "solid south" back then was Democratic through and through. the Republican Party was the party of intelligence, pro-business, and small government. Now the "solid south" is solidly Republican. wow did this happen. Hypocrisy, lies, double-talk and a big dose of good old religion and "family values". Not to mention racism in the form of payback to LBJ for passing civil rights legislation. Let's summarize the hypocrisy of the Bush "conservative Repuplicanism" and why I am no longer a supporter of that party:

- small government: Bush increased the Federal payroll to its largest ever after Clinton had reduced the size to JFK era levels

- fiscal responsibility: Bush double the fiscal deficit from under $5 trillion to over $10 trillion in 8 years. and this doesn't even count the current bailouts and future obligations due to war

- freedom: Bush gave us the "Patriot Act", torture, and wants to intrude on the bedroom. basically, the US Bill of Rights and the US constitution were thrown out the window.

- military policy: the US invasion of Iraq turned back the page on 50 years of US military and foreign policy

- sepration of church and state: McCain once said that "religious influence on the US government was an abomination". then he morphed into mini-Bush and appointed an ignorant Pentecostal far right "conservative" religious whacko as his running mate. He got that solid south vote, but he lost most of the Clinton women voters that he was trying to scoop up.

- prudent government: the justice department judges scandal, the outing of a CIA agent whose husband didn't agree with Bush on Iraq, the lack of follow through on the 9/11 investigation of those who placed large short positions on Wall Street in the days prior to the attack, organizing an escape plane for the Saudi Arabians in the US (with ties to the 9/11 group) during the air-space lockdown after the attacks, lack of action on climate change, and most seriously lack of action on a strategic, long-term, comprehensive...i could go on and on. Bush should have been impeached in his first term. Congress (including the Democrats...) didn't do their job and now here we are.

i was watching TV the other day and they were playing re-runs of Tina Fey's impersonation of Sarah Palin. what a panic. i left the room for a few minutes to make some coffee and came back to the TV where I continued to watch Sarah. i was laughing to hard i almost spilled my coffee and thought Tina Fey was great. ust then, I realized, they had switched back and i was laughing at the real Sarah Palin. How far indeed the grand old Republican party has fallen.