The United States has a long, ignominious history of backing the wrong guy when governments fail or change. It is a policy rooted in the neo-con belief that freedom and democracy just blooms if given the chance…but it sure does help if we prod it along with the tip of a gun and buy off the dictator/thief du jour.
We needed a strong, capable leader/diplomat to soothe the dozens of war lords and make peace with neighboring Pakistan (where we were busily backing another wrong guy, Pervez Musharraf). What we got was a wavering, incompetent, empty suit wearing a trippy goat skin cap and fashionable cape.
Before 9/11, George W. Bush was destined for a middling legacy. There was no great indication his administration would become the clustercoitus it became. His biggest “accomplishment” was a cut-em’-in-half, Solomonaic decision to ban stem cell testing while using up the existing supply of “the unborn”. When he delivered his announcement, he had that deer in the headlights squint that would become so familiar and ridiculed in the years to come.
Then came September 11. We call it 9/11. The universal emergency number is a fitting tribute to him.
After first, he didn’t perform terribly. Sure, his initial reaction was a little stunned and appearing on TV shortly after the attacks he looked harried and panicked. Who wouldn’t? But after regaining his composure, he did mostly the right things…at first.
There were plenty of smoking holes left after the Shitkicker-in-Chief retired to a life of Texas Rangers baseball games and interviews about how swell it was being President. Everything from the big league economic pooch-screwing to an erosion of civil rights so complete we’re barely left with a ground down pencil nub haunts us. The Big O is responsible now, by virtue of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, but it is still an unusually big burden to bear. The screeching flock of Republican albatrosses around his neck nipping his ass doesn’t help either.