Friday, March 19, 2004

Bush's domestic legacy (sic)...

I just loved DHinMI's synopsis of the political effect of the Medicare Drug Prescription bill on Daily Kos, and would like to share share it here.

In order to pass what they said was their most politically important domestic initiative, the White House appears to have done the following: they low-balled the cost by 30%; they lied to Congressional Republicans to get their votes; if lying didn't work, they offered Republican Congressman bribes; and they used bogus taxpayer-funded commercials to sell the new policy.  Despite all that, their biggest institutional ally deems the entire effort "a mess," voters not only don't credit Bush with lessening the problem, they blame him for making the problem worse, and the means the White House used to obtain passage of, and build public support for the Medicare bill have spawned investigations into three separate areas, each of which could eventually point back to malfeasance by the White House.  No wonder the Bush campaign wants to keep talking about the "War on Terror"; they've got nothing else to talk about.

Coupled with other Bush domestic policies, a picture of a truly disasterous Presidency become undeniable. Consider: a disastrous tax policy that has created deficits as far as the actuaries can predict while inequitably distributing benefits to the wealthy and tolerating blatant tax avoidance by formerly U.S. corporations; an environmental policy summed up best with the injuction, "do as ye wil;" a labor policy which has netted a loss of 2.3 million jobs, stripped overtime from millions, and union protections from still millions more governement employees in the Homeland Defense department; a health care policy which has made a virtue of neglect and allowed a rolling 40 million American's to continue uninsured, and whose only substantive policy proposals are to 'reform' malpractice in a shameless sop to the insurance industry and medical savings accounts which low income people are not even eligable to use; an educational policy in NCLB which is nearly universally reviled by educators and their unions and state legislatures nation-wide (AZ's own recently seriously considered pulling out, but stopped short because of the possible political damage to the Bush Administration resultant); and a complete failure to deliver on promises made to terrorism's first defenders nationally.

I am certainly overlooking much that could be fairly described as disastrous domestic policy, but even this short litany of failures illustrates that the Bush Administration not only hasn't any domestic successes to point to, but are better off avoiding domestic policy issues like the plague. Of course, the only reason why American's are vulnerable to Bush's blandishments regarding his foreign policy record, is because they do not have to live in the nations where the immediate effects of those policies are felt. Were American's forced to live in the M.E., or among the multitudes of enemies and critics Bush has won for us the world over, it would be quickly apparent that Bush's foreign policy legacy is actually worse than his domestic policy, as hard as that might be to conceive.


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