60 reasons george bush must go

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    60 Reasons Why George Bush Must be Defeated
    By William Hare

    With November 2 rapidly approaching, it is time to set forth some basic reasons why George Bush has been a past disaster with an even more calamitous future awaiting us should he remain in the White House.

    Here are some basic points. They represent the basic picture from one observer’s perspective:

    1) An absence of mental qualifications. The spin machine of Karl Rove has gone into overdrive to reframe the criterion established over a period of time not only in America but also in other democracies that a candidate for public office requires the essential mental powers of concentration, intellectual curiosity, and analytical skill to make important decisions. This applies particularly to the most powerful office in the world. George Bush’s ignorance and impatience to analyze important issues has been showcased as an “ah shucks” and “just plain folks” common man attribute making him an appealing president. His pathetic ignorance and shabby disregard for serious study have been manifested on major issues from the budget to Iraq. No matter how zealously the spinmeisters labor, this is an appalling shortcoming.

    2) A stubbornness borne of anti-intellectuality. The idea of “nuanced comments” as applied to John Kerry is derided by Bush propagandists, who state a preference for simple commentary. Treaties and complicated tax legislation require deep thinking, should not be oversimplified, and are best addressed by careful reflection rather than a grin and a shrug.

    3) Captivity to corporate interests. Bush supposedly said after Dick Cheney had proposed tax legislation denied to benefit the wealthy, “Oh, we’re helping rich people again?” Irresponsible tax cuts targeted to benefit the top 1 percent of the nation were seen as a payoff to Bush’s base.

    4) Fiscal irresponsibility. This element is tied in closely to Point 3. In addition to providing “tax relief” for those who did not need it, the corollary applied as these same citizens George Bush has referred to as “my base” have received additional benefits from every type of boondoggle in the form of tax cuts that have been promoted to “stimulate the economy.”

    5) Achieving the biggest debt in the history of the planet. Bush fiscal irresponsibility has resulted in a current $7.4 trillion debt that continues climbing as this is being written. This profligacy has resulted in neglect in other needed areas. Meanwhile projected future growth is constipated by the continuing bank obligations of paying off this irresponsible and oppressive national debt.

    6) Suffering at the state level. The huge federal deficit has resulted in unmet obligations in our nation’s state capitals. Governors complain that the No Child Left Behind legislation Bush speaks about triumphantly is a largely unfunded mandate. Tremendous cutbacks have resulted at all levels. In California Arnold Schwarzenegger functions in a virtual straitjacket as a result of cuts imposed at the state and local levels, many of which resulted from the massive federal debt.

    7) A growing health care crisis. Millions of Americans are presently without health care. While Bush makes deals with the pharmaceuticals industry, which has provided millions in his and Republican Party coffers, many Americans cross their fingers that they will not become so ill that they need hospitalization, or that they will not be injured in an accident.

    8) The prescription drug crisis. Under the bogus claim of an unresolved safety issue, the Bush Administration has refused to allow Canadian drugs to be imported into America. Many income-strapped seniors have been forced to cut up their pills to make them last longer. Bush has yielded to the prescription drug lobby and the public suffers.

    9) The widening gap between rich and poor. Bush tax policies based on inequality have dangerously widened the gap between rich and poor as the middle class becomes increasingly trapped in a mode of husband and wife working longer hours with less to show for their efforts in real buying power. Republican tax advocate Grover Norquist has stated that the goal of conservatives like him is to “drown government in the bathtub.

    10) A dangerously burgeoning military-industrial complex. Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the danger of sharply escalating Pentagon budgets for increasing weapons programs with diminishing accountability. The Norquist game plan is to shrink the rest of government while greatly expanding the military.

    11) An expanding military-industrial complex linked to neoconservatisim. The neoconservative agenda being aggressively pursued under the so-called Bush Doctrine is for America to disregard traditional international problem solving by using the United Nations and vigorous diplomacy in favor of striking whenever powers that be such as Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz decide that the time is ripe for action. While unilateralism is practiced opportunities to resolve problems such as the critical situation in North Korea, the Israeli-Palestinian ongoing conflict, and other problem areas are pursued on a basically unilateral level. Those who oppose this approach are referred to as naïve isolationists.

    12) International arrogance toward global warming. While scientists in the international community cite the continuing imminent dangers of global warming, Bush scuttles the Kyoto Treaty and refuses to discuss means of satisfactorily amending it. As dangers mount, the Bush Administration lives in its own isolated cocoon acting on behalf of its powerful corporate allies, some of which pursue a policy of pillage and plunder without regard for human consequences.

    13) Relaxation of workplace safety standards. Under Bush the Department of Labor has become a designedly ineffectual tool for working people. It is dedicated to implementing a corporate agenda led by its figurehead secretary, Elaine Chao, wife of right wing Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell. Safety standards have been curtailed and diminished with an increasing number of industrial accidents and deaths. This results from surrendering to corporate interests funding Bush and Republican Party campaigns. In 2002 the office virtually closed down in the key closing period of the mid-term campaign, with operatives, led by Secretary Chao, campaigning non-stop for Republican candidates.

    14) Indifference to the plight of workers. The same Department of Labor has announced the curtailing of overtime for certain workers. This occurs at a time when statistics reveal that Americans are dramatically increasing their work hours just to remain economically afloat.

    15) More indifference relating to outsourcing. While corporations ship jobs to Third World nations to maximize profits, Bush pursues a nonchalant “business as usual” carefree attitude. Unions are so disrespected within the Bush White House that, on a rare occasion when Elaine Chao addressed an AFL-CIO convention, rather than talking about the need for constructive cooperation between the government and working Americans, she criticized the union movement for “past corruption.”

    16) Tax havens for companies abroad. The Bush Administration has spoken nary a critical word about what John Kerry refers to as “Benedict Arnold companies” who move their operations to tax shelter bases such as the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes.

    17) Increasing payroll tax and state tax burdens. Due to the corporate generosity of the Bush Administration’s tax policies Americans are paying higher taxes at the state level while their payroll taxes have also dramatically increased. The tax cut benefits that Bush extols, claiming that average Americans have been enriched, are generally more than offset by increases in these other areas.

    18) Playing fast and loose with Social Security. While the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and former Vice President Al Gore advocated a Social Security “lockbox” to protect funds for that program. When Congress passed the Social Security Act of 1935, which was then signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it was intended to be untouched. This was a program that, according to legislative design, was supposed to be above and beyond tampering. The Bush Administration does not feel that way, tapping into it as it follows the cue of the Reagan Administration in the eighties by using monies put aside for a specific purpose to paper over expanding deficits prompted by tax cuts for the wealthy.

    19) Future plans for Social Security. While Bush vehemently denies that he is in favor of privatizing Social Security, this is the net effect of what would transpire if the program he supports were to be enacted. It calls for payers to voluntarily place funds earmarked for Social Security into private accounts. As explained by economists, this would ultimately leave a huge hole in the Social Security trust fund, placing the entire program in jeopardy.

    20) Cut off the safety net while preaching reform. One means by which Bush seeks to “drown the government in the bathtub” save military and intelligence funding is through his alleged “reform” of tort law. He seeks to cap damage awards at $250,000.

    21) By restricting amounts of judgments in personal injury cases, Bush assures Americans that this will lower medical cost premiums and allow doctors threatened by escalating malpractice insurance costs to be free to practice medicine with a sizable worry removed. The actual cost factor in medical premiums is an estimated 1 percent. The courts currently have remedies for lowering excessive judgments and Kerry favors legislation to remedy the worst elements, which would dramatically assist doctors, but Bush is proposing something different. Capping damages at $250,000 constitutes a sellout to corporate interests with an additional factor as well. Since trial lawyers tend to favor Democrats this is one opponent that needs to be eliminated in the Karl Rove-Grover Norquist seek and destroy mission.

    22) Along with labor unions, sought to be at least severely crippled under an anti-union Labor Department, public school teachers, another source of Democratic Party support, are to be marginalized through school voucher programs involving private schools. This is part of the faith-based initiative and cripples public schools by diverting important funds away from them.

    23) Discrimination through faith-based initiatives. The initiatives, along with at the very least weakening public schools, are also vehicles for religious discrimination and cross the constitutional line separating church and state. While Christian schools and other organizations have received solid support, the same does not apply to those of the Jewish and Muslim faiths. Faith-based programs are also featured in prisons. Again, Christianity is taught and alternative forms of worship are not.

    24) While global warming is ignored on the international level, pollution is given the same attention Bush paid to the problem while Texas governor, when Houston became the most polluted city in the nation. Bush uses doublespeak to offer a Clean Skies proposal that actually allows corporate polluters to pollute through paying for credits in a swap, earning the privilege to pollute. This is substituted in place of the Clean Air Act. Meanwhile rivers and streams continue to be polluted through acid rain.

    25) Choosing corporate oil drilling over the environment. This is occurring in Alaska with Bush proposing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    26) Catering to religious right homophobic bigotry. Bush offers a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage to placate his religious right base. This has been an issue left to the states, but in this case the Reagan doctrine of investing power at the state level is ignored.

    27) Anti-Arab American discrimination through the Patriot Act. Roundups of Arab Americans were conducted following 9-11 and many were incarcerated in jail for long periods of time without being charged and without the benefit of legal counsel. Preventive detention of this kind has been validated in usurpation of the Bill of Rights under the Patriot Act, which Bush seeks to retain in every phase.

    28) Government approved snooping under the Patriot Act. Librarians have launched complaints in response to appearances by federal agents asking about books being checked out by public library members.

    29) In addition to allowing preventive detention, search and seizure laws have been abrogated under the Patriot Act. If a citizen is “suspected of terrorism,” certainly a broad category, a residence can be searched without a warrant in the individual’s absence. The entering law enforcement official can remove anything that individual wishes to take and then use it against the citizen at trial without informing the person or counsel.

    30) Suppression of voting rights of African Americans. Bush’s brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in 2000 had some 95,000 potential voters, mainly African Americans, stripped of their voting rights on the grounds that they were “alleged felons.” Bush ignored instructions from the group conducting the purge, Data Base Technologies, that the list was only preliminary and many of the names on the list were not the same as the Florida residents with the same last names. Some of the first names were even different, but Bush and Harris, along with Clay Roberts, Florida Commission of Elections, disqualified all names on the list, most of which were valid voters without records.

    31) A repeat has been taking place in 2004, despite Jeb Bush’s promise that history will not be repeated. Associated Press has recently reported that despite Bush’s promise a “felony list” remains in force. Reports of intimidation abound in Florida, particularly among potential minority voters. Complaints have also been launched claiming that Republican election officials have torn up lists of new Democratic voters.

    32) A negative job picture. For the first time since Herbert Hoover’s administration ended in March 1933 a president has compiled a record in which more jobs were lost than created.

    33) A war launched on deception. Bush and other Administration figures asserted that a “giant mushroom cloud” awaited us in the form of an imminent attack by Saddam Hussein if Iraq was not attacked. The claims of weapons of mass destruction and links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda were ultimately proven baseless.

    34) Defiance of international law, abrogating the United Nations and Nuremberg charters, to which the United States is a signatory. While pre-emptive war is acceptable under international law under the right of self-defense, the U.S. invaded while UN inspectors were in Iraq. The rush to war circumvented that effort.

    35) Destroying good will within the international community. When longstanding U.S. allies like France and Germany stated their opposition to the Bush Administration’s rush to war there was economic retaliation. The U.S. announced that European nations would not be included in the rebuilding effort following the U.S. invasion.

    36) The opportunities generated by the invasion were used as a boondoggle for favored Bush supporters, beginning with Vice President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, where he served as CEO prior to reentering government in 2001.

    37) Secret meetings and no-bid contracts. Halliburton was awarded a no-bid contract to provide services in Iraq, and then ripped off U.S. taxpayers for meals allegedly provided to troops that were never served and by charging excessive gasoline prices. Halliburton is currently under federal investigation. Maps have been located that were studied in secret meetings held in Cheney’s office, at which major oil executives were in interested attendance and Iraq was divided up to benefit privileged corporate largesse.

    38) When Cheney was taken to court to provide transcripts of those meetings, he prevailed when his longtime duck hunting companion, Federalist Society member and Chief Justice Antonin Scalia, heard the case and ruled on Cheney’s behalf. Scalia practices blatant cronyism, having refused to recuse himself in that case as well as the historic Bush v. Gore case in 2000, which decided the presidency by a one-vote margin. In that instance Scalia’s son belonged to the same law firm as that of Ted Olson, who represented Bush, and was named solicitor general by the incoming chief executive. Meanwhile Scalia’s son was appointed to the Department of Labor. Scalia Federalist Society crony Clarence Thomas, whose wife was already interviewing potential appointees for a projected Bush White House, also failed to see a conflict of interest and voted, as typical, with Scalia.

    39) Bush right wing judges and the threat to overturn Roe v. Wade. While Bush has indicated that he will impose no litmus test regarding a woman’s right to choose and with it the overall question of whether Roe v. Wade will be overturned, his record tells a different story. Bush’s preference is to appoint federal judges of the decided right wing variety in matters regarding women’s rights, civil liberties, and the issue of separation of church and state. Democratic senators have sought to block some of the more extreme cases, such as Alabama’s Judge David Pryor.

    40) Knuckling under to the National Rifle Association on assault weapons. While police chiefs throughout America decry assault weapons and the disadvantages accruing to its officers on the beat when criminal elements possess them, Bush without a whimper let the assault weapons ban passed by Congress lapse recently. While he attempted to make it appear that it did not have sufficient support to be reinstated, the very Bush who prides himself on being a man of action was unconvincing in providing needed support to keep the law on the books.

    41) Misrepresentation over being an alleged “compassionate conservatism.” Here is someone who took an average of 15 minutes while Texas governor to decide death row cases even when there were complications such as a court appointed defense attorney sleeping regularly in court while many of defendants “represented” by him received death sentences. Here is someone who, when he learned that the first bombs were falling on Baghdad, thrust his right fist in the air and exclaimed, “Feels good!” When the daughter of James Byrd, an African American dragged to his death by vicious racists, visited Bush’s office when he was governor to promote an anti-hate crime law in Texas he refused to even ask her to sit down. What bothered him was the same law would also protect homosexuals under the hate crime category.

    42) While we can forget the “compassionate” we can also dispense with the “conservative” appellation where Bush is concerned. Do conservatives run up $7.4 trillion national debts in four years?

    43) Bush’s false claim to bring unity to Washington. He naturally blames Democrats but the problem lies with his own forces. Grover Norquist refers to bipartisan congressional discussion as “date rape.” Polarizing House Majority Leader Tom DeLay brings bills to the floor without inviting discussion with Democrats. Bipartisan discussion used to be an inherent part of the legislative process in Washington, but the pattern changed under Newt Gingrich’s House Speaker’s tenure and has been greatly accented under Bush.

    44) Using terror as an issue to terrorize and divide. To Bush 9-11 has become a strategic two-edged sword. He uses terrorism to frighten voters into believing that he is needed to provide internal security, painting John Kerry and any every political opponent as dangerously in touch with America’s needs.

    45) This sword was used as a smear against Democrats shamefully in 2002 and is being re-tooled for 2004 against John Kerry. Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, a triple amputee war hero from the Vietnam War, was smeared in his reelection bid. Television ads were run showing him in concert with Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden when he supported Bush’s creation of a Homeland Security Department and opposed the provision denying the same rights to unionize and collectively bargain to employees provided to members of all other government departments. His opponent Saxby Chambliss was exempted from Vietnam due to a “bad knee.” Oddly enough a stated Chambliss exercise is jogging.

    46) Smearing Kerry while hypocritically claiming that he “served honorably.” Bush turns away as if uninvolved as a vicious series of lies are shown in television ads by the alleged Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Henchman John O’Neill was initially sent after Kerry by convicted Watergate felon Charles Colson on behalf of Richard Nixon, the only U.S. president to resign in disgrace. Kerry’s war service and patriotism are maligned by vindictive veterans, none of whom served under Kerry’s command. Those who did serve with him endorse his leadership and extol his courage under fire. The Navy Department contends that the service decorations Kerry received were justified, refuting the Swift Boat Veterans’ claim that they are bogus.

    47) Taking America to war in Iraq on distortions. Bush and other Adminisration figures stoutly proclaimed that their intelligence information was iron clad when investigation reveals that portions of intelligence documents were quoted out of context and others were redacted to provide a strongly variant impression of what was written. The extensive misrepresentations by Colin Powell in his speech to the United Nations involve such widespread distortions that, coupled with the insistence of their accuracy by Bush, Cheney, Powell and Rice, they can hardly be a product of innocent mistake. Also, Dick Cheney took an unprecedented step for a vice president by making several visits to the Langley, Virginia headquarters of the C.I.A. to pressure weapons research operatives to assert that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

    48) Smearing and seeking to punish those who did not fall into line with Bush’s rush to war. Joseph Wilson, former Niger ambassador, exposed as a fraud a communiqué purporting to involve a request for yellow cake to enrich Uranium in Saddam Hussein’s ongoing pursuit of nuclear weapons. After Wilson exposed the hoax columnist Robert Novak, in violation of U.S. law, printed the name of Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plamme, announcing to America that she was a C.I.A. operative, ruining her career and risking her life. When former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, C.I.A. Security Chief Richard Clarke, Wilson and others criticized the Bush Administration for a bullish attitude toward Iraq that took the emphasis off of Osama din Laden’s al Qaeda in the war on terror, the Rove machine denounced them as political opportunists seeking positions in a Kerry Administration.

    49) Using 9-11 and the war on terror as a tactic of silencing political debate and insulating Bush from criticism. While there was no formal declaration of war on terror, which is a constitutional nullity since wars must be declared against specific nations, Bush has been repeatedly referred to as a “war president.”

    50) Ratcheting up the same criticism to the level of McCarthyism after the invasion of Iraq. Criticism of any aspect of Bush policy was greeted with charges of “failing to support our troops” while it is ignored that Bush himself, then governor of Texas, and other leading Republicans openly criticized Clinton’s troop deployments to the former Yugoslavia.

    51) Showing blatant disrespect for the U.S. Constitution and international law after it was revealed that the reasons advanced for invading Iraq were invalid. Bush immediately began justifying invasion as a means of liberating the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein. When he was asked about invading a nation when the proclaimed reasons for doing so had been disproved, Bush haughtily replied, “What’s the difference?” There is a good deal of difference between an invasion for false reasons and compliance with constitutional and international law. The contempt for the Constitution expressed by Bush has caused consternation at home while his disrespect for international law has tarnished America’s reputation in nations where international cooperation is vital in advancing the interests of the U.S.

    52) Under Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Powell the regulative body has become no more than a rubber stamp for corporate interests as the conglomerate Clear Channel gobbles up television and radio stations with hungry tenacity. Bush’s tacit approval is the great influence as critics abound concerning this policy even among noted conservative Republican members of Congress.

    53) Shredding all semblances of fairness and decency as right wing hate anarchy runs rampant on the nation’s airwaves. While the right continues its unjustified wailing over “liberal media bias” the reality is that radical right wing anarchy reigns. Ardent far right spokespersons such as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Michael Savage make racist and homophobic comments while denouncing as “traitors” those who disagree with them. This hate invective is a major factor in poisoning minds and hardening divisions within an evermore-combative America. This anarchy has gradually evolved since the Reagan Administration’s 1987 decision to waive the “fair comment” provision of the equal time doctrine.

    54) Masquerading as an Administration that has made America safer when the opposite is true. Bush Administrative operatives ignored numerous warnings about 9-11. Bush was warned about Osama bin Laden’s potential by outgoing President Bill Clinton in their first meeting and Clinton’s National Security Adviser Sandy Berger provided Condoleezza Rice with a similar warning. Bush acted uncertain following the attacks. Seven precious minutes were lost while Bush sat in a Sarasota classroom listening to a young girl read “My Pet Goat” and Dick Cheney took control of the government, providing instructions to Bush. Cell phone problems were used as a false excuse to explain a lack of policy cohesion. Also, as Bush critics have repeatedly charged, by concentrating on Iraq the focus was taken away from Osama bin Laden, the master strategist of 9-11.

    55) Proclaiming themselves to be vigilant anti-terrorist warriors while failing to cooperate with those seeking the truth about 9-11. Bush opposed the creation of the 9-11 Commission and refused to appear in open session, answering questions in executive session in his office with Dick Cheney and private counsel present. He refused to allow transcripts of the session to be released to the public. Condoleezza Rice insisted on limited exposure and was evasive when asked by 9-11 Commission Member Richard Benveniste about the August 11, 2001 intelligence warning concerning the possibility of a forthcoming attack by al Qaeda, received while Bush was vacationing at his Crawford, Texas ranch.

    56) Proclaiming themselves to be on top of the Homeland Security picture while people bearing box cutters have no trouble breaching airport security. Manpower is so low that senior volunteers patrol the waters of South Florida as a free public service.

    57) Terrorism is used to keep Americans restless as frequent warnings are given by the Homeland Security Department and instructions are periodically provided in circumstances suggesting that political strategy is being invoked. Howard Dean was criticized for expressing such a misgiving when a yellow alert was announced prior to the start of the Democratic Convention, when John Kerry and other party members were commanding great media attention.

    58) While John Kerry is unfairly criticized for not sufficiently standing up to protect American troops in Iraq, soldiers are refusing to go on what they term “suicide missions” without proper support. Soldiers are unable to get body armor so their families secure such needed protection through E-Bay Internet auctions. Many of the trucks being used in Iraq are severely antiquated. Meanwhile Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Bush take bows for jobs well done. A “backdoor draft” has been employed to cover serious service personnel shortages, with reservists on Social Security being among those called up. Bush responds angrily to claims he will invoke a draft if he is re-elected without providing a plan for dealing with such shortages. The problem is magnified by the refusal of European allies to assist in the absence of Bush’s refusal to properly internationalize the effort.

    59) Reneging on promises to first responders after 9-11, with cuts imposed to police and fire personnel as the priority of tax benefits for millionaires takes precedence in the Bush White House. The New York City where Bush visited and commiserated with victims after the 9-11 tragedy receives less money per capita for anti-terrorist protection than rural areas of Wyoming and Nebraska that are highly unlikely terrorist targets.

    60) Bush’s dangerously erratic behavior and the influence of Dick Cheney. It has been revealed that in meetings with foreign leaders that Bush has been known to deliver religious sermons revealing his dedication to God, then launch into furious cursing. Bush stridently asserts, “You are either with us or against us!” He declared that he decided to invade Iraq after conferring not with his father, the president during the 1991 Gulf War, but with his “other father,” meaning God. His stubborn refusal to listen to differing views is attributed by many to the view that he is on a mission for God. This could be at least one reason behind his refusal to admit making any mistakes. In a debate with Kerry he would only say that he has appointed some people he would rather not have selected. The Cheney influence is all pervasive and damaging to the democratic process. As Cheney revealed with his secret meetings with oil company executives and support of no bid contacts for the company he headed, Halliburton, he is a corporate insider first. This is detrimental to the interests of American democracy. The oil connection and the dangers therein were revealed when Enron, a strong Bush supporter, manipulated an energy crisis in California before its cataclysmic demise. Cheney has many links to the most reactionary governments in the world, supporting them as long as they assist the interests of big oil. Cheney showed what side he was on when he was the most influential member of Congress to oppose a resolution advocating the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in apartheid South Africa.

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