by Dr. Steven Jonas
JUL 17, 2007
At the end of my column on this subject last week, I restated my position that “success,” whether in a Presidency or on a Saturday morning errands trip, is to be measured against goals set and the degree to which they have been achieved. Thus, when one looks at the BushCheney (or CheneyBush, as I have said, your choice) record, is this a “failed Presidency?” Hardly. Bush set out to achieve what I have on more than one occasion termed a “coup d’etat in slow motion.” BushCheney does measure success in terms of polls. Forget the polls. We must look at what he has done and continues to do with the control of the Executive Branch that he has.
Upon gaining the Office of the Presidency (without, it should be noted, actually winning the election) this man first embraced the powers truly vested in him by the Constitution. Bush was then little challenged by a very weak opposition. (If one wants to talk about failure, just consider the Kerry/Shrum Presidential campaign. It should have been a cakewalk. But since they allowed Rove, at al, to set the agenda, we are faced with continuing tragedy.) Further, he was strongly supported for the first six years by his lock-step Republican Congress, and ongoing, his in-the-pocket Privatized Ministry of Propaganda. Together, he has used them, and continues to use them step-by-step and piece-by-piece, to create an Office of the Presidency with powers that no reading of the Constitution can possibly support. That’s success, man. Let’s review some of the policy specifics. They are well-known to most readers of TPJ, but we shall review them briefly here anyway.
On the foreign policy side, let’s begin with Iraq. Is it a disaster? Well, it is if you measure it on the supposed WMD/al-Qaeda original connections, or the “establishment of Democracy” (not an originally stated goal of the US invasion), and certainly what has happened to that benighted country since. Ohmigod. First the Iraqi people suffer under Hussein for 20-plus years. Then they get Bush and his pro-counsels. What did they do to deserve that sequence? But supposing when that pre-invasion intelligence analysis predicting chaos in Iraq following an American invasion (“Analysts’ Warning of Iraq Chaos Detailed,” Pincus and DeYoung, Washington Post, May 26, 2007) came through, you didn’t say “ohmigod, how could we possibly go in there?” but rather “ohmigod, exactly what we are looking for: Permanent War here we come.” It is becoming ever more clear that the latter was indeed the BushCheney response. And why would they want Permanent War? There are three main reasons.